Syllabus Planning

Topics: Communicative language teaching, Language education, Learning Pages: 10 (2785 words) Published: March 19, 2013
Syllabus Design
A syllabus is an expression of opinion on the nature of language and learning; it acts as a guide for both teacher and learner by providing some goals to be attained. Hutchinson and Waters (1987:80) define syllabus as follows:

At its simplest level a syllabus can be described as a statement of what is to be learnt. It reflects language and linguistic performance.

This is a rather traditional interpretation of syllabus focusing on outcomes rather than process. However, a syllabus can also be seen as a "summary of the content to which learners will be exposed" (Yalden.1987). It is seen as an approximation of what will be taught and that it cannot accurately predict what will be learnt A language teaching syllabus involves the integration of subject matter and linguistic matter.

Difference between Syllabus and Curriculum

Curriculum is wider term as compared with syllabus. Curriculum covers all the activities and arrangements made by the institution through out the academic year to facilitate the learners and the instructors. Where as Syllabus is limited to particular subject of a particular class.

Syllabus Design
To design a syllabus is to decide what gets taught and in what order. For this reason, the theory of language underlying the language teaching method will play a major role in determining what syllabus should be adopted. Theory of learning also plays an important part in determining the kind of syllabus used. For example, a syllabus based on the theory of learning evolved by cognitive code teaching would emphasize language forms and whatever explicit descriptive knowledge about those forms. A syllabus based on an acquisition theory of learning, however, would emphasize unanalyzed and carefully selected experiences of the new language. The choice of a syllabus is a major decision in language teaching, and it should be made as consciously and with as much information as possible. There has been much confusion over the years as to what different types of content are possible in language teaching syllabi and as to whether the differences are in syllabus or method. Several distinct types of language teaching syllabi exist, and these different types may be implemented in various teaching situations.

Although six different types of language teaching syllabi are treated here as though each occurred "purely," but in practice, these types rarely occur independently. Almost all actual language teaching syllabi are combinations of two or more of the types defined here. For a given course, one type of syllabus usually dominates, while other types of content may be combined with it. Furthermore, the six types of syllabi are not entirely distinct from each other. For example, the distinction between skill-based and task-based syllabi may be minimal. In such cases, the distinguishing factor is often the way in which the instructional content is used in the actual teaching procedure. The characteristics, differences, strengths, and weaknesses of individual syllabi are defined as follows:

1:- Product-Oriented Syllabus
This kind of syllabuses emphasizes the product of language learning and is prone to approval from an authority. There are three types of syllabus described in the following: (i) The Structural Syllabus

Historically, the most prevalent of syllabus type is perhaps the structural or grammatical syllabus in which the selection and grading of the content is based on the complexity and simplicity of grammatical items. The learner is expected to master each structural step and add it to her grammar collection. As such the focus is on the outcomes or the product. One problem facing the syllabus designer pursuing a grammatical order to sequencing input is that the ties connecting the structural items may be rather weak. A more fundamental criticism is that the grammatical syllabus focuses on only one aspect of language, namely grammar, whereas in...
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