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English is taught in all primary and secondary schools in the country in
keeping with its status as a second language in the country.

The Cabinet Committee Report on the Review of the Implementation of the
Education Policy 1979 states that the teaching of English is to enable learners
to use English in everyday situations and work situations as well as to pursue
higher education.

At present, English is still taught for the purposes of higher education and the
workplace. English is the language of Information Communications
Technology (ICT) as well as the language for establishing international
relations in a borderless world. To enable our learners to access information
on the Internet and other electronic media as well as to network with students
in other parts of the country and abroad, it is important that they are proficient
in the language. Such proficiency will also help learners to read and listen to
academic, professional and recreational materials and to speak in seminars
and conferences.

The English curriculum for primary schools is designed to provide learners
with a strong foundation in the English language. Learners will then be able to
build upon this foundation and use the language for various purposes. The
development of learners’ linguistic ability is in keeping with the goals of the
National Education Philosophy and the Education Act of 1996 which seek to
optimise the intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical potential of all

In learning the English language, learners are taught the fundamentals of
English grammar and how to use it correctly in both speech and in writing.
Learners are also taught the English sound system to enable them to
pronounce words correctly and to speak fluently with the correct stress and
intonation so that from these early stages, pupils learn to speak internationally
intelligible English.

Learners differ from each other in their individual strengths, abilities and
learning styles and preferences. In teaching the curriculum, these differences
are taken into account so that the aims and aspirations of the curriculum are
fulfilled and the potential of the child is maximized.

This document is the English Syllabus for primary schools. It gives an overview of the English language curriculum to be taught from Year 1 through to Year 6. This syllabus is for use in both the national primary schools (SK) and the national type primary schools (SJK). To help teachers teach this curriculum in the classroom, supporting documents known as syllabus specifications or Huraian Sukatan Pelajaran are made available. In these documents, the curriculum is explained in greater detail for each year of schooling. There is one set of specifications for each primary level schooling.

The syllabus outlines the Aims, Objectives, and Learning Outcomes to be achieved. The Language Content to be taught has also been given and this includes the sound system, the grammar of the English language, and the word list.

The contents of the syllabus can be expanded upon if learners have the ability and are proficient in the language.


The English language syllabus for primary schools aims to equip learners with basic skills and knowledge of the English language so as to enable them to communicate, both orally and in writing, in and out of school.


By the end of the primary school, learners should be able to

i. listen to and understand simple spoken English in certain given contexts;

ii. ask and answer questions, speak and express themselves clearly to others using simple language;

iii. acquire good reading habits to understand, enjoy and extract information from a variety of texts;

iv. write legibly and express ideas in simple language; and

v. show an awareness and appreciation of moral values as well as
love for the nation.


The English language curriculum is developed in line with the way English is used in society in everyday life when interacting with people, getting information, and when enjoying a good book or film. This is reflected in the learning outcomes of the curriculum.

Sukatan Pelajaran Bahasa Inggeris KBSR

The learning outcomes are based on the four language skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. These four language skills in turn also incorporate the use of good grammar, the nglish sound system, and the use of appropriate vocabulary. In addition, the curriculum also takes into account other educational emphases such as thinking skills, ICT skills, values and citizenship education.

Language Skills

The language skills of listening, reading and writing form the core of the primary English curriculum. Learners use these skills to talk to and write to people, to obtain information from various sources, and to enjoy a poem or story read or heard.

The skill of Listening is taught to enable learners to listen carefully to what is spoken so that they are able to obtain as much and as accurately as possible the information or ideas heard. Oral skills are taught to enable learners to express their ideas confidently and clearly. For this purpose, learners are taught to pronounce words correctly and to speak with correct stress, intonation and sentence rhythm. The skill of Reading is taught to enable learners not only to read independently a variety of texts but also to read with understanding so that they are able to extract information efficiently. The skill of Writing is taught to enable learners to express their ideas clearly on paper in legible handwriting or to communicate via the electronic media if facilities are available in school.

Language Content

The Language Content of the curriculum comprises the grammar of the English language, the English sound system and a Word List to guide teachers.

Educational Emphases

In addition, current developments in education are included. These comprise Thinking Skills, skills of Learning How to Learn, and other educational emphases such as Values and Citizenship Education. Language teaching also takes into account learners’ multiple intelligences and emphasizes the importance of using real life examples to prepare learners for the real world.

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes are statements to guide teachers in teaching and are derived from the objectives.

Learning outcomes incorporate the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, grammar, the sound system and words from the word list.

