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Week 2: Types of Syllabus

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Mehmet Sercan Uztosun

on 24 February 2015

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Transcript of Week 2: Types of Syllabus

Mehmet Sercan Uztosun
Week 2: Types of Syllabus
1. Structural (Grammatical) syllabus
2. Situational syllabus
3. Topical syllabus
4. Functional-notional syllabus
5. Skills-based syllabus
6. Task-based
7. Content-based
8. Mixed or layered syllabus

Types of Syllabus
Structural (Grammatical) Syllabus
Situational Syllabus
The syllabus is designed according to topics

are similar to situational syllabuses. However, they are organised by topics or themes, rather than situations.
Topical Syllabus
What is it?
grammatical structures form the central organizing feature
Theoretical Bases
Language consists of a set of grammatical rules

Language learning means learning these rules and then applying them to practical language use.
Aim
the aim is to develop the knowledge and skills which learners should gain as a result of instruction
Advantages
from simpler to more complex grammatical structures
introduces the grammatical system more easily
Teaching and testing are relatively simple
The teachers need not to be fluent in the language they teach.
Sequencing and selection of teaching items is not as difficult as it with other syllabuses.

Disadvantages
it over-emphasises language structure and neglects communicative competence.
It does not address the immediate communication needs of the learner
It is therefore more useful in a context where the language learner does not have immediately communication needs.
It hampers the student’s creative sides because it confines him/her within the walls of some specific rules.
Here the role of the student is passive, since it is the teacher who is deciding what to teach in which stage. It is, thus, a teacher dominated syllabus.

What is it?
The syllabus is designed according the situations
Situational needs are the starting point
Theoretical Bases
language is found in different contexts, or situations
language is always used in a social context and cannot be fully understood without reference to the contextual settings.

Aim
to prepare the learner for the future situation in which s/he might use the language
Advantages
refers to practical needs rather than abstract analysis
a learner-centred syllabus, since it takes account of the learner and his needs
It enables the learners to act appropriately in various social contexts
It focuses on learners’ speaking ability
Disadvantages
it is less appropriate for the students of general English
unanticipated things can happen in any situation
Grammar is dealt with incidentally, so the Situational Syllabus may result in gaps in learners’ grammatical knowledge
does not provide us with clearly defined criteria for the sequencing of teaching items
appropriate for short-term special-purpose courses.
It has limited potential for the language learner interested in acquiring global language proficiency
The topics are selected by the textbook author on the basis of his or her sense of the importance of the topics or themes to the lives of the students for whom the text is designed. (divorce, single parents, abortion, crime, terrorism, nuclear disasters).
Functional - Notional Syllabus
Functions
interrupting,
changing a topic,
saying good-bye,
giving information,
introducing someone,
greeting people,
apologising
Notions
A concept or an idea in which people can communicate
Time,
distance,
size,
cause,
emotion,
quantity
students and their communicative purposes are at the very core of the teaching program
The focus
Advantages
useful for ESP classes
develops learner communicative competence
students are not passive listeners but active participants (role-play)

dividing language into discrete units of functions may misrepresent the nature of language as communication
the selection, grading, and sequencing items for the syllabus are difficult
what order should the grammar be taught in for students to be able to apply it to functions?
impossibility of defining functions with precision and clarity
Disadvantages
Skills-based syllabus
What is it?
organised around the language or academic skills that the students will most need in order to use and continue to learn the language.
Aim
To teach the specific language skills that may be useful or necessary in using language
Advantages
Appropriate when learners need to develop specific skills
Disadvantages
not appropriate for general purpose or beginner levels classes
Example
Reading skills
skimming and scanning
Writing skills
writing a topic sentence
Speaking skills
Giving personal information
Asking for emergency help over the telephone
Task-based syllabus
What is it?
Constructed with varieties of tasks as the basic blocks, focusing on using the target language in real world
Theoretical bases
The functional views of language and communicative language teaching.
The focus
teaching is a series of complex and purposeful tasks that the students want or need to perform with the language they are learning
Tasks involve the use of language but in which the focus is on the outcome of the activity rather than on the language used to achieve that outcome.
the performance of the tasks is approached in a way that is intended to develop second language ability
Language learning is subordinate to task performance, and language teaching occurs only as the need arises during the performance of a given task
Process
Task based learning (TBL) requires students to engage in interaction in order to fulfill a task
Advantage
It is believed that the task-based syllabus has a richer potential for promoting successful second language learning
Disadvantages
The tasks must be suitable for the language learners
Aspects of task difficulty should be considered
Design process
the designer conducts a needs analysis which yields a list of the target tasks that the targeted learners will need to carry out in the ‘real-world’ outside the classroom
Examples
Taking part in a job interview.
Completing a credit card application.
Finding one’s way from a hotel to a subway station.
Checking into an hotel.

Content-based syllabus
Language is not presented directly, but introduced via the content of other subjects (science, geography, mathematics)
The focus
The idea is that
Learners acquire the target language in the course of doing other things
Theoretical Bases
The approach draws on the experiential view of learning: active engagement in communication in the language is the most effective means of acquiring it.
Aim
to teach some content or information using the language that the students are also learning.
Mixed (layered) syllabus
a mix of two or more types of syllabuses together into what looks like a different type of syllabus.
What is it?
A multi-focus syllabus is one which includes a variety of elements, specifically structures, functions and notions, situations and topics
Situational-structural syllabus, predominantly a skills-based syllabus with a topical subsyllabus.
Situational-topical syllabus, predominantly a situational syllabus mixed with a topical syllabus
Advantages
Some of the limitations of the other types of syllabuses are avoided, because there are a variety of elements addressed.

It can allow for a two-pronged approach, in which one prong emphasizes working systematically on structures and vocabulary to build up general linguistic knowledge, and the other prong concentrates on meeting immediate communicative needs and on building up sociolinguistic and pragmatic competence.
Disadvantages
• Since there are more elements to weave together into a syllabus, it might take more planning time and "book-keeping".
• It might be harder to sequence than a structural-lexical syllabus.

Thank you... :)
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