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Plansand programmes

teaching involvedin language will A good number of peoplewho are professionally producing a of responsibility syllabus, at one time or anotherin their lives havethe someproblems involves The answer of or part of one. But what exactlyis a syllabus? a syilabus between the difference is is: what question and terminology.Anoften-asked 'curriculum' (in BritishEnglish is at least) the wider a curriculum?For many,the term 'the totalityof contentto be (1988: to 4) words taught of the two, referring,in \Ahite's 'Syllabusl system'. educational or on the within one school and aims to be reahzed just Although area. the one subject of terms other hand, tendsto referto the content use linguists applied many is that them truth as in this way,the may be d.ifferentiated 'Curriculum title of official with the course a preparing synonyms.I was recently throughthe handouts I had As i wasabout to deliverthe first talk, I checked Design'. the referred to half other But the title. course Half of them carriedthe offrcial prepared. 'Syllabus the two terms. distinguish practice, in Another do not, DesignlI simply as 'course 'syllabus (or programme) designl Richards design'and two difficult terms are designinvolves (aswe et al. (1935) describethe differencewell. For them, syliabus designinvolves Courseor programme other shallseebelow) planning coursecontent. with implementation,including such issuesas the timing(and factors associated will beevaluated. and how the course indeedtimetabling)of variouscourseelements, or administrators Life is not made any simpler by the fact that if you askteachers indeed.Taylor (1970) you will getvery differentanswers what they useasa syllabus, 'wereno morethan just this questionand he notesthat somesyllabuses oneor asked werewell laid outand Some caretwo pages in length,otherscoveronehundredpages. has been fully bound. Others lvere crampedand barelylegiblelMy own experience usedin a language school, to seethe syllabus a when I asked similar.On one occasion This wasthebook thatwas being copyof George Orwell'sAnimal Farmwasproduced. the samequestion whenI asked I was On other occasions covered for an examination. givenlengthyand glossydocuments. the mainpoint to hold onto confusion, isthat and terminologicai In all this diversity will cover. statingwhat a programme In of.contenf, a syilabus is centrallya statement


can be ciosely connected, Chapter 9 we saw that the what and how of.languageteaching with it methodoLogi-cal implicatioss so that a staiement of eontent is likely to caruy

therefore.rarely you can find wherethis point was made,in 9'6)' Syllabuses (perhaps as well, and to content alone.Often they talk about methodology confinethemselves about aims and objectives,and even about the are likely aiso to contain statements But content remainsthe form of evaluationto be usedfor the teachingprogramme' main elementof most sYliabuses' 'in the field of applied linguistics nothing ever In 3.1 the point was made that much as to any other alea' happensin a vacuuml This appliesto syllabusdesignas to the view of,language The terms in which content is statedwill changeaccording The ciearest example of this, learningheld by the syilabusdesigner. andlorlanguage to notional/functional in somedetail in9.6,is the movementfrom structural covered This was intimately reiatedto a change in views as to what in the 1970s. syllabuses use' is and what is involvedin language language backwards towards So the presentchapterneedsto be iead with one eyelooking also worth a glance forward Chapter 9 and o.r, ,rri r.y of languageteachingideas'It is principles applied which dealswith lessonplanning. Many of the pianning to L5.2, leveis' linguistsuseare relevantat both the programmeand lesson types, particularly the The presentchaptertakesa detailedtook at the major syllabus nuts and bolts of syllabus structural and the notional/functional.It dealswith the areactually constructed' Wewill design,aiming to giveyou a feelingof how syilabuses particularly'language for teachingprogrammes, alsolook at differentsortsof language where the purposesarefar courses and general purpose(LSP)progfammes' specific lessspecific.

N u t s a n d b o l t s :a n i n i t i a ll o o k 11.1 Book teachingtextbooks,the contentspage of the Teacher's In some language (for the first 18 units) detailsof the ,yllui rr. Below is part of this page reveals materials Book 1 of a coursecalledNowfor English'I wrote these from Teacher's a foreign language at the for primary level children,starting to learn English-as aspectsof the conageof 8. Here are some questionsto draw youl attention to discussion;miss tents page.QuestionsI and 2 ate particularlyimportant to our out the other onesif Youwish.t in the shadedboxes 1. Therearethreecolumns.The titles of eachcolumn appear are for the first at the top. They havebeen omitted..\Mhat do you think they we What about the third column?This is more difficult because two columns? the items that occur in this column' But go on: have not yet ful1ydiscussed at what the title may be' makea guess more of the book' which of the 2. Though you cannottell for surewithout seeing is organized? three columnsdo you think tellsyou most about how the book 216


At regularintervalsthe book containsrevisionunits. Identifr theseunits, and i :

4. In Column 2, someitemsaregivenin italics.What ddtheseitemshavein com- i

\&hat do theyhavein common?Saywhat the , mon?Other itemsarein capitals. thesetw-otypesof iterl. is between difference now on yerbforms.Units L to 12 focuson one verb in particular. 5. Concentrate Units 13 and 18? Which one?What is the major tenseintroducedbetween

book L of Nowfor English(Johnson1983) Part of contentspagefrom teacher's

lntroductory lesson

What'syour name? My name'slohn.

names (askingfor names and saFng who you are) colours countries of the world of the book the characters introducing yourself

-{ o o) c) ='

I Good morning everyone

I'm Anne. I'm not Peter. Who's this? It's Sam.

2 Who's this?

This is Mr Porter. This is myfather. he's/she's 1-10 numbers

\Nhat's this? I t ' sa . . . (positive, negative, interrogative,short answer)

famiiy relations (talking about the family) children's ages objectscommonly found in the streetor house

Oh Sallyl

4 What a mess!

\,Vhose is this book? IMose bookis this? It's Sam's. book, It's his/her your book? Is that/it
Wat colouris it? It's red. It's a red horse. this/that Test 1 revision,and Progress I'ma... You'rea... (positive, negative, interrogative,short answer)

common classroomobjects talking about who owns things

5 Kate's farm

farm animals

6 Gamesto play

Geeup, Sam

jobs exciting (talkingaboutjobs)

j l l


He's a. . . a... She's (positive, negative, interrogative, short answer) 9 StoP, Bella, stoP

IMPERATIVE (positivenegative) What are these? .. They're. Theseare... PLURAL NOUNS NO ARTICLE+ PLURAL NO{lN/a + SINGULAR t'{OUN We're.' ' You're,. . They're.. . (positive,negative, iiterrogative,short answer) numbers 1L-20
revision, and ProgressTest 2

simple actions giving orders articiesof ciothing

10 Shirts and skirts

11 CowboYsand Indians

cowboys and Indians

to PIaY 12 Games 13 In the jungle

SIMPLEPRESENT (positive,affirmative, all persons) the SIMPLEPRESENT gative, interro (negative, 3rd persons excePt all personsingular) SIMPLEPRESENT (negative,interrogative singular) 3rd-person numbers20-60 here/there aresome There's/there PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE (in, on, under,behind)
some/anY Is there/Are there? short (interrogative, answers)

jungle animals talking about where people and animals live leisure activities asking about likes and dislikes shops and shoPPing asking for and giving information door numbers

