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Language Curriculum Design
Transcript of Language Curriculum Design
Evaluating Practice in Context
Situations of use: exam results
Proficiency: vocab test
What students cannot do
What students wish to do
Uses: observation / report
What students have to do
Situations of use: text analysis; exams; tasks; corpus
Proficiency: e.g. vocabulary level; reading speed
Perspectives on Needs
Vocabulary: Sequencing by core to specialised
Narrow (training) vs. wide (education) focus: prepared only for situation or respond to variety of context?
Critical: NA supports 'status quo' & power structures
Inclusion: gain all stakeholders' perspectives
Resistant: identify current to resist and oppose powerful
Level in L1 & L2
Learning styles, habits & strategies
English level & confidence
Time for preparation, marking, CPD
Steps in an Environment Analysis
1. Brainstorm, identify, verify & systematically consider ALL aspects of the environment
2. Choose up to 5 of the most significant factors & rank them
3. Identify information necessary to account for each factor from research &/or theory
4. Consider how each factor affects course design
Content & Sequencing
2. Strategies & autonomy
3. Spaced retrieval
4. Language system
7. Learning burden
Format & Presentation
2. Four Strands
3. Comprehensible Input
6. Deliberate Learning
7. Time on Task
8. Depth of Processing
9. Integrative Motivation
10. Learning Style
Monitoring & Assessment
Ongoing needs & environment analysis - regular, planned adjustments to course
Feedback to learners - improving quality of language and learning
Type of Processing
Typical Teaching Techniques
Reproduction Using Long-term Memory
Natural Language Processing at I+1
Deduction to Examples
relating to experience
guessing reading content from titles & graphics
SET TARGETS & PLAN PROGRESSION OF ACTIVITIES TOWARDS TARGETS
ENABLE EVALUATION OF ADEQUACY, SUITABLITY & ORDERING OF COURSE
MONITOR & REPORT ON LEARNER PROGRESS TOWARDS GOALS
linear & revision
Skills, Sub-skills & Strategies
Ideas / Topics / Themes
four skills; linguistic complexity
area of interest
words; phrases; grammar
frequency; utility; complexity
core; academic; sub-technical; specialised
ESP; content-driven; CLIL
Willis & Willis Collins Cobuild English Course
previous experience allows fluency & confidence
students can only reach goal together
students finish partly- completed task
student no longer needs repetition, assistance or guidance
Listening: Listen to a story for pleasure;
Speaking: Practice & submit best recording;
Reading: Speed reading course;
Writing: Project work
Reading: Paired / jigsaw reading;
Writing: Group composition
Listening: Taking notes;
Speaking: Be interviewed;
Reading: Read a newspaper;
Writing: Complete an assignment
Listening: Listen & order pictures;
Speaking: Answering survey questions;
Reading: True/False/Not Given questions;
Writing: Picture compositions
What is the purpose of the assessment or monitoring?
Match environmental constraints
Match level of student to course
Structural / lexical / course objectives
Assess effects of activity Check goals; conditions needed; how goals are demonstrated; necessary changes
Periodic, in relation to limited goal / set of goals
Performance against objectives
Gaps & weaknesses related to goals
Goal setting (remedial)
Independent of a course
Often high stakes, "profound" washback effect
IELTS / TOEFL / GESE
During/after course/set of objectives
Measure what is learned against what is taught
"Significant" washback effect
What makes a good assessment?
Not influenced by conditions
Same ability = same score
Standard conditions, consistent grading, range of assessment tools, & clear instructions
Efficient to sit & to administer
Results are easy to understand by all consumers
"Does what it says on the tin"
Face validity: tests 'correctly'
Content validity: matches teaching
Construct validity: suitable outside effects & real world consequences
1. What is it?
2. How do you do it?
3. How can we categorise it?
What is Evaluation?
Is this the best course possible?
Does the course produce the best results?
Does the course have the best planning?
Is the course run in the best way?
What are the standards of teaching?
Are students meeting the goals & targets of the course?
How satisfied are the learners with different aspects of the course?
Is the course cost-effective?
What steps do you need to take to carry out an evaluation?
Who is it for? Why? What information is needed?
2. Use of Results
3. What information is available?
What do you know already? Do you really need an evaluation?
4. What resources do you have?
5. What information do you need?
How are you going to find it?
who gathers data & how
9. Review scope of evaluation
• Progress, Achievement & Proficiency tests
• Learner self-report scales
• Analysis of course book content
• Learner interviews
Amount of learning
• Progress, Achievement & Proficiency assessment
• Lesson observation
• Learner interviews
• Teacher diaries
• Research reports
Quality of learning
Quality of teaching
• Systematic lesson observation
• Teacher interviews
• Learner / Teacher self-report scales
• Achievement tests
• Audit of staff experience & qualifications
Quality of course book
• Progress, Achievement & Proficiency assessment
• Course book evaluation
• Unit / lesson / material evaluation
• Teacher & learner questionnaires / interviews
Quality of curriculum
• Course evaluation
• Analysis of syllabus (needs, environment, principles, goals...)
• Course materials evaluation
Success of course
• Employer & Graduate questionnaires / interviews
• Comparison with other proficiency measures e.g. GPA
Teacher / learner /
• Self-report scales
• Questionnaires / Interviews
• Re-enrolment, contract renewal, staff retention etc.
Table 8.2 Focus and tools for evaluation of teaching and learning (Nation & Macalister, 2010, p.129)
Which type of Evaluation?
use of data
presentation of findings
adequacy of course
One small change in a course can affect:
the course book
the approach to teaching
tests & test questions
use of L1 & L2 in learning
use of technology
change to norm- or criterion-referenced testing
Change is not the same as success
Evaluation is likely to lead to change
Questions to ask before proposing a change:
Is change necessary?
How big is the change?
How realistic is the change?
Who is involved?
How will it affect teachers' beliefs & practices?
What change strategy will be most effective?
How can the change be managed?
HUTCHINSON, Tom & WATERS, Alan (1987).
English for Specific Purposes: A Learning-centred Approach
. Cambridge: C.U.P., p.22
Identifying Needs, Wants & Lacks
objective data collection