English Language Curriculum in Macedonia
In order to highlight the need for change in the instructional practices and English language curricula in Macedonia, this paper targets the first-grade curriculum in the country and the lesson plans adhering to the planning standards developed by the Bureau for Development of Education. The study employs a mixed-methods approach to conduct research in a village in Macedonia. Qualitative data have been gathered from an online semi-structured interview with two educators from the United States of America, Cuchiarra and Fillmore, who have conducted extensive research in urban districts throughout the country. Another source for qualitative data is the comments on the reflection checklists that have been developed and filled out by the author of the study. Then, the author randomly chose 32 students from the same grade-level, divided them into two focus groups that had students with different proficiency levels and implemented two curricula; the one developed by the Bureau with group A, and another one based on the 3Ls Framework, which is a framework developed by the interviewees, with group B. In order to gather quantitative data, four posttests were administered, and the results are subject to analysis and comparison. Two hypotheses are tested, null – which refers to having no difference in the posttest results, and alternative – with regards to a possible difference in the posttest results. When it comes to the design, this is a QUAL -> quan design, i.e., more data is coming from the core qualitative component due to the limitation of the quantitative data. The core component is the qualitative data that can stand on its own, yet the quantitative data is regarded as a supplemental component and does not stand on its own. However, both outcomes of the research process will lead to integration in the conclusion because both types of data are in constant interaction. The findings of the study show that the current English language curriculum in Macedonia does not prepare the students for lifelong learning nor life in the 21st century, does not nurture a culture for independent learning, nor requires critical thinking or meaningful discussions.
Key words: curriculum, research, outcomes, data
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