14 What a noise!

15 Kate's street

16 Ghosts and monsters

roomsin the house furniture where things are saFtng

picnics and food

17 Lrt't havea Picnic

18 Gamesto PlaY

Test3 revision,and Progress



SL YLLABUS T H ES T R U C T U R A ''rl,ffi,tl.Z.l syllabus a structural Constructinq

is organizeci. If you had the 3 in Box ll.i asksabouthow.l/owfor English Questi.on to you at the book itself,it would become apparent opportunity to look more carefully Eachunit focuses on a number is in termsof the structures. that its main organization though more You can see(evenfrom the contentspages, of grammaticalstructures. havebeenorderedand gradedthrough by looking at the book itself) that these clearly In this This is a wav of sayingthat the book followsa structuralsyllabus. the course. principle is according structures. to language the main organizing tvpe of syllabus, actuallyconstructed? Onewayto find out would be to How arestructuralsyllabuses At several syilabuses. points in my careeri have who hasdesigned interviewsomeone done just that. So in the sectionbelow I interview myself.MAAL (Me as Applied around The discussion revolves Linguist)talksto MAMD (Me asMaterialsDesigner). the Nowfor Englishsyliabusthat you havejust seen. MAAL interviews MAMD MAAL: I'd like to know first of all, MAMD, why you decidedto use a structural for your book. Why not a notional/functional or someother type? syllabus that for a MAMD: I thought about this for a very long time, and in the end decided to be introducedto the beginners'book it was important for the learners way.That means in a systematic grammarof the language dealingwith a dif'unit'. pattern in eachlesson or And that meansa structural ferent sentence syllabus. MAAL: Doesthat meanyou ignorednotions and functions? my'unit MAMD: Not at all. But I didn't usethem asmy main'organizingprinciple', of.organization'. MAAL: Explain. MAMD: Well, in eachunit of the book the main focus is on a group of sentence with the patterns associated patterns. For examplein Unit 15 sentence ... simpiepresenttensearecovered that. yes.I understand MAAL: (yawning)Yes, MAMD: . . . but in the courseof the unit the functions of askingfor and giving on, often usingthe simpiepresenttense. informationare Louched MAAL: So the main focus is on a grammar point, but notions and functions are to put in the unit. borne in mind in your choiceof language MAMD: Precisely. in designing the syllabus for your course IvIAAL: OK. Now tell us what the fi.rststage was. in three threeyears one,covering of teaching MAMD: My coursewasto be a compiete overthe period. books.So most of the grammarof Englishwasto be covered First of all, then, I wanteda iist of all the important structuresof English.

(D oJ c) (O


= =

TN O F O R t i G i \I - A N I G U A G AN INTRODUCTIO LtS A R N I I i \A ]G N DT T A C H i N C

Several books exist to help .vouwith this. One very usefui one is English GrammaticaL Structure{Nexander et al. 1975)-This is a comprehensive-list of English sentence patterns.The book was speciallywritten with the purtr poseof helpingsyllabus designers. \ f \ A L 1vl-f1J1r-. Onceycu had your list of structures, what did you then do? 'yearsl lv{A\{D: The next decisionwasto divide them into deciding which structures to teachin Yearl,Year 2 andYear3. And how did you decidethis? MAAL: MAIvID: Well,I suppose that my main criterion,at the beginning at least,wasto think about simplicity - teachingthe simple structuresbefore the more complicatedones. MAAL: \Mhatsomepeoplecall a 'simplicity criterionl MAMD: Exactly. Of course,it's difficult to apply this criterion in a strict way, and sometimes it's impossible to saywhetheron structure is more difficult than another.But it's a good startingpoint. Another criterion. . . MAAL You don't have to explain all the criteria, lvIAMD. We'll be discussing this later in the chapter.Let'smove on. You havea list of structures assigned to Year1, 2 or 3. What comesnext? MAMD: Of coursea structure divides into many sentence patterns, so you haveto make a list of the patterns associated with your structures, and decidein which order to teachthem. MAAL: Is that difficult? MAMD: I'm afraid it is. Think about some of the main patterns associated with a - the simplepresentfor example.First of all there's the basicform . . . tense MAAL: (lookingat his watch)Yes, yes.We can put theseinto a box; you don't have to go through them all, thank you very much. . . . 'basic' MAMD: Now you may think it's sensible to teachthe form first of all, and the contentspage of Now for Englishshowsthat I do this. But what that page doesn'tshow is that I introducethe receptive useof the question form in the sameunit, so that the teachercan askquestions. The learner has to produce 'basic' the form, but just understand the questionform. MAAL: Perhaps you should explainwhat you meanby the word'receptive'. MAMD: It meansthe learnersshould be ableto understand,but not necessart|y produce the form. As you know, reading and listening are the receptlve skills, speaking and writingthe productiye ones.In my first unit on the simplepresent I have the classlook at a jungle scene. The teacher asksquestions like Were do monkeys live?and the pupils reply Monkeyslive in the trees. So at this point the learners haveto understand the questionform andproduce the 'basic'form. MAAL: Monkeysand jungles,eh?Soundslike gripping stuff! MAMD: lVell children are interestedin monkeys and jungles, y-ou know. Another issueat this stage is what is called'pacing'. This is ensuring that thereis some kind of balance through the book, in termsof what is introduced. Each


ig E g g

1 P L A i ' l sA [ ] D P R O G R A I / i v l f S C ! - l A P T E1 R


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'sections' eachwith slx books has 30 units, and theseare divided into five units. The si-xthunit of eachsectionis a revisionone,so eachseclionhas f,ve 'pace' the courseso I've tried to units of new materialand one of revision. into eachsection. that no more than one major structureis introduced will be a newtense. Thenaroundrhisstructure the major structure Lisually to fil1the materials out. the minor onesout - a sort of padding I spread Can,vougivean example? present tense. the simpie But if In units 13to 18 of Book 1, I introduce Yes. 'minor' you'il see that some other,more strucpage, look at the contents -vou andanyfor example. turesarespreadthrough theseunits: some Well thank you, NIAMD. That was. . . er . . . very interesting. Yes. I see. much moreto say. But I haven'tfinishedyet! There's I'm surethereis. But we haveto moveon, I'm afraid.


