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Volume 5 Number 3, Autumn 2008, Pages 1-223   

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Gap Between Intended and Acquired Curriculum of English in Secondary Schools in Laos

    Souvannasy Bouangeune and Soulignavong Latsanyphone and Yukiko Hirakawa

This study investigates the effectiveness of the English curriculum in secondary schools in Laos. The sample consists of 24 teachers, and 1,179 Grade 5 students from 25 secondary schools in Vientiane Municipality and Vientiane Province. The results show that the current curriculum is not effective in raising student achievement. The students have modest achievement in all three parts of the test: grammar, vocabulary and reading comprehension. This is because of textbooks and the way of using them. In fact, in the textbooks, there is too much content to be accomplished within the limited time. Also there is no explanation of vocabularies and grammar points. Another reason is that teaching techniques are inappropriate, and most of the schools lack teaching equipments such as tape recorders and cassettes. These make students unable to acquire English knowledge as expected. The results reveal that there is a large gap between intended curriculum and acquired curriculum. It is an urgent task to examine the teaching method and revise the curriculum.

Keywords: Laos, EFL, secondary education, Lao ELT, teaching materials, intended/acquired curriculum