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An overview of Syllabi in ELT …

An overview of Syllabi in ELT
by Mohammed Mohseni Far

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  • 1. An Overview of Syllabuses in English Language Teaching
    William Hall ESL 501
  • 2. What is the definition of Syllabus?
    In Wilkins’(1981) words, syllabuses are “specifications of the content of language teaching which have been submitted to some degree of structuring or ordering with the aim of making teaching and learning a more effective process.”
    “a plan or what is to be achieved through our teaching and our student’s learning.”(Breen, 1984)
  • 3. Syllabus definition part 2
    function of a syllabus is “to specify what is to be taught and in what order.” (Prabhu, 1984)
    “a summary of the content to which learners will be exposed.”(Yalden, 1987)
  • 4. Syllabus definition part 3
    “social constructions, produced interdependently in classrooms by teachers and learners…They are concerned with the specification and planning of what is to be learned, frequently set down in some written form as prescriptions for action by teachers and learners.” (Candlin, 1984)
  • 5. Syllabuses in ELT
    Procedural syllabus
    Cultural syllabus
    Situational syllabus
    Skill-based syllabus
    Structural or formal syllabus
    Multi-dimensional syllabus
    Task-based syllabus
    Process syllabus
    Learner-led syllabus
    Proportional syllabus
    Content-based syllabus
    Notional/functional syllabus
    Lexical syllabus
  • 6. Procedural Syllabus
    Structure can be best learned when attention is concentrated on meaning
    Focus is on the learner
    Tasks and activities are designed but not the linguistic content
    Learner focuses on trying to solve the meaning behind the text
  • 7. Cultural Syllabus
    Based on learner’s own country
    Requiring teacher to have knowledge of student’s culture
    Goals to develop interest, curiosity and empathy for cultures
    Emphasis on socio-cultural implications of language usage
  • 8. Situational Syllabus
    Based on real life situations, such as going to the dentist, seeing a movie, meeting a new student
    Content of language is based on such situations.
    Learners find meaning from relevant context.
  • 9. Skill-Based Syllabus
    Skills are taught that are needed for language competency
    Specific skills such as pronunciation, grammar and discourse are improved through activities such as: listening to language to find the main idea, writing well-formed paragraphs, and giving lectures.
  • 10. Structural (Formal) Syllabus
    Organized along grammatical lines.
    Focus on outcomes or the product
    Learner expected to master each structural step while increasing grammar
    Uses structured, sequenced practice drills
  • 11. Multi-Dimensional Syllabus
    Flexible syllabus incorporating elements of other models.
    Example: a syllabus that includes important functions, reviewing important situations, and teaching specific skills
    A combination of other models.
  • 12. Task Based Syllabus
    Using specific task to achieve a purpose
    Language is developed through interaction and practice.
    Task must be relevant to the real world
  • 13. Process Syllabus
    Program is designed as the school year takes place
    Decision to follow a pre-designed content syllabus, or develop an on-going syllabus using alternative assessment, activities and tasks
    Develops a strong relationship between subject matter, learning, and the contributions of a classroom.
  • 14. Learner-Led Syllabus
    Learners engaged in the implementation and design as much as practically possible
    The hope is that the learner is more motivated due to their awareness of the course and their involvement.
    Questions on practicality of program as syllabus is guided by learner
  • 15. Proportional Syllabus
    Focus is on flexibility and spiral technique of language sequencing leading to the recycling of language.
    Goal is to develop an overall competence
    Themes are chosen by the learner
    Shift from form to interaction.
    States syllabus has to indicate what will be taught, rather than what will be learned
  • 16. Content-Based Syllabus
    Goal is to teach specific information and content using the language that learners are learning.
    Subject matter is primary, and language learning happens concurrently.
    For example, in a chemistry class, linguistic adjustments are made to make the chemistry more understandable.
  • 17. Notional/Functional Syllabus
    Focus is on the communicative purpose and the conceptual meaning of language.
    Calls for needs analysis to establish objectives
    Functions such as inviting, requesting, agreeing, apologizing are taught.
    Notions such as age, color, size, comparison, time, etc.
  • 18. Lexical Syllabus
    Firmly based on real language.
    Use of the commonest words and phrases and their meanings
    Learning the patterns of language
    Language is carefully selected for the learner to analyze by themselves.
  • 19. Why syllabus would you chose, and why?