Likingchocolates 11.2 present with the simple patterns associated Herearesomeof the mainsentence in Enslish: tense
form (positiveaffirmative) Negative Question (interrogative) 'Basic'

o ()J


Shelikeschocolates like chocolates Shedoesn't Doesshelike chocolates?

(she).Think of the usethe third personsingular Note that all theseexamples the units in sentences using a differentperson(e.g.they).Identifu equivalent present areintroduced. of the simple I wherethese threepatterns Nowfor English usethe examples aboveto If you feel in the mood for a linguisticchallenge, andquestions. Beasexplicit negatives work out the rulesfor forming simplepresent in your explanation(if terminology usegrammatical asyou can, and if possible you havedifficulty with the questionforms,look backat howyou tackledthe task i n 2 . 8 ) .2


ordering ,Wtl.Z.ZCriteria syllabus for structural

h a d n 'itn t e r r u p t e d ) would h a v es a i d( i f M A A L 11.3 W h a tM A M D designers usefor orderstructural syllabus oneof the criteria MAMD mentions Canyouthink of does hecallthatcriterion? \A4rat ingthe items on theirsyiiabus.
might use? designers anyothersstructuralsyilabus After you havethought about this, readon. Here is a short Rough Guide to the most common criteria structural syllabus items: useto decideon the order they will introduce designers



What it is: movingfrom simpleto more structures cclrnplex Comments: M We needto distinguish formal Formai simpliciry. andconceptrral . to how the item is simpiicityrelates 'consttucted'; in Box Il'2 For example' ' were askedto think about the ,ror.t negatives ,,ru.,ur. of simplePresent which arequite and questions, etc)' doesn't complex(usingdo,does, But a struct,rrJ-uy be formallysimpie difficult.The and conceptuallY You example' tor article, indefinite of the iust put a or an at the beginning But itisvery difficult noun phruse. if the learner asa concePt, to explain L1. their in doesnot havi it tried to havesometimes ffi Ltnsuists of definitions d.,.llop'scientific' have But their attempts simpliciry. ts reason One neverreallyworked. simpleor a sentence that whatmakes is difficultfor you to process not just Many of its structr-rre. a question 'psychological' involved' also factorsare are and comPiexirY % Simphcity linguistics' by contrastive complicated Look backat 4.2 andthe idealhl' u . may be more difficultforthe structure than another' of onelanguage speakers between to the relationship according Ll' and thelearner's language the target OR GROUPING SEQUENCING that What it is: putting thingstogether 'go' together. Someand anY'Thoughthe Example: areoften learners rule is a simplification, and is usedFornegative taughtthar.any any eLrt she Did sentenccs: interrogative

and She didn't eat Ltnychocolates, chocoLates? d tc She ate somechocolates.It as oppose in the makes sense to teach theser'vords u n i t s ' s a m co r a d j a c e n t

FREQUENCY lVhat it is: teachingthemostfrequently : usedforms first'

Comments: 'frequencycount' is a studywhich A countsthe frequenry of itemsin a Many deal rvith vocabulary, Iansuas.e. buio,i"times they look at grammatical for example, George(196J), structures. 'simpie'tense s'gi (e .n S h e f i n d st h a t t h e far eatschocolarcand Sheatechocolate) 'continuous' (She ones is outstripthe eating,hocolote and Shewaseating the Perhapsthis suggests chocolate). taught be before the should simpletense teach ones?Many syllabuses .onrin,.ro,.r, round' waY them the other information aboutfrequency Recentiy, Lookback hasbeentaken from corpora. aboutcorpus to 3.2.6to remind yourself corPora are'One what and Jinsuistics ,.ulo.r why they are usefulto language .' ,.,::' show they us how is because teachers really used'They canalsogive are words firm information about word frequency' ' '' theie , An example which shows',both in3'2;.6..,Itwas ' given was , .'t:;-':,. advantages

( les8) findings i-.r"ir?ra Re'ioofs

It wouldbe the word see' regarding natural,we noted,tor you to rmagrne. that rhemost common useof thisword (asin the is ro do with visr-ral Perception ln' ,'" ';,:i., I saw him i'n rhe'dilstance|' sentence suggests thatthe fact,computerevidence is in the sense of most comrnon usage t' 'understand'(as in Yes, I see,i o,r''Do 140tti' ;,, ' ', ',.' Sincethis is the mostfreguent,' see?). be thefirst it should perhaPs usage,

. r:l{ : .'3

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. *

:,!i rt .,1

] 1 P ' . A N SA T ] DP R O G R A M V l T S CI-iAPT'R

pag.e - - - practisedLookbackto the c.o;:tents can alsoprovide taught-Corporainformation aboutgrainmatical of -N'ow frequency for Englkh I and note how earlyit (moreefficiently this?such a thana single is taught. Why is What's structures
possibly like Ceorge. can). per:ion,

useful formto teach earM TEACHABILITY

, 7 a


things What it is: teachingstructures that are the most useful What it is: teaching easy to convey beforeonesthat are fust. difficultto teach. So it is simpliciw from ',, C o m m e n t ' , , the,tea,ckiigp.oint of vieW." , ',., ,,' . 'Most oftenmeans'most frequent'. usefu]' patternmaybe so Comments a sentence Sometimes All teachers know that somestrustures for the actual useful oro..r, of teachins areeasier to teachthan others.Two that it is worth .ou.rir* early.Sentence patternsTtke examples Ooentheioor (rhe trom earlier: lhe some/any this? distinction is a fuvouritefor someteachers uid oftenoccur imperative) Wot', to explainand practise. theyareso:useful because it is easy earlyin courses, because is The indefinite article, on the other hand, imperative in the - classroom. Oncethe ;-canbe frendishly difficuli io teach. acuons canDe learneo, many classroom '
', ' , ,t a

-{ rD oJ r) =' ,.o

with very difficult structuresall statement to think about:perhaps A controversial if asked, ratherthan trylearners to them,and offerexplanations you can do is expose \r\hat you do think? ing to teachthem in a formal*ry. and one reasonis that the Designinga syliabuscan be a very messybusiness, that it canbe very canconflict.Wenoted,for example, criteriawe havebeendiscussing this?early But the simplicity criterion might sugon in a course. usefulto teachWVtat's gestthis pattern should come a little later - after all, it is a question form, showing after the verb ls or t. A small example, but inversion,where the subjectthis comes you'll find it is a process yourself, full of uncerif you evercometo designa syllabus and certainly an art ratherthan a science. Messy, taintiesand compromises.

l l .

perspective onthestructural syllabus ffitl.Z.l A recent

studieswhich suggest that learnershave In 4.4 we looked at morphemeacquisition The their own order for learningstructures what amountsto an internal syllabus. tradition which inspiredthem, ask studies, andthe Chomskyan morphemeacquisition designers cannot avoid confronting.In questionthat structuralsyllabus a challenging 'whatis thepoint havingan external syllabus in like this: Box 4.9we posedthe questi.on Appliedlinguists in differentways havereacted if learners havetheir own internalone?' Herearethreereactions: to the existence of the internalsyllabus. thereis no point i.nimposing an a) Sincethe learnerhastheir own internaisyliabus, externalone. We should let the learnerfollow their own internal learninqorder.


