The Languages Template update
On March 6 & 7, 2019, BCATML representatives returned to the Ministry to begin updating the Languages 5 to 12 Template, a 246-page document which uses the Integrated Resource Package of the former curriculum (2003). This template needed to be streamlined and updated to the new KDU framework of the BC curriculum. Initial discussions with BCATML began two years ago, and BCATML was successful in advocating for the completion of this ministerial mandate despite the challenges of not having a dedicated Languages Curriculum Coordinator at the Ministry.
The Languages Template Team was composed of four BCATML members, one independent school teacher, and Ministry Curriculum Coordinators for Math, Science, Social Studies, and Physical Health Education. There were three specific goals for this meeting:
The Curriculum Team drafted a significantly more manageable template than the previous one. The team ensured that curriculum for grades 5 to 12 would require similar learning standards as those contained in the nine existing second languages curricula; while leaving flexibility for language specific needs not found in the other curricula. For instance, not all languages have an alphabet per se, but the team agreed that it was necessary to include an introduction to the writing system of the target language as well as teaching phonemical sounds relating to the script of the language. Additionally, highlighting cultural creative works, customs, traditions, and celebrations could also be easily included to better represent the needs of the target language. The new Languages Template will use a similar KDU framework of the other languages curricula to ensure that the teaching and evaluation of the Core Competencies remain consistent.
It is expected that the Ministry will finalize the Languages Template by June 2019 for those school districts and communities wishing to develop language education programs for which there is local interest, such as Arabic, Croatian, and Russian (among many others).
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