More details on the learning outcomes and the language content are given in the Syllabus Specifications documents from Year 1 through to Year 6.



In acquiring the four language skills, learners are required to perform tasks so that the following outcomes can be achieved.

1.0 The Skill of LISTENING

The listening component aims at developing learners’ ability to listen to and understand the spoken language better. The sub-skills of listening range from the basic level of sound, word and phrase recognition to an understanding of the whole text. Learners are encouraged to listen to various text types so that they will become familiar with the sounds, intonation and stress patterns of the English language as well as to get to know the correct pronunciation of words and the use of certain expressions.

Learners are also encouraged to respond to the information or message heard in a variety of ways including verbal and non-verbal forms.

By the end of their primary schooling, learners should be able to listen to and understand various text types such as announcements, instructions, and messages. They should be able to:

1.1 Listen to and discriminate similar and different sounds of the English language;

1.2 Listen to and repeat accurately the correct pronunciation of words, and the correct intonation and word stress when uttering phrases, expressions and sentences;

1.3 Acquire vocabulary and understand the meaning of words and phrases in context;

1.4 Listen to and follow simple instructions and directions accurately;

1.5 Obtain information from texts listened to in relation to:
main ideas
specific details
cause and effect relationships

1.6 Listen to and enjoy the rhyme, rhythm and sounds of poetry, jazz chants and songs; and

1.7 Listen to and enjoy stories, fables and other tales of imagination and fantasy and predict outcomes, and draw conclusions at a level suited to their ability.

2.0 The Skill of SPEAKING

As speaking is linked closely to listening, learners are taught to listen carefully to what is spoken and give an appropriate response. In the development of oral skills, learners are taught how to ask questions politely when seeking information or clarification and to reply giving relevant information. Learners are also taught to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas simply when talking to friends and older people. To this end, learners are taught to use
appropriate words, phrases and expressions that do not offend others which can occur with the lack of proficiency. In making their utterances understood by others, learners are taught to pronounce words correctly and to speak clearly with the right stress and intonation.

By the end of their primary schooling, learners should be able to talk to friends, relatives, teachers and other people confidently using simple language and with an acceptable level of grammar. They should be able to:

2.1 Speak clearly by pronouncing words accurately, and speaking with the correct stress, intonation and sentence rhythm;

2.2. Talk confidently on topics of interest in simple language;

2.3 Express thoughts and feelings and talk about things heard, read, seen, and viewed in simple language;

2.4 Ask questions politely to obtain information and clarification;

2.5 Give relevant information politely in response to enquiries made:
to state
to identify
to disagree
to make comparisons

2.6 Take simple messages and convey them accurately;

2.7 Make and receive telephone calls using polite speech forms;

2.8 Tell stories based on pictures and other stimuli, and recite simple poems;

2.9 Talk about the people, places and moral values of the stories heard, read and viewed using simple language;

2.10 Perform a variety of functions in a social context such as exchanging greetings, making introductions, inviting people, etc.; giving simple instructions and directions;

2.11 Respond to audio-visual materials such as cartoons on TV and suitable films by
giving opinions, and relating the material to personal experiences and previous

3.0 The Skill of READING

The component on Reading emphasizes the teaching of the skills of reading to enable learners to become independent readers. The teaching of reading in the early stages begins at the word and phrase levels before progressing to sentence recognition and reading at the paragraph level. In this early stage of reading, a combination of phonics and the whole text approach will benefit
young readers. Gradually, learners are also taught to extract specific information from a text and to also respond to a text with their own ideas and opinions. Information skills and study skills are also taught through the use of dictionaries and encyclopaedias. For those who have the facilities, accessing the Internet and other electronic media for information is also encouraged. Pupils are also taught to obtain information from maps, plans, graphs and timetables at a level suited to their ability.

The use of a variety of texts for the teaching of reading skills will not only provide the opportunity for learners to learn new words but also enables them to see how grammar is used correctly. At the same time, reading a variety of texts will also help learners develop their reading skills for different purposes.

Learners are also encouraged to read extensively outside the classroom for enjoyment and information. This will not only improve their proficiency in the language but will also help them to become independent and efficient readers.

By the end of their primary schooling, learners should be able to read a variety of texts both in print and in the electronic media for information and enjoyment such as notices, warnings, instructions, directions, recipes, messages, simple passages, letters, advertisements, poems, stories, descriptions, recounts; and maps, charts, graphs, time-tables. Learners should be able to:

3.1 Acquire word recognition and word attack skills so that they are
able to recognise sight words.

3.2 Acquire key words at various stages of development.

3.3 Read and understand phrases, sentences, paragraphs and whole texts based on the key words suitable to their level of development.