ANJ I F J T R C D U C T IT CC N F C R I I G NL ]A|\JGUAG LT i A R \ ] i N GA N D T i A C H i N G

This is reallywhat Prabhudoes.Find the sectionin Chapter9 wherehis procedural syllabus is described, are clear that this is what he is and makesure,vorr well doubtiess b ) Yes, the learnerhasan internals,vllabus, but for the purposes of classroom teaching we canjust ignorethat, and carry on usingour external syllabus. Don't forgetthat the morpheme context. weredonein a naturaiistic studies \A/here we aredealing with ciassroom shouldbe imposed. learning, an external orderfor learning Let'skeepan externalsyllabus, makethis reflectwhat we know but asfar aspossible about the internal syliabus. In other words,we would usethe information givenby the morpheme acquisition studiesto help us decide on the order of structures introducedin textbooks. One appliedlinguistwho followsthis third argumentis Pienemann, who developed (or sometimes what is calledthe Teachability the Learnability)Hypothesis. His hypo'predicts thesis that instruction canonly promotelanguage acquisition if the [earner's] interlanguage is closeto the point when the structureto be taught is acquiredin the natural setting'(Pienemann1985:35). In his research he showsthat learners will not 'internal fi:lly mastera language item if it is too far in advance of the point that the syllabus'has shouldtakeinformareached. The implicationis that teaching,programmes tion about acquisitionorders into accountwhen they decidehow to order teaching (1994)showsthat this doesnot normally happen.Shelooksat seven items.Rogers textbooks teachingGermanasa foreignlanguage, and finds that the order in which items are taught doesnot follow what is known about Germannatural acquisitionorders. It could be arguedthat we don't yet know enoughabout natural acquisitionorders for Pibnemann's Teachability to havemuch impact on language Hypothesis teaching. But the hypothesis doescarry avery important message that syllabus designers ignore at their peril. It is that syilabusconstructionis not just the applicationof simplicity criteria, frequencycounts and the rest.The notion of 'learnerstage'is an important consideration. Whether this is measured in a formal wayby acquisitionorder studies, or is just basedon teacher progress, it shouldbe in your experience of the way learners thoughtsasyou designa syllabus. lVhich someday you may well haveto do.




11.3.1 Needs analysis

In 9.6 we described by the the development of the notional/functional(.nlf) syllabus 'sociolinguistic Council of Europeteam.We relatedit to the revolution', to discontent with structural teachingin general,and with the structural syllabus in particular.In this sectionwe shalllook more carefullyinto the machineryof the n/f syllabus. Selection is a big issuefor this syllabus type. In structural syllabus designselecting what to teach is very much a question of deciding on ordering. Rememberwhat MAMD saysabout Nowfor English: over the three yearsof the coursehe feelshe can - startingwith teachall the major structuresof English.This conceptof total coverage beginners and proceeding over a period of time until all the structures of the Language tz4

1 PLANS C I . l A P T E1 R A \ ] DP R O G R A M M E S

teaching. But it is not a conhavebeentaught- is a commonone in much language Takefunctions for example. It is dear cepttlrat can be applied easilyto nlf syllabusesall canbe put arevery many.Wesimplycannotteach that the usesto which a language the functions of English.We thereforehaveto find somemeansof identif ing which and which to exclude, from our course. functionsto teach, thisproblemwasthe The memberof the Councilof Europeteamwho considered which we wasrelated to a procedure appliedlinguist Ren6Richterich. His answer Swiss goingbackat Needs studies analysis hasits rootsin educational met briefly in 10.2.3. psychologist, BenjaminBloom, leastas far as the work of the American educational who deveioped a way of classifring educational aims (Bloom 1956). The procedure is including engineering and manwidely used today in relation to many study areas, 'the teaching,Richterichdefines language needsas the field of language which arisefrom the use of a language in the multitude of situations requirements which mqv arisein the sociailivesof individualsand groups'(1972:32).But the key word in Richterich'sdefi.nition- situation - posesproblems.One dictionary (the and anothermemberof the team, Oxford) definesit as a setof circumstances) Concise 'the jan van Ek (1973),thinking specifically about language use,talksof complexof actl The words the natureof the language extralinguisticconditionswhich determines conveythe idea that the factorswhich go to makeup a situationare set and cornplex complexand numerous. This suggests that if the concept of situationis to be reallyuseparts.This is ful for syllabusdesign,it will haveto be broken down into component 'components just what the Council of Europedoes.The of situations' asdescribed by (L975) van Ek areillustrated in Box 11.4: 1 1 . 4P a r t o f t h e C o u n c i o l f Europe's n e e d sa n a l y s i s model 'situation' Here are somecomponents framework: of in the Council of Europe's Therearetwo typesof setting:(a) Geographical: whichcountrythe user Settings. wantsto usethe targetlanguage in. Somelearners wiil want to usethe targetlanguagein the country where it is an L1; others in a country whereit is an FL. aboutwhat lanCountry of usemay haveimportant implicationsin o.urdecision guageitemsto teach.And (b) Place: the airport, in the hotel,in the offi.ce. Topics.What the userwantsto talk about.We may find that a leatner's needs are activities closelyrelatedto particulartopic areas, like leisure or business matter* Topicscanbe important in the selection theyareclearly of notionsand functions; crucialin decidingwhat vocabulary to teach.Look backat Nowfor English's conareas tentspagein Box 11.1. appear? In which column do topicsand lexical Examples arestranger to Roles.The most important of theseare the socialroles. stranger, customer to shopkeeper, doctorto patient.The socialrole relationships a learneris likely to find themseives in will affectthe language it is most usefulto teach.3

