From August 10th to August 15th the BOOKBRIDGE Curriculum Working Group met for the first time in person in order to start developing a standardized curriculum for our learning centers in all countries. Sujitha Miranda from Sri Lanka, Sanha Nhor from Cambodia, Batchimeg Purejev and Uugantsetseg Gantumur from Mongolia worked together with Country Development Manager Monika Nowaczyk over five intense days of discussions and development. This representation from all countries is instrumental to the success and usability of the framework since it is developed by Community Heroes for Community Heroes.
The first order of business was to outline an action plan, description for the group and, most importantly, a name. After lots of brainstorming we decided to call ourselves the “BOOKBRIDGE Curriculum Super Heroes”. The main goal of the Curriculum Super Heroes is to develop an appropriate, functional and practical curriculum framework for all BOOKBRIDGE learning centers and to encourage and support the Community Heroes to apply it at their centers. This means reviewing what is currently happening at all learning centers across all countries in terms of teaching materials and methods, identifying gaps and researching other curriculum frameworks for EFL programs, with a particular focus on the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR) which is the foundation of the majority of textbooks currently in use such as English File, New Headway and Upstream.
Why a Curriculum Framework?
The 2015 Quality evaluation report on Cambodia and the 2016 quality evaluation report on Mongolia both identified the lack of a structured curriculum as a major barrier to achieving quality at our learning centers. While a handful of learning centers have an outline of a curriculum, these are not fully developed, don’t include performance standards or assessments and are mainly focused on the textbooks which are used in teaching. In most classes, teachers follow the book without any regard of preparing students towards any specific learning outcomes nor measuring their learning progress.
A BOOKBRIDGE Curriculum Framework is the first step toward standardizing English language instruction and program across all learning centers in the BOOKBRIDGE family of learning centers. It provides a clear structure of levels from very young learners through to young adults, with specific learning outcomes. Additionally, each level is complemented with ideas for Project-Based Learning, which are built around the content in each level and provide opportunities for active learning and development of the 4Cs.
The Curriculum Super Heroes’ work in Sainshand was just the first step. The framework is in draft form and provides a high-level outline of the different levels. This needs to be reviewed, refined and tested for logical development. Following this, unit guides and eventually a toolbox with sample lesson plans, materials and assessments need to be developed. Finally, training will need to be provided to the Community Heroes on how to roll out the curriculum at the learning centers.