3.4 Read aloud expressively and fluently pronouncing words correctly and observing correct stress, intonation and sentence rhythm;

3.4 Understand the meaning of words by guessing their meaning through the use of
- base words
- prefixes
- suffixes
- contextual clues;

3.5 Use the dictionary to get the appropriate meaning of words and phrases;

3.6 Acquire additional vocabulary including
synonyms and antonyms
homographs and homophones
compound words and collective nouns
common proverbs and similes.

3.7 Skim and scan texts for the gist and specific information;

3.8 Read and understand simple factual texts for
main ideas
supporting details
cause and effect relationships;

3.9 Read and enjoy simple stories and poems and respond to them by
talking about the people, animals and moral values in the story or poem, and
relating the story or poem to one’s life ;

3.10 Read simple texts and predict outcomes at a level suited to
learners’ ability ;

3.11 Read simple texts and make inferences, and draw conclusions;

3.12 Acquire problem-solving skills;

3.13 Read and obtain information from non-linear texts such as time-tables, maps, graphs, and diagrams at a level suited to learners’ ability; and

3.14 Read widely and independently.

4.0 The Skill of WRITING

In this component, the focus is on developing learners’ writing ability beginning at the word and phrase levels and progress to the sentence and paragraph levels. For those who are able and capable, they must be encouraged to write simple compositions comprising several paragraphs.
Attention is also paid to penmanship so that even from a young age, learners are taught to write clearly and legibly both in print and cursive writing. In writing simple compositions, learners are taught the various steps involved in writing such as planning, drafting, revising, and editing. In the process, they are also taught to use appropriate vocabulary and correct grammar to get their meaning across clearly. Although much of the writing at this level is guided, the amount of control is relaxed for learners who are able and proficient in the language. All learners are encouraged to write for different purposes and for different audiences. Spelling and dictation are also given emphasis.

By the end of their primary schooling, learners should be able to write lists, messages, letters, instructions, directions, simple poems and stories, descriptions, simple recounts and simple reports for various purposes. They should be able to:

4.1 Copy correctly;

4.2 Match words to linear and non-linear texts:
match word to word
match word to phrase
match word to picture or symbol;

4.3 Complete texts with the missing word, phrase, or sentence;

4.4 Write at word, phrase, sentence and paragraph level in clear legible print and cursive writing;

4.5 Construct simple and compound sentences with guidance and independently;

4.6 Write longer texts in the form of paragraphs using simple and compound sentences in guided and /or free writing;

4.7 Spell correctly and take dictation accurately;

4.8 Punctuate appropriately;

4.9 Give accurate information when writing messages, instructions, simple reports, and when filling in forms;

4.10 Write simple informal letters to friends, parents and other family members, and to pen-pals in a social context;

4.11 Write short simple descriptions of things, events, scenes and what one did and saw;

4.12 Write to express one’s feelings and exercise one’s creativity such as when writing a diary, composing simple poems and stories, creating greeting cards, posters, etc.;

4.13 Plan, draft, revise, and proof-read one’s written work; and

4.14 Communicate with people on the Internet and other electronic media by writing letters, messages, sending birthday greetings, etc.


1.0 The Sound System

The sound system forms part of the Language content in the syllabus. To enable learners to become familiar with the different patterns of sound and the different spelling of words that have the same sound, teachers are encouraged to give a wide range of examples. The list
below must be taught.

1.1 Consonants, Vowels, and Diphthongs Consonants – initial, medial, final positions Vowels – long and short sounds
1.2 Consonant clusters
1.3 Stresses in two- three- and four syllable words.
1.4 Stresses in compound words
1.5 Sentence stress and intonation
1.6 Homographs and homophones
1.7 Contractions

2.0 Grammar

Grammar also forms part of the language contents of the syllabus. These grammar items need to be taught in context and in a meaningful way so that they can be used both in speech and in writing. The grammar items can be reinforced and consolidated if learners are encounter the items often enough through the various tasks set. The grammar items should not be taught in isolation but rather in the context of a topic. The listing below must be taught.