m wraffi
wr&l w

-{ a

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d la councii of Europe involves listing the situatians So Step 1 of needsanalysis useof the-j.ntosettings, topics and roles:: relevant to the learner in their broken d-own Step2 is to identifr the language But a further three stepsare needeci. targetlanguage. 'muy be ascomparaEk saysthat these Van situations' the in occur to activitieslikeiy the weaiher forecast on the radio or as complexas tively "simple" as understanding report written in one's native language' summarisingorally in a foreign lorrg.'*ge a and with the situations Step3 is to list the notiois andfunctionsassociated (1975:104). the actuallanguage Then thereis an important fourth step.This is to identif,v activities. ihe notions and functions' The word exponentis usedin usefulto express ;;;;"" expounds such and such a function' this context:we saythai suchand such a phrase waysto expound the functi on of greetingare Hi andGood in Englishgy;o For example, it may be that for particularstudents morning.Thesearf{rrverymuch in formalitv, and would let your needs analysisidentift one is more appropriatethan the other. You what exponentit would be appropriateto teach' -) exponents take --> situations-+ activities notions and functions Thesefour steps: relevant content, and provid,ea way of selectingth: most us from needs,o lurrg.ruge To put a little more flesh onto thesebones'imagine materialfor our turrg,lugJry1abus. iearning English'Box 11'5 for a group of secretaries syllabus that you are develop"irrg"u theselearners: invitesyou to undertakea mini-needsanalysisfor

as nalYsis a mini-need Doing 11.5 for a secretary' analysis of.paftofa needs Hereis a shortexample
Step1. Setting Topics RoIes Step2 Componentsof situations Ll countrY;in the office learner's hotel bookings,transportation arrangements'appointments to boss strangerto stranger;secretary LanguageactivitY trip Loa business ,,,ut"ing;6one callsto the FL country in relation their bossis to undertake

Identifying notions and functions: Step3 times,futuritY dates, l{otions making arrangements Functions giving information, requestinginformation' Step4 Identifying exPonents for . . ' daYs She'llbe staYing I'd like to . . . tell me ' ' ' Could you please -ing; by + form of transport on + date;at * time; will be +

activitiesin which this secretarymaywant to use Think of t}[ee more language activities'work through Steps3 and 4 asabove' For one of these their targetlanguage.


C H A P T E1 R] P L A N S A N DP R O G R A M M E S

I t & '? E

The Council of Europe's needsanalysis model wasone of a number that were developed in the I970s.You may wish to refer backto Chapter i0 wher-e you mgt another (the keirvord to look for is Nijmegen).A further highly influential model wasdeveloped by JohnNlunbv(),978). This rvas far morecomplex than the Councilof Europe's. Ii aiiemptedto providea it'avof analvsing rnv learne situar's needs in an',. tion throuehoutthe rr,orld.But in the ',vord'comple-x' liesthe problemrvhich}Iunbv's (the Cr\P) faced.As \\'est t1994)puts it: so-calledComrnunicatit'e \ieedsProcessar '\Iunbr"s attempt to be svstematic and comprehensive inevitabll.made his instrument infl.exibie, complexand time-consumingl\Vemustensure of our thai the results needsanalvsis are not so complexthat they cannoteasily be translated into teaching materials. Like all the needsanalysis svstems lve haveso far met, lvlunby'sCNP looks at the 'target situation' your learnersexpectto find themselves in at some future point. It doeswhat is sometimes (TSA).But by the beginning calleda TargetSituationAnal,vsis of the 1980s therewas a growing realizationthat a properneeds analysis shouldlook at more than the target situation.A broader approach wasprovided by Hutchinson - aswe shallseein the and \!'atersin their book on Englishfor Specific (ESP Purposes next section is the areawith which needsanal,vsis is most associated). Hutchinson and Waters (1987) use the word necessities to describe what we have so far been - items reiatedto the 'demandsof the targetsituation'. discussing But, they say,the analysisof necessities is not useful uniessaccompanied by an indication of what the learner already knows.So they havea secondcategory, calledlacks. You could say that mathematically lacksarc necessities minus what the learneraheady knows.They are that part of the targetrequirements which arenot yetin the learner's competence. The part that needs teaching. Hutchinsonand Waters'third categoryis wants.Theynotethat how a personperceives what they requireout of an FL course may have littleto do with the analysis pro'objective' vided by an TSA. An examplethey giveis the case of a German engineer namedKarl Jensen. Munby'sCNP or the Council of Europe's TSA would, Hutchinson and Waters argue,identify readingacademic textsin English asa major needof Karl's. But this is not how he himself sees it. Though he onlyrareiyuses Englishto talk face to facewith engineering colleagues, he is very conseious of the fact that when he does 'on so his poor spokenEnglishletshim dorvn.In that situation hispride is very much the line'. So his own personal'wants analysis'(as opposed to an applied linguist's 'needs analysis') places speaking Englishat the top of thelist. But are learnerperceptions reliable? Can Kari really be trusted,you might ask,to identifr what he requires? Brindley(1939)points out thatmanyteachers feellearners are incapableof discussing their requirements in a sensible manner.For one thing, many cuituresdo not encourage learnersto develop viewsregarding their needs.So many learnersare simply incapableof expressing their needs. And when they do express views, Brindley suggests that theseare oftennot well articulatedor enlightened.True asthis may be, it is indeeda foolhardycourse designer who plans teaching without giving some considerationas to what the learners feel they need, however


o OJ o




pootly they express themselves. The 'cautionary tale' in the last chapter's Box i0.12 juqt how fooihardyit is to ignorelearnerslviews,After all, they are the showed prinr --cipal 'stakeholders' in the language learningbusiness (you needlearners if -vou want to teachlanguages!). Youignoreiearners' feelings at your peri1. How can you make sure that the 'wantsof learnerslike Karl are properlyheeded? One suggestion (discussed in Clarke1991)is to involvehim directiyin the process of syllabus design, by developing a negotiated. slzllabus. This meansthat you makea point of askingyour learners what they want out of your course,and ,voubearwhat they sav in mind as you designthe programme.This negotiationwill naturaliy occur ui tfr. initial courseplanning stage.But it should happenlater on too, an{ this reveals an important insight about how programmesshould be developed. There is a rather widespread beliefthat syllabus designis somethingwhich takes placeonceonly, at the beginningof coursepreparation.You fi.rstdecid.e what you will teach,the nr1.thgoes, then how you wili teachit. Finally you do the teaching.But recailthat earlierin this chapterwe described syllabus designasa 'messy businessl Partof the messiness is that syllabusdesigners will (and should) find themselves returning to their syllabusand modiffing it asthe coursedevelops, and indeedevenafter it hasfinished.This is how it should be because learnerwants (aswell astheir lacksand necessities) witl cometo light as a courseprogresses. They will rarely oblige by entirely revealingthemselves earlyon, at the needs analysis stage. Dudley-Evans and Sr John (199g:lzf havea pair of diagramswhich nicelyillustratethe idealized theory and the messy practiceof how coursesare constructed,taught and evaluated. The diagram on the left showsthe sequence of events asit would be in an idealworld. The complexities of the procedure in realityareshownon the right. Noticehow many more linestherearein the diagram on the right:
evaluauon ___-___> needs evaluation needs

analysis assessment \ \
\ \

course desisn

teaching // learning




Earlier we usedthe word 'stakeholder' to describe the learner.There are of course various other stakeholders involved in the languageteachingoperation, and a full needsanalysis will need to considerthe views of a number of them. ]ordan's(Lgg7) exampleis of a Nepali man, Gopal,who wantsto go to the UK to study for an MA in Economics. Jordanshowsthat besides consid.ering Gopal himself,we need. alsoto take into account the point of view of the Nepalese Ministry of Education,the British


