Approach to Course Design

Topics: Learning, Skill, Education Pages: 9 (2319 words) Published: November 17, 2013

A. Background
Nowadays, English becomes an international language which is used in many aspects of life, whether in daily life or in professional work. Many people now aware of the important of English and begin to join an English course. In spite of General English that teaches English as a whole, there is also English for Specific Purposes (ESP) that teaches English only in a restricted area of the target situation. ESP is described as the teaching of English used in academic studies or the teaching of English for vocational or professional purposes. However, to make the learning of ESP successful, teacher should make a course design that suitable with the learners’ need and goal. In choosing the best course design, there are many factors that may give an influence. But teacher doesn’t have to worry because there are some approaches that can help her/him to conduct it. As there are many approaches to course design, the problem starts rising. Some teachers don’t know the characteristics of each approach and cannot decide which approach is good for their learners. Since this approach is important, so teachers should be careful in deciding.

B. Statement of the Problem
The statements of the problem of this paper are:
1. What is the definition of course design?
2. What are the main types of approaches to course design?
3. What are the characteristics of each approach to course design?

C. Objectives
The objectives of this paper are:
1. To know the definition of course design.
2. To know the main types of approaches to course design.
3. To know the characteristics of each approach to course design.


A. Definition of Course Design
Course design is an interpretation process of the learning needs and learning theories to produce an integrated series of teaching-learning experiences including producing materials depending on syllabus, developing methodology for teaching, and establishing evaluation procedure. It aims to lead the learners to a particular state of knowledge.

All the data we have gathered - learning needs and theories - should be interpreted in order to answer the questions that may appear (such as: What is the learner need? What is the learner want? etc.) to design a suitable course. This not only uses need analysis, but also depends on external constraints (classroom facilities/time), our own theoretical views, and experience of the classroom.

B. Three Main Types of Approach to Course Design
There are many different approaches to ESP course design, however, we can identify the three main types: Language-Centred Approach, Skills-Centred Approach, and Learning-Centred Approach. 1. Language-Centred Approach

Language-Centred Approach is the simplest kind and most familiar course design to English teacher. It concentrates on the performance of the learners regarding their target situation. The purpose is to draw a connection as direct as possible between the analysis of the target situation and the content of the ESP course.

It proceeds as follow:

From the chart, we can conclude that it is logical and straight forward procedure - starts with learner, proceeds through various stages of analysis to a syllabus, thence to materials used in the classroom and finally evaluates the mastery of the syllabus items. However, it has several weaknesses. It might be considered as learner-centred approach because it starts from the learners and their needs. But in fact, the learners are only used to identify the target situation. Instead of teaching the whole English as in General English, only a restricted area of the language is taught. The learners are used only to determine the restricted area, so they aren’t considered in other stages as they suppose to. It can be criticized for being a static and inflexible procedure. Once the course designer is done with the initial analysis of the target situation, he/she is locked into a relentless process. In...

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