2.1 Word Order

2.1.1 Positive and negative statements
2.1.2 Positive and negative questions and response
2.1.3 ‘Wh’ questions and response–s What Where When Why Who Which How Whose
2.1.4 Requests, imperatives, commands, responses
2.1.5 Sentence type: simple, compound

2.2 Connectors
2.2.1 Conjunctions – and but or so although therefore
2.2.2 Sequence connectors – first next then finally before after

2.3 Verbs
2.3.1 Simple present tense
2.3.2 Simple past tense
2.3.3 Simple future tense
2.3.4 Present continuous tense
2.3.5 Past continuous tense
2.3.6 Future continuous tense
2.3.7 Simple perfect: has have
2.3.8 Modals: can may might must could will would shall should
2.3.9 Conditional: If
2.3.10 Subject-verb agreement

2.4 Articles
2.4.1 Articles with singular and plural countable nouns, and zero article: a an the
2.4.2 Articles with non-countable nouns
2.4.3 Articles with proper nouns

2.5 Prepositions
in out on under by next to near behind over at between among through above around across from since of off to against in front of at the back of

2.6 Nouns and Pronouns
2.6.1 Noun forms: countable uncountable collective
2.6.2 Possessives: his hers theirs ours mine
2.6.3 Pronoun forms:
Personal – I he she it they we our us their Interrogative – who which what whose where when how why
2.6.4 Gender: masculine feminine neuter

2.7 Modifiers
2.7.1 Adjectives, Adverbs
2.7.2 Comparative and superlative forms

3.0 Word List

The word list forms part of the language contents in the curriculum. The words in the list below are some key words that must be mastered by all learners according to their stages of evelopment. More words have been listed in the Curriculum Specifications or Huraian Sukatan
Pelajaran for each year and these words are listed under various topics. These are the minimum words to be taught and teachers may expand upon the list according to the level and ability of their learners as well as the topic under study.

this father I going all up they get look away in we play went like a was and am of on cat me at to she for come see he day it is the yes said dog can go big you my are mother

good new about got next after had night again half not an has now another have off as help old
back her once ball here one be him or because his our bed home out been house over boy how people brother if push but jump pull by just put call (ed) last ran came laugh saw can't little school could live (d) seen did love should do made sister don't make so dig man some door many take down may than first more that from much their girl must them then way plus:

there were days of the week;
these what months of the year;
three when numbers to twenty;
time where common colour
to who pupil's name and us will address; very with name and address want would of school;
water your

above friends small across garden something almost goes sometimes along gone sound
also great started always half still animals happy stopped any head such around heard suddenly
asked high sure baby I'm swimming balloon important think before inside those began jumped thought being knew through below know today better lady together between leave told
birthday light turn (ed) both money under brother morning until brought much upon can't near used change never walk (ed) (ing) children number watch clothes often wear coming only while
didn't opened white different other why does outside window don't own without during paper woke
earth place word every right wok eyes round world first second write follow (ing) show year
found sister young


These outline current developments in education that will help learners prepare for the real world. In this respect, moral education, citizenship education, patriotism and thinking skills will contribute towards the building of a modern and progressive society.

1.0 Thinking Skills
Critical and creative thinking skills are incorporated in the learning outcomes to enable learners to solve simple problems, make decisions, and express themselves creatively in simple

2.0 Learning How to Learn Skills
These skills are integrated in the learning outcomes and aim to enable learners to take responsibility for their own learning. These skills incorporate study skills and information skills to equip them to become independent life-long learners.

3.0 Information and Communication Technology Skills (ICT)
In this age of globalisation and ICT, skills relating to ICT are incorporated in the learning outcomes. These skills include the use of multimedia resources such as TV documentaries and the
Internet aw well as the use of computer-related activities such as e-mail activities, networking and interacting with electronic courseware.

4.0 Values and Citizenship
The values contained in the KBSR moral syllabus have been incorporated in the learning outcomes and include patriotism and citizenship.

5.0 Multiple Intelligences
The learning outcomes also reflect the incorporation of the theory of Multiple Intelligences. For example, interpersonal intelligence is reflected when learners are taught the polite forms
of language expression so as not to offend the people they communicate with. In getting learners to role play or dramatise sections of a text, their kinaesthetic intelligence is nurtured.
When learners sing songs, recite poems and chant jazz chants either individually or in chorus, their musical intelligence is developed.

6.0 Knowledge Acquisition
In teaching the language, content is drawn from subject disciplines such as science, geography, and environmental studies. Content is also drawn from daily news items as well as current affairs.

7.0 Preparation for the Real World
The learning outcomes prepare learners to meet the challenges of the real world by focusing on language use in society. In developing learners’ ability to listen carefully, speak confidently,
read widely and write effectively in the English language, they will be equipped with the requisite skills that will enable them to achieve the long-term goals of pursuing higher education, of being more effective in the workplace, and of becoming a contributing member to the betterment of society and the world at large.