1 ] P L A i \ SA N D P R O G R A I V l M E S CHAPTER

hewants the course Gopai),the staffin the UK teaching Council(who aresponsoring perwho will preparehim for that course'The various teaehers to attend,and the ESP For example' may differ in subtlebut important wa,vs. stakeholders of all these ceptions tend to exaggerate 1987point out) sometimes (asHutchinsonand lV'aters ESplecturers stud%giving it more priority than the student the importanceof Englishior a person's would.lvlorethan one persPectdepartment in his subject or the lecturers themselves, a roundedpicture. to achieve shouldbe consulted ive on needs viewsis to askthem, through quesThe most obviousway to collectstakeholders' But other forms of datacollectionmay alsobe useful;indeed tionnairesor interviews. methodsfor collectinginformation'You lists no fewerthan 14 d,ifferent Iordan (.1997) and want to seefor yourselfhow Englishis usedin targetsituations, may for example In the in their workplace. this may involvevideotapingpeople as they uselanguage of someexamples is likely to involvecoliecting analysis your of Kari ]ensen, case " the typesof Englishtextshe would needto read.Think againaboutthe secretaries,vou how you couldcollectinformaSpendsometime considering in Box 11.5. considered don't fotgetlacks necessities,but Think about the targetsituation's tion on their needs. wantsaswell. How would you find out about them? and. in convincingyou This short section on needsanalysishas perhapssucceeded what a complexoperation needsanaiysiscan be. Jordan(1,997:40)has an amusing 'needsanalysis jugglerl His sketchshowsa stickman illustration of whal he callsthe (the needsanalyst)juggling 17 bails in the air at the sametime. Eachball represents that the needsanalystneedsto bear in mind. Examples one of the considerations constraintsof money and expectations, are languagelevel, subject-to-be-studied, how time, and educationalbackground.Complicated!You may also have noticed with this field. The ones mentioned are barely many acronymsthere are associated the tip of the iceberg.I have mentioned TSA, but not LSA (Learning Situation of ESPand EAP SituationAnalysis).In fact it is the areas Analysis)or pSA (Present ESP in generalwhich are so soakedin acronyms. (Engiishfor AcademicPurposes) Acronym and EAp are, one is tempted to say,truly ESAP Entirely and Severely Plasued.

1 o

(.) ='


andn/f ffi*z.z LSPprogrammes

types,has now slipped This chapter,which startedoff consideringdifferentsyllabus * the LSPcourse' of a particulartype of programme into consideration imperceptibly teaching.It took me This is*uduy,an extremelywidespreadform of language no more than 15 minutes on Google this morning to come up with the following Italian for bankrng, Spanishfor librarians, German for singers, list of LSp courses: Frenchfor food and wine lovers,Chinesefor portuguese professionals, for business for doctors (as for lawyers, Japanese fo. .*.hurge students,Russian lu*, Swedish for onime lovers).Box 11.6showsa common way of well as anotherin Japanes" LSP: classifying


Ai\ ll''ITRCDUCTIC TN O FOREiCi" Li A i I L : U A G i ' L I A R i ' ' l l l l A Gf \ l 0 i f A C I J i i ' l G

1 1 . 6L A P o r L O P ? There are many wa,vsof classifringthe differenl areas within LSP (each area A major division is between EAP and EOP. havingits own acronym,of course). with Englishfbr studying. Students for Academic Purposes is concerned English countryto studyan academicsubject through the comingto an English-speaking Liiian Riverain 1.2?)often take an EAP course. medium of English(remember But there are other EAP situations- for examplein countries where English, though not the main ianguage for communication,is used in collegesfor teaching purposes. English for OccupationalPurposesis Engiish for the workplace. which I found on Googleare examples of EOP. Most if not all of the courses Do you think thelz are LAP or LOP? Here aresomedescriptions of LSPlessons. is role playing an air traffic controller and one of the studentsis a 1. The teacher pilot about to land their plane. 2. The teacheris showing the classhow to construct a paragraph in a coherent way. 3. The studentsarelearninghow to take noteson a lecture given in the FL. 4. The learners arepractisingcontributing orally to seminar discussion. 5. A learneris pretendingto be a doctor explainingto a patient what is wrong with them. 6. The studentsare learning how to try and reacha business agreement over a line. telephone If you want to get a feel of what is involvedin LAP and LOR take one of these points might be covered.Assume aboveand think aboutwhat language 6lessons 'Tj involvedis your 'L'that it, the students are lear:ningyour that the own native nativelanguage asan FL.

the latter provided sucha hand in hand, because LSPand nlf syllabuses developed languageneeds.They were to a large extent usefulway of describingand classifying But as]. McDonough(1q98)points out, the beginnings twins who grewup together. of LSP certainly predate nlf. An influential pre nlf. paper was written by Strevens, an applied linguist who himself went on to produce ESPmaterials in the form of a (L97I) argues that general English textbook for teachingseafaringEnglish.Strevens courses with a high literary contentare not the only way of doing things. The paper's 'Alternatives title is to daffodils'. If LSP andnlf. are twins, they are alsoclearlyrelatedto CLT. So it is not surprising that LSP should have a concern with languageas discourse.Genre analysis,which A with different genres, grew out of LSP. looks at the features of discourseassociated genreis, in the wo?dsof Swales(1990,the major book in this field), a collection of 'sharesome set of communicat$e 'communicative events'(texts for example)which purposes'. You doubtlessknow the word genreused to describe a type of li.terature 230

c H A P r I R ] 1 P L A N SA i \ t DP R O G R A M M T S

(tragedy, comedy,or epic poetry for example.), and alsoin relation to tfpes of film horror, romantie eomedyand so orr - whichshare sorne 'fami\, resemblances'. In the field of academic writing we can identifu genreslike academicpapers,dissertations, textbooks. To give yotl a sense of what genre analysis looks like, here is how Swales (1990) analyses the characteristic patternsoccurringin the introductory sections of academic His analysis articLes. uses two typesof unit which he callsmovesand steps: Move 1 Step 1 Step2 Step3 Establishingatercitory Claiming centrality andlor Making topic generalization(s) andlor Reviewing items of previousresearch

