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PROCESS AND TOPIC-BASED SYLLABUS

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Rabia Erdoğan

on 14 March 2014

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Transcript of PROCESS AND TOPIC-BASED SYLLABUS

Follow-up tasks may be any of the following:
a-On a large picture poster, find the four animals; name them, using labels.
b-In pairs, talk about each animal.
c- Listen to and sing the animal song. (on cassette)
d-In groups play the game Do you know this animal?
e -Shared Reading from a Big Book about animals, e.g. ‘Have you ever seen. . .?’
f-Group writing:Write five sentences about any one of the animals.


THE PROCESS
AND

TOPIC-BASED

SYLLABUS

The Process Syllabus
Process syllabus
is a syllabus which focuses on the means by which
communicative skills
will be brought about and of which
processes involved
in learning language.
The 'Process Syllabus', proposed by Breen(1984) as the second main example of the 'process' paradigm, has roots in various influential educational theories which followed
educational and philosophical
(not psycholinguistic)
rationales
, and which were intended for other subject areas.
Features
1. The Process Syllabus provides a means of relating content matter and methodology.
2.The emphasis is ‘’upon the capability of applying, reinterpreting , and adapting the knowledge during communication by means of underlying skills and abilities’’ .
3. It is flexible, allowing for emerging changes in needs .

TOPIC-BASED SYLLABUS
The case for a topic-based syllabus for young learners is based on the belief that children learn best by doing

in the sense of exploring topics and engaging inmeaningful tasks

in a stress-free and supportive learning environment.

When topics are allied to tasks one has a very effective mechanism for planning and implementing English language instruction at the lower primary level.
The young learners in question are aged 6 to 8 years.
The underlying rationale is that a foreign language syllabus should reflect the world of the child and facilitate the bringing of acquisition into the classroom.

Putting it together
The design of a topic-based syllabus is fairly straightforward.

A topic is selected as the hub for a unit of work which may extend over one or
two weeks. It is the topic that ‘selects’ the new language items, be they structures, language functions, or vocabulary.
The topic also suggests
relevant listening and speaking tasks, interactive activities, (for example, games, information-gap, etc.), reading texts, and a variety of writing tasks keyed to the topic.
Definition
A syllabus (plural form: syllabi) 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 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.

The syllabus contains several parts:
• The course title and meeting times
• The name of the professor and his/her contact information
• Expectations and attendance policies
• Topics and chapters covered
• Test dates
• Other relevant dates
• Grading policy
• Required texts and other supplies

A topic-based approach is based on the simple fact that it is the learner who does the learning and that the teacher’s role is to facilitate the learning process.
Topics and matching tasks provide a structured framework for getting young learners actively involved in the learning of a second language. A topic-based syllabus can yield very stimulating units of work for young learners and remove many of the roadblocks to successful second language learning.

Also, there are several confliction on “what it is that distinguishes syllabus design from curriculum development”.
Curriculum is wider term as compared with syllabus. Curriculum covers all the activities and arrangements made by the institution throughout the academic year to facilitate the learners and the instructors. Whereas syllabus is limited to particular subject of a particular class.

It places the
learner
at the
centre
of the learning process which focuses on the learner's
affective
,
cognitive
, and
linguistic needs
, his/her conscious or subconscious strategies, and his/her own perception of the objectives, aims, and other aspects of the learning situation.
4. Classroom decision-making is of utmost priority, the content is determined in accordance with the learners at the beginning or during the course. (It’s not pre-set and it’s retrospective)
5. Decision-making is seen as an authentic communicative activity in itself.
6. Syllabus is rather than a prescription of content and its order of presentation , it might provide a checklist by which learner progress can be measured.
7. It’s suitable for high proficiency level.

Process syllabus can be useful on the grounds that it…
Develops a
strong relationship
between subject matter, learning, and the contributions of a classroom.
Is designed and reorganized according to
students’ wants
or designed in an on-going way.
Provides opportunities for
alternative procedures
and activities for the classroom group.
Provides
motivation
to learners
Makes the students
autonomous learners
. As we said previously, is developed through the communicative competence.

