LEARNING-CENTERED APPROACH LEARNER-CENTERED LEARNING-CENTERED APPROACH APPROACH•It is based on the principle that •It is seen as a process in which thelearning is totally determined by the learner use what knowledge or skillslearner even though Teachers can they have to make sense of the flow ofinfluence what is taught new information. •It is an internal process, which is•The learner is one factor to consider crucially dependent upon thein the learning process, but not the knowledge the learner already haveonly one. and their ability an motivation to use it. •It is a process of negotiation between individuals and the society. Society sets the target and the individuals must do their best to get as close to that target as is possible.
A learning-centred approach says: ‘we must look beyond the competence that enables students to perform, because what we reallywant to discover is not the competence itself, but how student acquires that competence.’ Identify target situation A lg- centred approach considers the learner to here. Analyse target situation Analyse learning situation A skills- centred approach considers the learner to here. Write syllabus Write materials Teach materials Evaluate learner achievements A learning- centred approach must consider the learner at every stage
Target situation analysis vs. analysis of learning needs• Target situation analysis • Analysis of learningWhy is the language needed? needs Why are the Ls taking the course? (e.g. (e.g., for study, work) their attitudes)How will the language be used? How do the Ls learn (what methodology (speaking on the phone) will appeal to them?)What will the content areas be? What resources are available? (materials,(e.g., medicine) trained ESP teachers?Who will the Ls use the language with? Who are the Ls? (age, nationality, subject (native/non-native speakers, knowledge) customers/colleagues) Where will the ESP course take place?Where will the language be used? (classroom features) (meetings abroad) When will the ESP course take place?When will the language be used? (every day/once a week) (concurrently with ESP course/afterwards; frequently) 15
The learning-centred course design process is shown in this diagram: Identify learners Theoretical Analyse learning Analyse target Theoretical views of learning situation situation view of lg Identify attitudes/ Identify skills and wants/ potential of knowledge needed learners to function in the target situation dentify needs/ potential/ constraints of learning/ teaching situation Write syllabus/ materials to exploit the potential of the learning Evaluation situation in the acquisition of the Evaluation skills and knowledge required by the target situation.
This approach has 2 implications:1. Course design is a negotiated process. The ESP learning situation and the target situation will both influence the nature of the syllabus, materials, methodology and evaluation procedures.2. Course design is a dynamic process. It doesn’t move in a linear fashion. Needs and resources vary with time. The course design, therefore, needs to have built-in feedback channels to enable the course to respond to developments.If we took a learning-centred approach, we would need to ask further questions and consider other factors, before determining the content and methodology of the course:1. What skills are necessary to be taught?2. What are the implications for methodology of having a mono-skill focus?3. How will the students react to doing tasks involving other skills?4. Do the resources in the classroom allow the use of other skills?5. How will the learners react to discussing things in the mother tongue?6. How will the students’ attitudes vary through the course? Will thy feel motivated?7. How do students feel about reading as an activity? The important point is that these questions must be asked and the results allowed to influence the course design.
A learning-centered syllabus requires that you shift from whatyou, the instructor, are going to cover inyour course to a concern for whatinformation and tools you can provide foryour students to promote learning andintellectual development" (Diamond, p. xi).
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