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Notional functional syllabuses

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  • 1. NotionalFunctionalSyllabuses
  • 2. Introduction to Notional-Functional Syllabuses It is a semantically-based syllabus. It isnot organized in terms of grammaticalstructure, but instead in terms of:Notions General. Specific.Functions
  • 3. The development, its Pioneers &Major advocates. Traditionally, language learning syllabuses were structuredaround the grammar of the target language. By the 1970’s language educators were increasinglydissatisfied with such formalistic views. Motivation depended on immediate «payoff». In the seventies second language students were quitecapable of imitating and memorizing the language. In 1971 a group of linguists studied the needs of Europeanstudents. The mandate was generalized in 1978 to cover all levelsand types of language learning. Wilkins (1972) grouped language items for teachingpurposes in terms of grammatical categories and languagefunctions.
  • 4. Premises, componentsand characteristics ofthe Notional-Functional Syllabus
  • 5. Premises Communication is meaningful behavior. Language is constructed around languagefunctions and notions.
  • 6. Components1. The situations.2. Topics.3. The language functions: Personal,Interpersonal, Directive, Referential,Imaginative.4. The general notions5. The specific (topic related) notions.6. The language forms.7. The degree of skills.
  • 7. SITUATUION(Notion)FUNCTION ACTUALLANGUAGELANGUAGEPATTERNS andTENSESGetting things connectede.g. gas, phone, TV.Rent-payment–contractBuying furniture –Second-hand, markets,auctions, small ads.Paying bills-when and how.At the door: milkman,dustman, salesman.Repair-plumber, electrician.Making appointments,Electotal Register.Understanding and asking forinformation..Understanding directions andlocal information.Expressing intentions.Declining.Giving information.Making requests to.I’m looking for a largewardrobe.What sort of price did you havein mind?Have you got anythingcheaper?I’m moving to... Can I have thegas/electricity connected,please?What’s your address?It’s £70 deposit.Hello, I’m the…Could I see your identification,please?Where can I get a…?Are you interested in…?No, not today, thank youI’m looking for…Have you got…?Could I have…?Can I…?Can you tell me…?Would you like…?Sorry, I…Comparatives/AdjetivesWhere can I…?(+ infinitive without to)LEXIS LITERACY SYSTEM AIDS andMATERIALSNames of households items,including plugs, etc.Equipment.Names of local institutionse.g. clinic, library.Reading bills, final demands,meter and filling in estimatedbills, checking meter readings.Library-Section headingsForm-fillingsReading contracts.Types of shops best for certainitems.Where to buy what.Use of the telephone for buying,inquiring.Filling bills and receips.Guarantees.What is delivered-milk, etc.How and when to pay bills.Where to get local information-library, rent officer,Legal centre.Asking for identification fromstrangers at the door.Simplified maps of locality –grading up to actual maps.Simplified and graded gas billsand meter readings.«7 days a week» Pack Tapes –of dialogues situtaions.
  • 8. Characteristics1. Functional view.2. Semantic base.3. Learner-centered view.4. Analysis of learners needs.5. Learner-centered goals.6. Authentic language use.7. Testing focused on ability.
  • 9. Logic, syllabus type,assumption andphilosophy behindNotional-FunctionalSyllabuses
  • 10. LogicA general competence in language The goalContext-dependent
  • 11. Syllabus Type Product-oriented syllabus.
  • 12. AssumptionMotivations, characteristics,abilities, limitations andresources are the point ofdeparture.
  • 13. PhilosophyThe primary purposeIdentifying the elements of the targetlanguage.
  • 14. The effect of theNotional-FunctionalSyllabus Approachon LanguageTeaching Pedagogy
  • 15. Incorporation of new textbooks By the mid-1970’s. Instead of having unit headings as«Modals» or «The Simple Past» now suchtextbooks included titles like «Give, Askfor & Refuse Permission» and «Talkingabout the weekend»
  • 16. Priority is given to:a) Sentences in combination.b) «Meaning» over «form».c) Participation in authentic language use.d) Fluency over formal accuracy.e) Speaking and listening skills in class.f) Less controlled testing.
  • 17. An evaluation of Notional-Functional SyllabusesThe greatest strenghts: Opportunity to use real-world language. The syllabus is easily expandable. It promotes language variation.
  • 18. An evaluation of Notional-Functional SyllabusesIt was not impervious to critisism: The NFS seemed a very sensible idea atthe time. A single language function may beexpressed in many different ways. Difficulties when grading functions. The finite inventories of functions are notdifferent from inventories of grammaritems. The NFS approach is exclusivelyconcerned with the target language.
  • 19. A few concluding remarks onNotional-Functional Syllabuses Language learning materials shouldincorporate both formal and functionalelements. Notional-Functional Syllabuses are mostreadily applicable for courses andprograms for learners with specialpurposes.
  • 20. Other types Grammatical syllabus Lexical syllabus Situational syllabus Text-based syllabus Skill-based syllabus Task-based syllabus Learner-generated syllabus Mixed syllabus Online course syllabus