In process syllabus we can come up against some problems:
1. It’s
a lack of formal field
evaluation
2. It’s
unplanned
, learners need plans to have a sense of direction and continuity in their works.
3.
Inadequate provision
for relating the syllabus to the context in which it will occur (i.e. cultural barriers)
4. Emphasis on process and procedure rather than on outcome, possibly resulting in an aimless journey (It’s unplanned.)
5. The need for a wide range of materials and learning resources is threatening the traditional reliance on a textbook.
6. The organizing of the lesson subjects can be difficult in terms of the time.
7. Hence, there’s a
time limitation
or even there can be loss of time.
8. There can be
disconnection between lessons
.
9. To carry on low proficiency level is hard. Because it needs some linguistic knowledge and language skills on the background.
10.Some topics or lesson contents can repeat and it can be boring for the students.

The Experiential Domain
In relation to this domain, language teaching should relate to the child’s world. It is necessary to re-discover and inhabit the world of the child.

Children live in a world of fantasy and make-believe, a world of dragons and monsters, talking animals, and alien beings
. In their world there are no tenses, nouns, or adjectives; there are no schemas labelled ‘grammar’, ‘lexis’, ‘phonology’, or ‘discourse’.
It follows that when we plan a syllabus for young learners we should make sure it is experientially appropriate.
It should contain:

- topics of interest to children
- stories of all kinds
- games and fun activities
- doing and making activities
- songs, chants, and rhymes
- pairwork and groupwork tasks
- Big Books
- materials from the Web
- children’s literature
- any activity that brings acquisition into the classroom.


There is still a place for language games and meaningful drills, but only in so far as these ‘language experiences’ act as a pivot point to more genuine communication.

Hudelson describes four basic principles of learning and language learning that are embedded in a topic-based approach:

1-Young learners are in the ‘concrete operations’ stage of cognitive development. This means that they learn through hands-on experiences. It follows that in language classes children ‘need to be active rather than passive; they need to be engaged in activities of which language is a part;
they need to be working on meaningful tasks and use language to accomplish those tasks’ (Hudelson).

Why topics and
tasks?

2- In a group situation some members know more than others. Those who know less can learn from those who know more. Hence, children need to interact with and learn from each other. Teachers too need to interact with the children in order to challenge them to go beyond
their present level of expression.This kind of contextual support is known as ‘scaffolding’ (Ellis).

The aim is not to give pupils all available information on a specific topic, but rather to use the topic as a form of instructional scaffolding in order to let learners themselves explore certain aspects of a particular topic and the language associated with it. The number and type of activities planned around a topic depend on various contextual constraints, such as time, resources, class size, proficiency level, etc., but they also depend crucially on the willingness of the teacher to set up and involve learners in motivating learning experiences.
By way of example, let us suppose that our topic is ‘Animals around us’.We
might begin by naming some common animals, such as monkeys, snakes, spiders, and frogs.
We show a large-size cut-out of the each animal to elicit what pupils already know, for example:

Monkeys have fur and long tails.
They live in the jungle.
This one is a macaque.

The teacher may ‘feed in’ some new words or ideas, for example, ‘troop’, ‘agile’, ‘chatter’, ‘naughty’, etc. Then pupils discuss the size, food, covering and habitat of the other animals.
As Hudelson suggests, the language focus of the unit of workmay be any one or more of the following:
- identify each animal by name (‘This is. . .’/‘That’s a. . .’)
- describe animals according to their size (‘It’s big/small/bigger/smaller/fatter.’)
- colour (‘It’s brown/green.’); appendages (‘It has a long trail, eight legs’); kind of skin (‘The . . .has fur/scales/feathers.’); how they move (‘The . . . runs/hops/crawls/flies.’)
- classify animals according to their habitat. (‘The . . . lives in water/in the jungle/in trees.’)

- Making comparisons: (‘The monkey has ears. The mouse-deer has ears.
Both have ears.’/‘The frog does not have wings. The snake does not have
wings. Neither has wings.’/‘All birds have beaks. All butterflies have
wings. All ants have six legs.’)
- Ability: (‘Frogs can swim, but they can’t fly.’).


3- Acquisition is a discovery process. Learners have to figure out how the language works. ‘In terms of the classroom context, an implication is that learners need opportunities to use and to experiment with the new language’ (Hudelson). Learners must be free to make errors so they can re-structure their emerging language system.
4- Acquisition occurs through social interaction. Meaning is constructed jointly as learners work together and exchange messages. They need to talk to each other in order to negotiate meaning.

ASLI
RABIA
EMILY EMINE
KORAY
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