The following framework adapted from Estaire & Zanon, 1994) provides important guidelines for developing and selecting appropriate language arts materials for integration into a text-based unit of work:
Stage 1: Matching LA materials with the theme:
- Do the LA materials involve students in sharing, talking about, listening to, reading, writing about, and imagining about things that are of interest and/or importance to them?
Stage 2: Planning the units and tasks
- Are the units and tasks appropriately selected and organized to:
- enable students to work towards the targets and objectives?
- engage students in active, purposeful, communicative and authentic interactions leading to meaningful products?
- involve students in practising different types of skills they will need in the real world, e.g. creative problem-solving, theorizing?
- promote an integrated and creative use of language?
- enable students to manipulate and practise specific features of language in an integrated and creative manner?
- enhance the development of different kinds of knowledge on the part of the students?
- activate psychological / psycholinguistic process of learning?
- encourage learner independence and promote skills in learning how to learn?
- promote positive development of attitude and dispositions?
Stage 3: Determining the targets
- Are the goals students working towards related to different dimensions?
Stage 4: Specifying content
- What are the thematic aspects of the unit?
- What are the linguistic contents, which cover
- the functional content,
- grammatical content
- lexical content, and
- other aspects, e.g. phonological aspects, discourse features, skills and strategies, procedural language ?
Stage 5: Planning the process
- Are the tasks sequenced appropriately according to their themes, levels of difficulty, and time of the year or number of hours available?
- Which are the tasks that could be used as assessment tasks?
- What are the other assessment methods and formats?
- What are the teaching strategies for each selected learning task?
- How can the task be organized to cater for learner differences?
- Are the tasks carried out at an appropriate pace?
Stage 6: Planning evaluation instruments and procedures
- Is the framework effective in helping students work towards the targets?
- How far is the framework compatible with the existing materials, e.g. textbooks?
- How far is the framework compatible with the current school syllabus?