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Structural syllabus
M.bolouri9@gmail.com
Material development by
Dr Mostafaei
Topics to be covered:
1. Definition
2. Key feature
3. Selection and sequence
4. Examples
5. Positive and negative characteristics
6. Applications
Definition
• It is The most familiar type of syllabus.
• It has a long history.
• Synthetic, and associated with cognitive theory
• Theory of lg: grammatical or structural aspect
of lg is the basis.
• Theory of learning: functional ability arises
from structural ability.
• Teaching in terms of form or grammar
• Gr: traditional or Latin based
(descriptive/prescriptive terminology)
• examples: v, pr, adj, sing, pl, present, past…
Domain of analysis: sentence
Classification in terms of
semantics
1. Statement
2. Declarative
3. Question
(interrogative)
4. Exclamation
5. Conditional
Classification in terms of
grammar
1.Simple
2.Compound
3.complex
morphology
• Singular/plural markings
• Tense markings
• Special markings(determiners,
articles, preps, postpositions)
• Gender markers
• Prefixes and suffixes
A key feature: Synthetic
1. Analysis of lg:
Word freq counts, gr analysis, DA
2. Results of analysis
Isolated elements to make up the
content such as rules, patterns, and
elements
3. Learners synthesize the taught
materials
How do learners synthesize?
1. Learners use the analyzed info available
to them in communication to produce a
discourse or check the accuracy of
production
2. Analyzed info is transformed from
conscious knowledge into unconscious
behavior (lg use)
3 goals of structural teaching:
1) Description/explanations of the rules
Learners are expected to describe the rules
that why an utterance is T/F
In this case explicitly stated rules are needed to
be included in instruction.
2) Judgment the acceptability and correction
if needed
the knowledge that is available to NS
3) Use the structures accurately
Cognitive methods of lg teaching
• Cognitive theory: lg is best learnt through
conscious knowledge of forms, rules of
combinations
• Examples: ALM, GTM, innovative methods
such as SW
• ALM: use behaviorist learning model to
implicitly instill structural knowledge
• GTM: present explicit forms and patterns to be
used in translation
• Recent methods: identification of the forms,
application and practice
1) Selection of the content:
• It is not a big problem. The Grammatical
structures are well-known
• The only problem: the degree of
details
a) In basic or general way with little
and few exceptions
b) Presented with all intricacies
2) Sequencing the content
there are several criteria to determine the order
• Kelly (1969) historically identified:
Complexity (facility)
Regularity (grammatical analysis)
Productivity(usefulness of the
structure)
Problem: facility, there is no objective measure
to determine it and it is just based on T or
material writers intuition or experience
2) Sequencing the content
there are several criteria to determine the order
• Canale and Swain (1980) identified:
Communicative facility
Communicative generalizability
Degree of facilitation of acquisition
Perceptual accessibility
Dialectical marked-ness
2) Sequencing the content
there are several criteria to determine the order
• Others
Degree of difference btw the structures in
L1 and L2
Learners’ communicative needs for the
structure
Problem:
sequencing problem is unsolved
no single criterion
Lack of empirical evidence
2) Sequencing the content
In practice sequencing decisions are
based on:
1) Simplicity
2) Frequency
3) Learners’ needs
Example: 900 (1987)
Example: understanding and using
English grammar (1981)
Eight Positive characteristics:
1) Gr competence is the most general component
of CC
2) Simple familiarity: the basic outlines are well-
known, finite, and learners are sure what to
expect in a given course
3) Easy to describe, agreement on their meaning
(n, v, pl, gerund), better defined
4) The most measurable component of CC
(finite, clear definition, easy to construct items, easy
to use, availability of any type of evaluation,
much of instruction in ranking contexts
Positive characteristics:
5) (based on Higgs and Clifford’s suggestion-
1982)it prevents later fossilization of learning.
the only difference btw successful and
unsuccessful learners is early reception of
instruction to help them progress beyond a high
intermediate stage
6) (based on Monitor theory): structural
knowledge plays a limited but well-defined role
to monitor, check or self correct if time and
learner’s attention allows it. it is helpful for easy
rules not complex ones
Positive characteristics:
7) It provides a basis for corrective FB of
learner’s production and they can be
referred to previous instruction, or
explanations. The value of overt FB is
doubtful.
8) It is value-culture free and can be taught
independently if the political, social,
religious, and cultural values of English
are not desirable in a specific context.
Three Negative characteristics
1) Usability, applicability and
transferability of the knowledge
however it is learnable (How easily fm
knowledge transfers to functional
ability?)
It manifest itself in certain types of tests.
It has some indirect benefits as it
provides usable lg input and learners
develop their own version, but it has
few direct benefits.
Negative characteristics
2) It can mislead the learners into thinking that
the structure learning is lg learning whereas
they are learning info about a lg.
Learners demand learning the structure so as to
feel secure regarding the familiarity and clarity
of it.
3) Sequencing problems that limit and control the
learners not to use structures that haven't been
taught. So the errors must be tolerated or
ignored. This will lead to the use of controlled
communicative activities.
Applications
• Limited applications: low transferability, limited
role in monitoring
1) In teaching context removed from
native speaking communities
2) For political, cultural, religious
reasons, just structural knowledge is
wanted.
