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English Language Learning & Teaching: Curriculum Design and Renewal. Dr. Desmond Thomas, International Academy, University of Essex. Indicated reading (note dates!). Clark,J. 1987, Curriculum Renewal in School Foreign Language Learning , Oxford

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English Language Learning & Teaching: Curriculum Design and Renewal


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    1. English Language Learning & Teaching: Curriculum Design and Renewal Dr. Desmond Thomas, International Academy, University of Essex

    2. Indicated reading (note dates!) • Clark,J. 1987, Curriculum Renewal in School Foreign Language Learning, Oxford • Johnson, K. 1982, Communicative Syllabus Design and Methodology, Pergamon • Munby, J. 1978, Communicative Syllabus Design, Cambridge University Press • White, R. 1988, The ELT Curriculum, Blackwell.

    3. Also very useful ... • Denise Finney, 2002, The ELT Curriculum: A Flexible Model for a Changing World. In Richards R. & Renandya, W. (eds.) Methodology in Language Teaching, Cambridge University Press • Should be available as a pdf download

    4. What is meant by ‘curriculum’? Many definitions but most include: • Specification of educational aims • Specification of content, teaching procedures, learning experiences • Specification of a means of assessment to measure achievement of aims Eg: http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk/

    5. Munby’s Route to Curriculum Design

    6. A more traditional route would be ....

    7. Clark’s educational value systems (1) • Classical humanism is elitist, concerned with generalizable intellectual capacities and with the transmission of knowledge, culture and standards from one generation to another. • Implications for curriculum design at national and local levels?

    8. Clark’s educational value systems (2) • Reconstructionism is concerned with bringing about social change through the educational system, with achieving a social consensus on common goals, and with planning vigorously to achieve them • Implications for curriculum design?

    9. Clark’s educational value systems (3) • Progressivism is concerned with the development of the individual as a whole person, with personal and group responsibility, with promoting natural learning processes through various stages of development, and with fostering a capacity for learning • Implications for curriculum design?

    10. Value systems in conflict The case of Slovakia in the 1990s: • Reconstructionist syllabi in the process of being rejected • Progressivist materials and methods imported from UK/USA • Classical humanist assessment procedures

    11. ‘Content’ model of curriculum design • Based on classical humanist values • Central focus is knowledge to be transmitted from teacher to learners: grammar rules, vocabulary lists etc. • Methods: grammar-translation, drilling, memorization, emphasis on accuracy

    12. ‘Objectives’ model of CD • Based on reconstructionist values • Central focus is the scientific management of education and the profiling of learners whose performance is measured against specific targets • Methods: stronger emphasis on skills development and the functions of language - not just linguistic knowledge

    13. ‘Process’ model of CD • Based on progressivist values • Focus is on learner needs, interests and development. (The ‘learner-centred’ curriculum) • Methods: CLT, project work etc.

    14. The mixed-focus model of CD • An integrated approach which can combine different syllabi – linguistic, skills etc. • Focus is on the need to adopt a flexible approach based on learners needs and targeted levels of achievement • Methods: dependent on the context • Assessment implications ???

    15. The Council of Europe Framework • The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) provides a basis for the mutual recognition of language qualifications. • It is increasingly used in the reform and renewal of national curricula • It describes: language competences at different levels (levels of proficiency)

    16. The CEFR Levels A1: Basic User (Beginner) A2: Basic User (Elementary) B1: Independent User (Pre-Intermediate) B2: Independent User (Intermediate) C1: Proficient User (Upper-intermediate) C2: Proficient User (Advanced) http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/cadre_en.asp