Presentation on theme: "A Framework of Course Development Processes"— Presentation transcript:
1 A Framework of Course Development Processes English 6010Week 4
2 Framework Components Needs Assessment Determining Goals and Objectives Conceptualizing ContextSelecting and Developing Materials and ActivitiesEvaluationConsideration of Resources and Constraints
3 Needs Assessment Objective needs Subjective needs use of language in real-life communicationcurrent proficiency levelSubjective needscognitive and affective needs of the learner in the learning situation (personality, confidence, attitudes, expectations with regard to the learning of English)individual cognitive style and learning strategies
4 Assessing subjective needs Student’s attitudes towardthe target language and cultureLearningthemselves as learnerspurposes for studying the languagepreferences with respect to how they will learnIf subjective needs are not taken into account, then objective needs may not be met
5 When does one conduct a needs assessment? Depending on the context, needs assessment can be conducted in:Stage 1- the planning stageStage 2- the teaching stageStage 3- the replanning stage
6 How does one conduct a needs assessment? Questionnaires (common)Interviews with students and others (I.e., professors, administrators)Observation and participation in situations in which the students will use EnglishTests and interviews that measure proficiency to determine what students already know (diagnostic exam, Michigan Test for example or your own diagnostic exam or pre-assessment technique)
7 Target and learning needs Target needwhat the learner needs to do in the target situation (participate in job interview)Learning needwhat the learner needs in order to learn (specific vocabulary, structure, knowledge of register)
8 Issues Needs assessment is not a value-free process It is influenced bythe teacher’s view of what the course is aboutthe institutional constraintsthe students’ perception of what is being asked of themNeeds assessment should be evaluated and it should be viewed as an ongoing process, both in its development and in its use
9 Determining Goals and Objectives Goals: overall, long-term purposes of the course.destination of the coursepurposes and intended outcomes of the course (backward design, thinking about outcome first)Objectives: express the specific ways in which goals will be achieved.represent the various points that chart the course toward the destination (What will my students need to do in order to achieve these goals? For instance, “Students will be able to identify the main idea”, “students will be able to write a thesis statement”)
10 How do we determine goals? Students’ needs assessmentThe policies of the institutionThe way the teacher conceptualizes the contextProficiency levelsGoals-cognitive (master of linguistic and cultural knowledge) affective (motivation, positive attitude) transfer (learning how to learn and transfer to another context)
11 Bloom’s Taxonomy for Developing Clear Objectives BLOOMtaxonomy.doc
12 Types of Objectives according to Graves Coverage objectivesActivity objectivesInvolvement objectivesMastery objectivesCritical thinking objectives
13 IssuesMany teachers do not formulate goals and objectives at all or do so only after having thought about what they will teach and how.Although one may establish very clear goals and objectives, once we teach a course we revisit those goals and objectives and then they may become clear to us. (re-planning stage)Goals and objectives are a statement of intent, subject to reexamination and change once the course is under way. (maybe the strategies you plan to use are not working for your students and you may need to reconsider half way through the course, this is part of the ongoing reflection process )
14 Types of Syllabus and Approaches to Syllabus design in ESL
15 Structural syllabus Top down approach to develop a syllabus the institution or you as a teacher has already determined what the learning outcomes will be and the specific skills (writing, reading, speaking, listening) that students are expected to master at the end of the courseusually involves grammatical rules of the language being taught, for example nouns, verbs, adjectives, statements, questions, subordinate clauses (English 3101/3102)
16 Notional-functional syllabus content of the language teaching is a collection of the function being performed when the language is used, or of the notions the language is used to express.Examples of functions include: informing, agreeing, apologizing, requesting.Examples of notion include: size, age, color, comparison, time, and so on.
17 A situational syllabus The content of language teaching is a collection of real or imaginary situations in which language occurs or is used. A situation usually involves several participants who are engaged in some activity in a specific setting. The language occurring in a situation involves a number of functions, combined into a plausible segment of discourse. The purpose is to use the language that is used in a specific situation. For instance, seeing the dentist, going to a restaurant, complaining to the landlord, and so on.
