Volume 2, Number 1 (1987)
Problems of Curriculum Implementation - The Case of Spanish in the Junior Secondary System
The Junior Secondary Schools are relatively new instutions within the educational system of Trinidad and Tobago. They represent an innovation in that they were established to provide all children up to age 14+ with a broad, general, secondary education; the curriculum was devised with this goal in mind. The Spanish curriculum with which this investigation is concerned has as its aim, knowledge of the language, culture and way of life of the Spanish speaking peoples of the neighbouring stages so as to facilitate communication. The public perception is however, that the three-year programme in the Junior Secondary School is not meeting these goals. Students leave without being able to communicate in the target language even at the level of basic survival skills. Those who go on to further study at the Senior Secondary or Senior Comprehensive Schools are found wanting in the basic knowledge on which the two-year programme leading the the CXC Basic or General Proficiency Examination is based. This may be partly due to the discrepancy between the intended outcomes of the Junior Secondary curriculum and the actual outcomes. If the curriculum goals set for the Junior Secondary Schools are not being achieved a closer examination of these goals and the suggested instructional strategies, as well as of the implementation process in the classroom may shed light on some obstacles to effective implementation.
Keywords: Language Education; Foreign Languages; Junior Secondary Schools; Spanish; Curriculum Problems; Trinidad and Tobago