4 a o o =' c

Move 2 Establishinga niche Step1A Counter-claiming or StepIB Indicating a gap


Step1C Question-raising or StepID Continuing a tradition Move 3 Occupyingthe niche Step1A Outlining purposes or StepIB Announcingpresentresearch Step2 Announcingprincipal findings Step3 Indicatingresearch articlestructure Box i 1.7showsyou Swales' analysis in action: 'tl.7

An al ysi n ga g e n re

Below is the abstract of a paperwhich appeared in an appliedlinguisticsjournal (Borg 2001).Nthough Swales' model is developed for introductions ratherthan abstracts, some(but not all) of the movesand steps he identifiesarefound in this abstract. Try and spot them'Forms of reflective writing such as diariesand journals are widely acknowledgedas important tools in promoting both the developmentand the understandingof teachers. However, little attentionhasbeenawarded to the role these forms of writing canplay in the development and understanding of researchers. In this PaperI draw on my own experience journal during of keepinga research
- ^ 4

A I . ]I I . J T R C D U C T I C I] FORTIGlL IO \ iA i \ ] G I J A GL I E A R N I i \ JA GN D T l A C i i I i ' J Q

a stu.dyof languageteachingto illustrate the significant contribution journal w'riting can rtake to deepeningresearehersl understanding of all faeets of-the research processes. i alsoarguethat suchjournalscan provide other researchers with illuminating insight into the research process. Given these benefits to both writers and readers journals, I claim that the issueof reflective writof research ing by researchers in language teachingmerits much more discussion that it has beenawarded to date.' Now imagineyou are an EAP teacher with a class of learnersabout to become postgraduate studentsin various subjects. They all need to learn how to write academic articles.How might Swales' analysis be useful to you, and to them? Is it really any use? How on earth can you teachthe structure of written genres? A big topic this, which could occupymany hours of thought; perhaps even a few minutes'would be worthwhile.

LSPteaching is often very demanding. in J.McDonough (1993) mentions two ways 'normal' which your job as an LSP teacher may differ from the language teacher's work. One is that you will often becomemore invo.lved in course planning and development.The business of needsanalysis, for example,may weli fal1 on your shoulders. Secondly, you have to come to terms with your learners'speciaiist subject field. Soif you are teachinga courseentitled Englishfor Physiclsfs you will need to have some rudimentaryknowledgeof the area. A Nobel prlze in physicsis not of course necessary (though it might help). But without a degree of interestin the field, and a rudimentary knowledge of it, you will find life difficult. LSP teaching involves a marciage of two disciplines- a ianguageand a subjectarea.Like in real marriages, there are various waysof handling the reiationship,with varying degrees of success.One particularly attractivepossibilityinvolvesteam teaching.The LSPteacherworks together with the physics,chemistry,or management studiesteacher,attending lectures in those areas and making the language classes follow on from the subjecr areaclasses.

programmes andn/f ffitl.z.z TENoR

One of the attractivefeaturesof ESPis that it is relatively easy to identifr language needs. But this is not true of anothervery common teachingsituation, called TENOR, This, as we saw in 1.7, standsfor TeachingEnglish for No Obvious Reason,and it includesa1lgeneralcourses, wherethe learnershavedivergent reasonsfor learning,or (asin many schoolsituations)wherewe simply cannot know what their eventualuses (if any)of the FL willbe. Needsanalysisdoes not work easilyfor TENOR students becausetheir needsare either unknown or can only be specifiedin the most seneral terms. How then can you do the job of selectionwhich the notional/functional syllabus seemsto require? ,j The Council of Europe'sanswerlies in the conceptof the 'comrnon core'.All iearners, whatever their eventual uses of the FL, will (the argument runs) need a certain


CHAPTIR.1.1 P L A i \ SA N D P R O G R A M M [ S

common core of notions and functions.In the functional area,theseare particularly usesassociated with generalsocializing,llke greeting,requesting information,inviting. The Council of Europeneededto develop alanguage teachings,vstem that would work in the many highly diversesituationsmet throughout the member countries. Flexibilitywasall important, and the Council'sneeds weremet by a unit/creditsystem. In this' teachingunits deal with distinct areas of language use.Learners select which units to coveraccordin$ to their particular language needs. Creditsaregivenfor units completed and when a number of creditshavebeengained., a qualificatiln is awarded. The s,vstem identifiesfive levelsof proficiency. The lowestwascalled theThreshold Level(or T-Level), though later a lower levelcalled. waystagewas introd.uced. Next up 'advanced' 'full is 'basic', then 'general competence] and professional,. The ideais that eachlevelshould havea common core unit, plus additionalspecialised units.VanEk was given the task of developinga syllabusfor the common core of the Threshold Level.His document,calledThe Threshold Level,is a landmark documentin n/f syllabusdesign. It appeared in two forms:van Ek (1975)for the aduit learner, andvanEk (1978)for the secondary schoolstudent. one of the advantages of n/f is that until you startto consider actualexponents, you 'notion' aredealingwith ideas(Iike 'situation', and 'function') which ar. non-lunguagespecific, and cantherefore be appliedto the teaching of manylanguages.a Consequentiy the notions and functionsyou identif' asusefulfor a Germanperson learningEngiish are likely to be equallyuseful to the British personlearning German, the American learning Spanish, the italian learning French.This meansthat a document like the Threshold Levelcan existin a number of versions, for d.ifferent languages. Soit is that alongside the T-Level, therearecomparable documents in othertuniuui., -the French Niveau-Seuil, GermanKontaktschwelle, Spanish l{ivel UmbralandIia[]n LivelloSoglia for example.


-t a o



11.8Getting to knowthe T-Level TheT-Level (vanEk 1975) specification consists of a series of lists. Wehave dealt with themostimportantof these, whichare:
(A) (C) (E) (G) Topics Roles Functions Form (exponents) (B) Settings (D) Activities (f) Notions


Below are some items of the sort found in the T-Level.put these under the categories above;there are two for eachcategory. you can d.othis by matching - e.g.if you think'hobbies'isa notional numbers and letters category, youwould write 5F. (1) bookinga hotel room overthe phone (2) airpofi

t ; l



why etc') using Wh- words (when,where, questions { 4 \ quantity (s)hobbies ( 0 1friend to lriend ( 7 ) duration (length of time) ( 8 ) ianguage institute (e)apologizing ( 1 0 ) typesof accommodation ( 1 1 )privatepersonto official lLz) should/oughtto ( 1 3 )expressing gratitude (e.g' in an airport) systems via public address ( 1 4 ) unterstandingannouncements
t l l

