The English curriculum (PP – XII) for the schools in Bhutan is based on the theories presented by James Moffit (1983) in Teaching the Universe of Discourse. Hence, the curriculum consists of the four modes of discourse. The four modes are Reading & Literature, Writing, Listening and Speaking and Language and Grammar. Each mode contains texts or activities that fulfill a definite objective or a set of objectives. The objectives at each level are informed by a set of standards, presented in The Silken Knot: Standards for English for Schools in Bhutan, for that level.
The texts, that is, the stories, essays, poems and novel selected at each level are gender sensitive, age-appropriate and are the examples of the best pieces of literature of the periods they belong to. Great care had been taken to include literary pieces covering a wide geographical area and time span so that children can get a taste of different cultures and customs.
The English curriculum is designed to make learning student-centred. It removes the teacher from the role a ‘sage on the stage’ to a ‘guide on the side’. Hence, the curriculum dissuades the teachers to explain the texts to the students and to teach for examination; instead, it directs the teachers, especially at the middle and the higher secondary levels, to teach critical reading strategies so that students learn how to make meaning with the texts they encounter and to move towards becoming independent readers.
Another important feature of the English curriculum is that each mode of discourse should be given its own time in the teacher’s annual timetable. This will enable the school system, through the curriculum, to build and nurture an English speaker who can integrate the modes of discourse so that s/he can communicate with eloquence and receive the communication of others with respect and clarity.
For the latest list of prescribed curriculum resources (textbooks, teacher guides, workbooks, references, readers, charts), refer prescribed books from the Downloads section.
Mr. Amber Rai looks after the VII-XII curriculum and Mr. Sangay Tshering looks after PP-VI curriculum.