18 A skill-based syllabus content of the language teaching is a collection of specific abilities that may play a part in using language. This type of syllabus group linguistic competences (pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and discourse) together into generalized types of behavior, such as listening, to spoken language for main idea, giving effective oral presentations, and so on.
19 A task-based syllabusThe content of the teaching is a series of complex purposeful tasks that the students want or need to perform with the language they are learning. Task based differs from situation-based teaching in that while situational teaching has the goal of teaching the specific language content that occurs in the situation, task-based has the goal of teaching students to draw on resources to complete some piece of work (applying for a job, getting housing information over the phone)
20 A content-based syllabus The subject matter is primary, and language learning occurs incidentally to the content learning. The content teaching is not organized around language learning, but vice-versa. An example is a science class taught in English in a Spanish speaking context (an immersion or bilingual curriculum may use such syllabus)
21 Negotiated SyllabusYou may have ask your students to evaluate the syllabus and then ask them if there is anything else that should be included based on their expectations of the courseYou could also negotiate the readings depending on your constraintsYou could have students help design the syllabus or design it after the initial needs analysis
22 Syllabus cont’dRemember you need to provide also for students with disabilities and very specific guidelines and policies about homework, grading policy, attendance policy, quizzes, and behavior policies as wellProvide a tentative schedule with readings and dates. This may vary, but it will give the students a clear idea of what to expect.
23 Selecting and developing materials and activities Organization of content and activities- two principles are “building and recycling.”Building from the simple to the complex, for instance to learn how to write a narrative before writing an argumentative essay. In a basic course, learning main idea before providing an opinion or critique of a reading.
24 Recycling- students encounter previous materials in new ways Recycling- students encounter previous materials in new ways. For instance, an individual reading activity maybe recycled in a role play activity with other students.
25 Organization of Content and Activities Two approaches to organize a course:Cycle- for instance, you organize it by dividing the class into sections-discussion, group work, writing (all thee activities may deal with reading comprehension)Matrix- compiling a list of possible activities and then decide what to do depending on the students needs and availability of materialsBoth approaches suggest a collection of core material to be learned and activities to be conducted within a specific time-frame.
26 Evaluation How will you assess what students have learned? Have they learned what you taught? Have they incidentally learned something else? (tests, self-reflections, student-teacher conference)How will you assess the effectiveness of the course?Was the course effective? Where did it fall short? (students’ evaluation of the course, teachers’ self-evaluation, peer-observation)
27 Consideration of Resources and Constraints Class-sizeTechnologyClassroomsMaterialsTimeInstitutional philosophyLanguage policiescurriculum
28 A Cautionary Word on Course Development The components discussed by Graves (1996) should not serve as a checklist for the teacher but rather as a set of tools for understanding and directing the process of course development.Each component is one way of working with the whole.
29 Categorizing techniques From manipulation to communicationMechanical, meaningful, and communicative drillsControlled to free techniquesFor the difference between manipulative (controlled) and communicative (free) techniques see Brown (2001) page 133For a complete taxonomy of language techniques see Brown (2001) pages
30 TextbooksDeciding to prepare your own materials as opposed to using a textbookTeachers’ guide are a good resourceLiteracy and alternative contextsPosters, charts, magazinesComic books and comic strips, graphic novelsMovies, documentaries, videogames
31 Technology The use of language labs Audio-books Personal computers Grammar exercises onlineAudiotapes (recording journal entries, listening activities)Overhead projectionVideogames (yes, we can learn from them as well)
32 CALL Collaborative projects- data analysis, webpage design Peer editing of compositions- online (webCT)Class forumsBlogsOnline portfolios
33 Critically examine a syllabus Does it have clear goals appropriate for the course level?Are the objectives clear?Can you point at specific assessment measures for each objective?What kind of syllabus is this? Is it structural, functional?Do you see a particular theoretical framework in the design of this syllabus (behaviorist, cognitive, constructivist) or is it a combination of more than one? Exchange your ideas/comments/analysis in small groups.