Gobei Roya rated it ysllabus not like it Dec 30, In 3 and 4 we shall consider. Pienemann and Johnston use their speech-processing theory to explain the order in which grammatical items are acquired. We shall explore in greater detail the relationship between syllabus design and methodology in 5. How might the information be used to modiy aspects of the syllabus?
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Traditional approaches to syllabus developed were concerned with selecting lists of linguistic features such as grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary as well as experiential content such as topics and themes. These sequenced and integrated lists were then presented to the methodologist, whose task it was to develop learning activities to facilitate the learning of the prespecified content.
In the last twenty years or so a range of alternative syllabus models have been proposed, including a task-based approach. In this piece I want to look at some of the elements that a syllabus designer needs to take into consideration when he or she embraces a task-based approach to creating syllabuses and pedagogical materials.
Questions that I want to explore include: What are tasks? What is the role of a focus on form in language learning tasks? Where do tasks come from? What is the relationship between communicative tasks in the world outside the classroom and pedagogical tasks? What is the relationship between tasks and language focused exercises? Task-based syllabuses represent a particular realization of communicative language teaching.
Examples of target tasks include: Taking part in a job interview. Completing a credit card application. Checking into an hotel. Any approach to language pedagogy will need to concern itself with three essential elements: language data, information, and opportunities for practice. In the rest of this piece I will look at these three elements from the perspective of task-based language teaching.
Language Data By language data, I mean samples of spoken and written language. I take it as axiomatic that, without access to data, it is impossible to learn a language. Minimally, all that is needed to acquire a language is access to appropriate samples of aural language in contexts that make transparent the relationship between form, function and use.
Authentic data are samples of spoken or written language that have not been specifically written for the purposes of language teaching. Here are two conversations that illustrate the similarities and differences between authentic and non-authentic data. Both are concerned with the functions of asking for and giving directions. Conversation 1 A: Excuse me please. Do you know where the nearest bank is? Do you know where the main post office is?
A: No, not really. B: Well, first go down this street to the traffic light. A: OK. B: Then turn left and go west on Sunset Boulevard for about two blocks. The bank is on your right, just past the post office. A: All right. Thank you. A: How do I get to Kensington Road? B: Yeah. And then you go straight A: past the hospital? B: Yeah, keep going straight, past the racecourse to the roundabout. You know the big roundabout? A: Yeah.
A: What, off the roundabout? A: Right. However, if learners only ever encounter contrived dialogues and listening texts, the task of learning the language will be made more difficult. Nunan, Both provide learners with different aspects of the language. Information In addition to data, learners need information. They need experiential information about the target culture, they need linguistic information about target language systems, and they need process information about how to go about learning the language.
They can get this information either deductively, when someone usually a teacher or a textbook provides an explicit explanation, or they can get it inductively.
In an inductive approach, learners study examples of language and then formulate the rule. Here is an example of an inductive exercise I use to review contrasting points of grammar. It is followed by the inductive reasoning of five of my students who carried out the tasks.
In small groups, study the follow dialogues. When do we use one form and when do we use the other? B: Me too. I saw it last Tuesday and again on the weekend.
A: Want to go to the movies? We have an exam tomorrow, you know. However, it is necessary to describe the time of happening when using the simple past tense. B use simple past to show how much he love the film.
For B, the action has already planned. B is expressing something he want to do in the future. For B, the action should be done within a short time. B confirms the studying time will be tonight. We use the verb to be plus going means must do something. Some proponents of task-based pedagogy argue that an explicit, deductive approach is unnecessary, that it does not work, and that all. Although I am biased in favour of an inductive approach Practice The third and final essential element is practice.
Unless you are extraordinarily gifted as a language learner, it is highly unlikely that you will get very far without extensive practice. In designing practice opportunities for my learners, I distinguish between tasks, exercises and activities.
A task is a communicative act that does not usually have a restrictive focus on a single grammatical structure. It also had a non-linguistic outcome. An exercise usually has a restrictive focus on a single language element, and has a linguistic outcome.
An activity also has a restrictive focus on one or two language items, but also has a communicative outcome. In that sense, activities have something in common with tasks and something in common with exercises. I distinguish between real-world or target tasks, which are communicative acts that we achieve through language in the world outside the classroom, and pedagogical tasks, which are carried out in the classroom.
I subdivide pedagogical tasks into those with a rehearsal rationale and those with a pedagogical rationale. These different elements are further defined and exemplified below. Real-world or target task: A communicative act we achieve through language in the world outside the classroom.
Pedagogical tasks: A piece of classroom work which involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing or interacting in the language while their attention is principally focused on meaning rather than forms. They have a non-linguistic outcome, and can be divided into rehearsal tasks or activation tasks. Rehearsal task: A piece of classroom work in which learners rehearse, in class, a communicative act they will carry out outside of the class. Activation task: A piece of classroom work involving communicative interaction, but NOT one in which learners will be rehearsing for some out-of-class communication.
Rather they are designed to activate the acquisition process. Language exercise: A piece of classroom work focusing learners on, and involving learners in manipulating some aspect of the linguistic system Communication activity: A piece of classroom work involving a focus on a particular linguistic feature but ALSO involving the genuine exchange of meaning.
Now think of four things you did yesterday. Write sentences in the blanks.
Download: Nunan, D. (1988). Syllabus Design. Oxford: OUP.pdf
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DAVID NUNAN SYLLABUS DESIGN PDF