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Edl 251 Report

Edl 251 Report

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Published by: marco_meduranda on Apr 13, 2010
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04/13/2010

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DESIGNING COMMUNICATIVE SYLLABUSES IN ENGLISH FOR FILIPINO LEARNERS: SOME CONCEPTUAL AND OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES

by Rosario E. Maminta

The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching
‡ versus the audio-lingual approach ‡ concerned with developing the ability to do something with language (language functions) such as to narrate, to argue, etc. ‡ ³the change in our theoretical perspectives on the nature of language and language acquisition « calls for a reexamination of the content of our language teaching materials.´

OBJECTIVES 
Discuss the conceptual and operational guidelines in designing communicative syllabuses in English for Filipino learner  Identify and describe the components of a communicative syllabus  Differentiate the communicative syllabus to other kinds of language syllabuses  Highlight the importance of adopting an eclectic-pragmatic approach to syllabus design in order to address the communication needs of students

ECLECTIC-PRAGMATIC POINT OF VIEW TO SYLLABUS DESIGN
‡ ³Language teachers should be cautioned against adopting the false notion that the teaching of the functions of language is incompatible with the teaching of forms.´ ‡ ³The kind of instructional materials« should reflect our new theoretical insights as well as well-established principles based on the structural approach.´ ‡ ³A strong argument exists, therefore, in support of the stand to retain some of our excellent audio-lingual materials instead of substituting them with hastily conceived or ill-designed syllabuses.´

TYPES OF SYLLABUS
‡ ‡ Grammatical Syllabus ± based on a carefully sequenced presentation of structures or grammatical items Notional Syllabus ± the language items are selected on the basis of concepts, ideas or emotions which the learner may need to express Communicative function syllabus ± language items are selected on the basis of communicative tasks such as description and explanation of process, reporting of information« etc. 
skill ± based syllabus- it focuses on the four skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking and breaks each skill down in to its component micro skills functional syllabus- this is organized according to the functions the learner should be able to carry out, such as expressing likes, dislikes

‡

NATURE OF COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE 
The nature of communicative competence underlies the nature of our instructional objectives and learning activities.  It is impossible to teach language function without reference to form.  Organize language teaching in terms of the purpose of communication rather than form. 1. Establish an inventory of functions. 2. Determine the linguistic forms which are used to realize the function.

Determining the Goals of the Language Program 
What communication skills or about what topics and in what particular role and setting will the learner use the language?

National Bilingual Policy
- the role of English is more narrow with the expansion of the role of the Filipino national language - English should be mainly taught as a means of access to scientific knowledge. - Filipino is the language of literature, humanities and social sciences.

Formulating Instructional Objectives and Choosing Learning Content 
Learning items should be organized according to the purpose of communication rather than form.
Examples of lesson objectives: to describe processes or actions, to state generalization, to draw conclusions, to compare, to state cause and effect relationships 

The communicative syllabus or instructional materials integrate the teaching of function and the teaching of form.
³In order to perform varied speech roles he (the learner) needs to have command of the grammar and phonology which makes the realization in speech.´ (Widdowson, 1978)  Example of a lesson with the integration of form and function: Function: Giving definitions Form: Using the sentence pattern Noun + Linking Verb + Noun + relative clause

Formulating the Topic Sequence 
The notions or concepts which constitute the underlying meaning of the communicative functions are derived from the subject matter of the discipline.  For example college English materials for agriculture correspond to the sub-areas of the agricultural curriculum: Soils, Agronomy, Animal Husbandry« 
Analysis of textbooks, syllabus of the content subjects and questionnaires or interviews of teachers in the content areas will certainly provide the best information on the conceptual categories of the communicative syllabus

Units of Discourse 
In a communicative syllabus, linguistic items to be taught will consequently not be limited to syntax but will also include discourse grammar.  Rhetorical coherence and grammatical cohesion is being developed. The use of cohesive device is explicitly taught. Objective Topic

Components of Communicative Syllabus
1. Instructional objectives 2. Conceptual categories (topics inherent to the discipline) 3. Rhetorical functions 4. Grammar and Lexis 5. Discourse Grammar including cohesive devices

Rhetorical Function
Description of a process

Vocabulary Structures Vocabulary: simulataneous, sequence, preceding, following Structure: Present tense, Adverbial clause of time

Discourse

Ability to describe a process as actions, sequence, stages of processes w/c occur
chronologically

Germination of seed

As, while, before, after, afterwards, later

Organization and Sequencing of Learning Content 
Rhetorical functions and conceptual categories that likely to co-occur are grouped together in the syllabus  This gives the learner knowledge of how a particular linguistic item is used to express different functions or how one function is realized by different linguistic structures  Rhetorical functions maybe sequenced logically or on the basis of difficulty. Example: description precedes classification

Implementing the Syllabus 

Each lesson based on the communicative syllabus is organized around a rhetorical function with an underlying concept which the learner is expected to handle in the specific discipline in which the language is to be used. 

The skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are integrated in each lesson.  The reading text serves as a presentation material for the discourse structure while providing the learner with skills in recognizing and producing structures, vocabulary and cohesive signals associated with the discourse.

The Basic Education Curriculum
‡ ³adresses the communication needs« of students by adopting a communicative, interactive, collaborative approach to learning as well as reflection and introspection with the aim in view of developing autonomous language learners aware of and able to cope with global trends«´

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