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The origins of language curriculum development

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1 The origins of language curriculum development
M Venus M Carl

2 Framework of this book What procedures can be used to determine the content of a language program? What are learners’ needs? How can learners’ needs be determined? What’s the objectives in teaching? What factors are involved in planning the syllabus? …Q&A

3 Historical background
Syllabus design - description of the content of a course of instruction and lists what will be taught and tested Ex: Syllabus for a speaking course

4 Curriculum development is a more comprehensive process than syllabus design.
- processes that are used to determine the need of a group of learners - to develop aims or objectives for a program to address those need - to determine an appropriate syllabus, course structure, teaching methods, and materials - an evaluation of the language program

5 Twentieth century- changes in approaches
Teaching methods - theory of language and language learning Grammar Translation Method Direct Method Structural Method Reading Method Audiolingual Method Situational Method Communicative Approach

6 Teaching Method Specifications for the processes of instruction in language teaching—questions of how, what need to be taught, and the content of instruction.

7 Principles of language teaching methodology
Initial preparation Habit-forming Accuracy Gradation Proportion Concreteness Interest Order of progression Multiple line of approach

8 Time is limited - “Selection” is important Teacher need to choose the appropriate units of a language for teaching purpose and also should be “useful” for learners. Mackey (1965)

9 Vocabulary selection What words should be taught?
- depend on the objectives of the course and the amount of time available for teaching. How many words should students set out to learn? -- native learners? -- foreign learners?

10 Vocabulary selection Words of highest frequency should be taught first. What kind of material should be analyzed? children’s book ﹥Time Magazine Word frequency are important in planning word lists for language teaching. -- depend on the types on the types of language samples -- relevant to the needs of target learners -- frequent in a wide range of samples

11 Criteria are used in determining word lists
Teachability Similarity Availability Coverage Defining power

12 Grammar selection and gradation
A. The need for grammatical selection 1. some structures of “asking permission” B. The grammar items included in a course 1. the teaching method in use 2. many variation in what items were taught and when C. Different grammatical items 1. decided by the intuition of the authors D. Gradation 1. grouping and sequencing of teaching items

13 E. Grammatical syllabus specifies both 1
E. Grammatical syllabus specifies both 1. the set of grammatical structure 2. the order of grammatical structure F. Palmer’s principle of gradation 1. grade the grammatical material according to a. degree of importance b. strict order of necessity 》lists of rules and exceptions G. Vocabulary selection based on 1. intuitive criteria of simplicity and learnability 2. accessible and gradual introduction to the grammar

14 H. Basis for developing grammatical syllabuses 1
H. Basis for developing grammatical syllabuses 1. Simplicity and centrality a. simple b. central to the basic structure of the language 2. Frequency - frequency of occurrence a. little progress because of the difficulties of 》deciding on proper grammatical units to count 》coding grammatical structures for analysis b. real language examined by computer corpuses c. McCarthy & Carter (1995) report 》some features of spoken grammar

15 3. Learnability a. take in account the order in 》 the grammatical items in L2 learning b. Dulay & Burt (1973, 1974) proposed the order 》 interviews with different L2 proficient learners 》 little reliable information in planning a syllabus I. A syllabus consists of 1. decision about grammatical items 2. the sequencing of grammatical items 3. the gradation of grammatical items

16 J. Approaches to gradation 1. Linguistic distance a
J. Approaches to gradation 1. Linguistic distance a. similar to mother tongue 2. Intrinsic difficulty a. simple structures taught first 3. Communicative need a. needed early regardless of difficulties 4. Frequency K. Designing a course 1. a linear gradation a. introduce and practice intensively 2. a cyclical gradation a. reintroduce the items throughout the course 3. spiral gradation

17 4. i+1 – learn new things related and integrated old ones L
4. i+1 – learn new things related and integrated old ones L. Grammar syllabus as the core of a language course 1. Wilkins noted a. grammatical syllabus as the conventional approach b. vocabulary content as a secondary M. Until the grammatical system been learned 1. hold down vocabulary load a. what is pedagogically necessary b. what is desirable for 》ensuring enough variety in the content of learning

18 Assumptions underlying early approaches to syllabus design A
Assumptions underlying early approaches to syllabus design A. Basic units of language 1. vocabulary & grammar 2. main building blocks of language development 3. more rational and sound basis B. Learners’ same needs 1. focus on “general” English C. Language needs identified exclusively 1. to master English D. Learning language determined by textbooks 1. primary input – textbooks 2. facilitating language learning a. the importance of selection and gradation

19 E. English as a foreign language 1
E. English as a foreign language 1. no immediate need outside of the classroom 2. the goal of syllabus developers a. simplify and rationalize this input 》through selection and gradation

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