3) It can serve an organizing framework
for other types of instructional
content
structural

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structural

  • 2. Topics to be covered: 1. Definition 2. Key feature 3. Selection and sequence 4. Examples 5. Positive and negative characteristics 6. Applications
  • 3. Definition • It is The most familiar type of syllabus. • It has a long history. • Synthetic, and associated with cognitive theory • Theory of lg: grammatical or structural aspect of lg is the basis. • Theory of learning: functional ability arises from structural ability. • Teaching in terms of form or grammar • Gr: traditional or Latin based (descriptive/prescriptive terminology) • examples: v, pr, adj, sing, pl, present, past…
  • 4. Domain of analysis: sentence Classification in terms of semantics 1. Statement 2. Declarative 3. Question (interrogative) 4. Exclamation 5. Conditional Classification in terms of grammar 1.Simple 2.Compound 3.complex
  • 5. morphology • Singular/plural markings • Tense markings • Special markings(determiners, articles, preps, postpositions) • Gender markers • Prefixes and suffixes
  • 6. A key feature: Synthetic 1. Analysis of lg: Word freq counts, gr analysis, DA 2. Results of analysis Isolated elements to make up the content such as rules, patterns, and elements 3. Learners synthesize the taught materials
  • 7. How do learners synthesize? 1. Learners use the analyzed info available to them in communication to produce a discourse or check the accuracy of production 2. Analyzed info is transformed from conscious knowledge into unconscious behavior (lg use)
  • 8. 3 goals of structural teaching: 1) Description/explanations of the rules Learners are expected to describe the rules that why an utterance is T/F In this case explicitly stated rules are needed to be included in instruction. 2) Judgment the acceptability and correction if needed the knowledge that is available to NS 3) Use the structures accurately
  • 9. Cognitive methods of lg teaching • Cognitive theory: lg is best learnt through conscious knowledge of forms, rules of combinations • Examples: ALM, GTM, innovative methods such as SW • ALM: use behaviorist learning model to implicitly instill structural knowledge • GTM: present explicit forms and patterns to be used in translation • Recent methods: identification of the forms, application and practice
  • 10. 1) Selection of the content: • It is not a big problem. The Grammatical structures are well-known • The only problem: the degree of details a) In basic or general way with little and few exceptions b) Presented with all intricacies
  • 11. 2) Sequencing the content there are several criteria to determine the order • Kelly (1969) historically identified: Complexity (facility) Regularity (grammatical analysis) Productivity(usefulness of the structure) Problem: facility, there is no objective measure to determine it and it is just based on T or material writers intuition or experience
  • 12. 2) Sequencing the content there are several criteria to determine the order • Canale and Swain (1980) identified: Communicative facility Communicative generalizability Degree of facilitation of acquisition Perceptual accessibility Dialectical marked-ness
  • 13. 2) Sequencing the content there are several criteria to determine the order • Others Degree of difference btw the structures in L1 and L2 Learners’ communicative needs for the structure Problem: sequencing problem is unsolved no single criterion Lack of empirical evidence
  • 14. 2) Sequencing the content In practice sequencing decisions are based on: 1) Simplicity 2) Frequency 3) Learners’ needs
  • 16. Example: understanding and using English grammar (1981)
  • 17. Eight Positive characteristics: 1) Gr competence is the most general component of CC 2) Simple familiarity: the basic outlines are well- known, finite, and learners are sure what to expect in a given course 3) Easy to describe, agreement on their meaning (n, v, pl, gerund), better defined 4) The most measurable component of CC (finite, clear definition, easy to construct items, easy to use, availability of any type of evaluation, much of instruction in ranking contexts
  • 18. Positive characteristics: 5) (based on Higgs and Clifford’s suggestion- 1982)it prevents later fossilization of learning. the only difference btw successful and unsuccessful learners is early reception of instruction to help them progress beyond a high intermediate stage 6) (based on Monitor theory): structural knowledge plays a limited but well-defined role to monitor, check or self correct if time and learner’s attention allows it. it is helpful for easy rules not complex ones
  • 19. Positive characteristics: 7) It provides a basis for corrective FB of learner’s production and they can be referred to previous instruction, or explanations. The value of overt FB is doubtful. 8) It is value-culture free and can be taught independently if the political, social, religious, and cultural values of English are not desirable in a specific context.
  • 20. Three Negative characteristics 1) Usability, applicability and transferability of the knowledge however it is learnable (How easily fm knowledge transfers to functional ability?) It manifest itself in certain types of tests. It has some indirect benefits as it provides usable lg input and learners develop their own version, but it has few direct benefits.
  • 21. Negative characteristics 2) It can mislead the learners into thinking that the structure learning is lg learning whereas they are learning info about a lg. Learners demand learning the structure so as to feel secure regarding the familiarity and clarity of it. 3) Sequencing problems that limit and control the learners not to use structures that haven't been taught. So the errors must be tolerated or ignored. This will lead to the use of controlled communicative activities.
  • 22. Applications • Limited applications: low transferability, limited role in monitoring 1) In teaching context removed from native speaking communities 2) For political, cultural, religious reasons, just structural knowledge is wanted. 3) It can serve an organizing framework for other types of instructional content