Goals and objectives

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In this class we take a look at the process of designing goals and objectives for language courses. We also explore some of the alternatives to objectives such as competencies and standards

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Goals and objectives

  1. 1. Language Course Design: Goals and Objectives
  2. 2. Getting started• Are you familiar with the goals and objectives of the program you are currently teaching?• How about the textbook you are using? Does it state explicitly the goals and objectives?• When planning a lesson, do you usually refer to the list of goals and objectives of the program?
  3. 3. In this class• Definition of goals.• Definition of instructional objectives.• Differences between goals and objectives.• Components of objectives.• Deriving goals and objectives from needs.• Criticism to objectives.• Advantages of objectives.• Alternatives to goals and objectives.• Some exercises
  4. 4. Goals and Objectives: Definition
  5. 5. Goals…general statements concerning desirable andattainable program purposes and aims based onperceived language and situation needs. Brown, 1995, p.71
  6. 6. Goals…broad statements that provide generalsignposts for course development. Nunan & Lamb, 2001, p.39
  7. 7. Goals purpose and characteristicsGoals…• are general statements of the program’s purposes.• focus on what the program hopes to accomplish in the future […] what they students should be able to do when they leave the program.• serve as one basis for developing more precise and observable objectives.• should never be viewed as permanent. Brown, 1995, pp.71-72
  8. 8. Instructional objectivesspecific statements that describe the particularknowledge, behaviors, and/or skills that thelearner will be expected to know or perform atthe end of a course or program. Brown, 1995, p.73
  9. 9. Instructional objectivesSpecifications of “what learners should be ableto do as a result of instruction.” Nunan & Lamb, 2001, p.41
  10. 10. Difference between Goals andObjectives More general More specific Goals Objectives
  11. 11. Instructional objectives:Components• Performance• Condition• Criterion
  12. 12. Instructional objectives: ExampleWorking in pairs, learners will provide enoughinformation for their partner to draw a threegeneration family tree. Taken from Nunan & Lamb, 2001, p. 41
  13. 13. Instructional objectives: ExampleWorking in pairs,learners will provide enough informationfor their partner to draw a three generation family tree.
  14. 14. Brown’s elements for soundobjectives• Subject (who?)• Performance (what?)• Condition (where? How much time? What resources?)• Measure (How?)• Criterion (How well?)
  15. 15. Keypoints in objectives writing • Variability in specificity • Flexibility (they are not permanent) • Consensus-based in nature • Program specificity • Teacher-friendliness
  16. 16. Sources of ideas • Other language programs • The literature • Taxonomies
  17. 17. From Needs to Goals and Objectives
  18. 18. Developing goals andobjectives from needs Narrow the scope of the goal statements Obj. 1,1 Goal 1 Obj. 1,2 Obj. 1,3 Needs Obj. 2,1 Goal 2 analysis Obj. 2,2 Obj. 2,3 Goal 3 Obj. 3,1 Obj. 3,2 Obj. 3,3 Identify what learners need State the needs of the students in English for. terms of realizable goals for the State context-suitable program. and precise objectives
  19. 19. Objectives:Criticism and Advantages
  20. 20. Criticism• Association with behavioral psychology• Issues with quantifyability• Trivialization of instruction• Limitations in teachers’ freedom• inadequacy for expression of language learning Brown, 1995
  21. 21. AdvantagesObjectives help teachers to…• convert the perceived needs into teaching points.• clarify and organize those teaching points.• think through skills and sub-skills underlying instructional points.• decide what they want students to be able to do.• decide the level of specificity for teaching activities. Brown, 1995
  22. 22. AdvantagesObjectives help teachers to…• construct valid and reliable assessment tools.• adopt, adapt and develop teaching materials.• develop professionally• evaluate students’ progress and program effectiveness.• be part of the collective process of curriculum development. Brown, 1995
  23. 23. Alternatives to objectives
  24. 24. Competenciesa performance outline of language tasks thatlead to a demonstrated mastery of languageassociated with specific skills that are necessaryfor individuals to function proficiently in thesociety in which they live Grognet & Candall, 1982, p. 3
