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English Language Learning & Teaching: Curriculum Design and Renewal Dr. Desmond Thomas, International Academy, University of Essex.

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Presentation on theme: "English Language Learning & Teaching: Curriculum Design and Renewal Dr. Desmond Thomas, International Academy, University of Essex."— Presentation transcript:

1 English Language Learning & Teaching: Curriculum Design and Renewal Dr. Desmond Thomas, International Academy, University of Essex

2 Indicated reading (note dates!) Clark,J. 1987, Curriculum Renewal in School Foreign Language Learning, Oxford Johnson, K. 1982, Communicative Syllabus Design and Methodology, Pergamon Munby, J. 1978, Communicative Syllabus Design, Cambridge University Press White, R. 1988, The ELT Curriculum, Blackwell.

3 Also very useful... Denise Finney, 2002, The ELT Curriculum: A Flexible Model for a Changing World. In Richards R. & Renandya, W. (eds.) Methodology in Language Teaching, Cambridge University Press Should be available as a pdf download

4 What is meant by ‘curriculum’? Many definitions but most include: Specification of educational aims Specification of content, teaching procedures, learning experiences Specification of a means of assessment to measure achievement of aims Eg:

5 Munby’s Route to Curriculum Design

6 A more traditional route would be.... Approaches to Teaching & Learning Educational value systems Syllabi, Materials & Methods, Activities Curriculum Design

7 Clark’s educational value systems (1) Classical humanism is elitist, concerned with generalizable intellectual capacities and with the transmission of knowledge, culture and standards from one generation to another. Implications for curriculum design at national and local levels?

8 Clark’s educational value systems (2) Reconstructionism is concerned with bringing about social change through the educational system, with achieving a social consensus on common goals, and with planning vigorously to achieve them Implications for curriculum design?

9 Clark’s educational value systems (3) Progressivism is concerned with the development of the individual as a whole person, with personal and group responsibility, with promoting natural learning processes through various stages of development, and with fostering a capacity for learning Implications for curriculum design?

10 Value systems in conflict The case of Slovakia in the 1990s: Reconstructionist syllabi in the process of being rejected Progressivist materials and methods imported from UK/USA Classical humanist assessment procedures

11 ‘Content’ model of curriculum design Based on classical humanist values Central focus is knowledge to be transmitted from teacher to learners: grammar rules, vocabulary lists etc. Methods: grammar-translation, drilling, memorization, emphasis on accuracy

12 ‘Objectives’ model of CD Based on reconstructionist values Central focus is the scientific management of education and the profiling of learners whose performance is measured against specific targets Methods: stronger emphasis on skills development and the functions of language - not just linguistic knowledge

13 ‘Process’ model of CD Based on progressivist values Focus is on learner needs, interests and development. (The ‘learner-centred’ curriculum) Methods: CLT, project work etc.

14 The mixed-focus model of CD An integrated approach which can combine different syllabi – linguistic, skills etc. Focus is on the need to adopt a flexible approach based on learners needs and targeted levels of achievement Methods: dependent on the context Assessment implications ???

15 The Council of Europe Framework The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) provides a basis for the mutual recognition of language qualifications. It is increasingly used in the reform and renewal of national curricula It describes: language competences at different levels (levels of proficiency)

16 The CEFR Levels A1: Basic User (Beginner) A2: Basic User (Elementary) B1: Independent User (Pre-Intermediate) B2: Independent User (Intermediate) C1: Proficient User (Upper-intermediate) C2: Proficient User (Advanced)


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