  25. 25. CompetenciesCompetencies refer to observable bahaviors (justlike objectives), but differ in• a focus on successful functioning in society• a focus on life skills• task or performance centered orientations• modularization of instruction (behaviors are broken down into sub-behaviors to be mastered). Auerback, 1986, p. 411
  26. 26. Competencies…written descriptions of what a student is ableto do with the language, usually in terms oftarget language performance. Richards & Schmidt, 2002, p. 94
  27. 27. Standards…comprehensive description of what languagelearners know in the target language at variouslevels of proficiency, at various grade levels, orboth.…a clear definition of what is to be taught andwhat kind of performance is to be expectedacross the school curriculum. Richards & Schmidt, 2002, p. 511
  28. 28. StandardsDescriptions (rather than prescriptions) of whatpeople can actually do with the target languageat different levels (stages) of competence whichprovide a framework to measure outcomes andset expectations in progress. Paraphrased from Omaggio, 1986
  29. 29. StandardsDescriptions (rather than prescriptions) of whatpeople can actually do with the target languageat different levels (stages) of competence whichprovide a framework to measure outcomes andset expectations in progress. Paraphrased from Omaggio, 1986
  30. 30. Standards: An exampleCouncil of Europe, 2002.
  31. 31. Standards: Elements Nunan, 2001.
  32. 32. Practice
  33. 33. PracticeYou will read different statements of purpose from differentlanguage programs.• Determine if the statement refers to a goal or an objective.• If the statement is an objective, identify the main elements or components as described by Brown (subject, performance, condition, measure, criterion).• Is the statement conceived as a performance objective, a competency or a standard descriptor.
  34. 34. PracticeThe language program is designed to help studentsachieve the following learning objectives :1. engage in interactions with speakers of the target language for a variety of purposes and in a variety of contexts, using socially and culturally appropriate forms for participating in conversations, establishing relationships with others, providing and obtaining information, expressing feelings and emotions, and expressing opinions. From the University of Pittsburg website
  35. 35. Practice At the end of the program, students should be able to: 1. Describe, narrate, and ask/answer questions in the foreign language in the present time about a variety of topics related to family, daily activities, eating, and traveling.From http://www.frenchanditalian.pitt.edu/undergrad/about/course-objective-prereqs.php
  36. 36. PracticeFrom http://www.frenchanditalian.pitt.edu/undergrad/about/course-objective-prereqs.php
  37. 37. PracticeFrom http://spanlang.stanford.edu/second_year/interpretive12.html
  38. 38. Practice • …every IUS student will be able to fully cope with the faculty programs. Students not only attain a high level of English Language proficiency at ELS, but also gain various study skills essential for successful participation in the academic activities of their faculties.From http://www.ius.edu.ba/Default.aspx?PageContentID=24&tabid=70
  39. 39. References• Auerback, E.R. (1986). Competency-based ESL: One step forward or two steps back? TESOL Quarterly, 20,3: 411-429• Brown, J.D. (1995). The elements of Language Curriculum: A Systematic Approach to Program Development. Heinle & Heinle Publishers.• Grognet, A. G. y Crandall, J. (1982). Competency-based curricula in adult ESL. ERIC/CLL News Bulletin, 6, 3-4.• Nunan, D. (2001). Syllabus design. En M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language (3º ed., pp. 55-65). Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle.
  40. 40. References• Nunan, D & Lamb, C. (2001). Managing the learning process. In Hall, D. & Hewings, A. (Eds.) Innovation in English Language Teaching. A Reader (pp. 25-45) Oxford: Oxford University Press. London: Routledge.• Omaggio, A.C. (1986). Teaching language in context. Proficiency oriented instyruction. Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers, Inc.• Richards, J.C. & Schmidt, R. (2002). Longman Dictionary of language teaching and applied linguistics. Pearson Education Limited.

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