For eachcategory(A) to (G), think of two more examplesthat you might expectto appearin the common coreof the ThresholdLevel.s

programmes andspecific Wll.Z.+ N/f for general

Are there any teachingsituationsin which the n/f syllabusis particularl-1useful? One clear,and very large,audiencewas imrnediatelyapparentwhen n/f syllabusescame These were into existence. In f*t, it wasthe audience for which nlf. cameinto existence' 'synta-r syndrome'that (as we saw in 9'6) the learnerssufferingfrom the epidemicof so well. Thesestudentsknew their grammar, but lacked comNewmark diagnosed municative ability. They existedin drovesaround the world, a \egacy of structural dimensionto their knowiedge, wasableto addacommunicative teaching. N/f teaching 'activate' to this kno*ledge so that it could be used for doing things with language' Because of the sizeof this audience'vety many n/f coursesare pitched X the intermediatelevel and above,the assumptionbeing that the learners akeady know their grammar.Implicit in this approachis a view of languageteachingthat became very model: is a two-stage
Stage 1 Teach grammar, using a structural syllabus

2 Stage useactivatingthe structurestaught at Teachlanguage Stage1. Usea functional sYllabus LSP'As usesof nlf? We havealreadydiscussed What about other,more specialized, 'We we are ableto sayto our students: analysis, of n/f and needs we haveSeen, because you iust thosepartsof Englishthat arerelevand areteaching your needs, haveanal,vsed this shouldgiveour coursesgteatfacevalidity' Beingableto ctraim ant to those needs'.




There is another type of course which is becoming increasinglywid.espread, thrcughoutthe world. Wetouchedon a versionof it earlierin this chapter, and met it first in L2 with the ChiieanstudentLilian Rivera.Shehasjust six months in which to bring her Englishup to a particular standard.\\hat she requiresmight be calledan 'urgenc;,* course'. Its essence is to teach a Iargeamollnt of languag. in o short space of time. The urgency course is popular,because the full of peoplein Lilian's cfcumstances. The traditionalapproach to the urgenry courseis not veq/satisfactor,v. Often a textbookintended for a longcourse would be used, and abandoned when time ran out. So learnersfollowing a book organized iike Now for Engtishfor just one month might coverthe verb BE and not much else.N/f providesa much better way of selection, - this time r-rrgent again bylooking at needs ones.One common versionof the urgenq/ courseis the pre-sessional course.This giveslanguage training to studentsabout to follow somestudyprogrammein which the FL is the language of instruction. Many -l pre-sessional courses areheld in the target language country. It is possibieto predict o the learners'urgent needsas from the moment they arcive. o They wi1l, for example, soon want to oPena bank account,to searchfor accommodation, 5' to registerat the c HealthCentre(in Britain they will probably havecaughta cold in the first few days). These needscan form the basisof highly relevantteachingin which the notions and functionsurgentfor them are introduced. In the L970s and early1980s, it is no exaggeration to saythat n/f syilabuses dominatedsyllabus designin language teaching.Ministries of Educationworld.wide jostled to change their syllabuses from structural to nlf, and privatelanguage schoolswould boast of their up-to-date notional/functional-based teaching.The bubble had to burst.TvVhen it did, thiswasnot just the resultof theoretical objections to the notional/ functionaisyllabus, but alsoof concrete problemsencountered by practitioners- the teachers who actually went into classrooms to teachwith n/f textbooks. Box 11.9eives two anecdotes to illustratetheseproblems. 1 1 . 9D o wnw i th n o ti o n sa n d fu n c tions: two anecdotes Sometime in the early 1980s, I was invited to sit in on a planning meetin g at a major ianguage teaching institution in Italy. The purposeof the meetingwas to select the teaching books for the coming year.Because it was the ear$ 19g0s,I was confident that fashion would dictate that all the chosenbooks would be notional/functional. But i waswrong, and in the eventalmostall the books were structuralllr-based. One teacher, who had beenusing n/f books for a number of 'in years'explained: n/f books the studentslearn lots of phrases, but they don't comeout of the lesson with one major thing learned. In structuralteachingthey doi This objectionis grounded in the fact that it is difficult to make clear and strong generalizations about languageuse. So if you are not careful,your nlf. lesson endsup providingnot verymuch morethanan elaborate phrase book (ten waysof inviting,fivewaysof makingplans,and so on). The problemwith phrase





A N DT E A C H I I ' ] G JA N G U A G IL E A R N I N G OO N F O R I I G I 'L A i \ II N I T R O D U C T I T

you to go books is that you are not taught arrygeneralknowledgethat enables ask for a cup o{ beyond the phrasesgiven-The phras. Look rnay tell you how to tea,but what happensif you want a cup of hot chocolate? and makesthe samepoint. In the late l97}s a colleague The secondanecdote One lesson col-lrse'b n/f materialsto be taught on a pre-sessional I were-wri.ting - op.ttittg a bank account' The campus dealt with one of those urgent activiti"es and studentsto open accounts, bank set asidea lunch hour for arriving overseas some in the morning of that daywe taught o* gro.rpof recently-arrived students we introduced and drilled appropriateto that activity. One sequence language I thought wasGoodmorning.I'd like to openabank accointplease.Ltlunch time on the resultsof the morning's lesson'One I would go to the bank and eavesdrop The bank clerk knew of course short dialogueoverheardwas most depressing. Hello' that the studentsall wanted to open aciounts,so they said to one student: you want to openan accountI expect. The reply that came back was the drilled please.Hardly a successful one;Good morning, I'd like to open a bank account what they had pieceof diaioguelThe learner had produced,parrot-iike, exactLy Leentaught.They did not havethe knowledgeto handle the unexpected'

and indeed it is almost The bubble may have burst. But n/f never disappeared, today to produce a syllabuswithout a notional/functional dimension' inconceivable 'notions and functions and nothing else' may have gone' But the The headydaysof movementhasIeft an indelible mark.

and textbook writers today commonly follow similar procedures Syllabusdesigners But becauseof the burst bubble' to van Ek s, producingtheir own syilabusinventories. notional/functional' They are more often are rarelyexclusively the resuitingsyllabuses The syllabuses' or mixtures. These are sometimescalled multidimensional hrybrids, 'unit of otganization' basisof the multidimensionalsyilabusis that it hasniirrethan one (the phrasewas used by MAVID earlier). There are two main ways thesesyllabuses can shift the can be produced from an i.nventorylike the T-Level.In the first, you structural focus at different points in the course.You might for example have some might change units followedby the occasionalunit dealingwith a situation; later you on (1979)usesthis the focusyet againwith some functional units. Morrow and Johns method. It is to have more than one tocusoper*uy is very common nowadays. The second this solutionis ating in eachpart of the course.A widely-usedtextbookwhich follows from what Swanand Waltef (1990). The table below is an incomplete version taken in the first five units of the they call the'map'of their Book 2. It showswhat is covered' course.You will recognizemost of the item fypeslistedin the fi-rstrow: 236
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iO Ai\JD T[ACI-JING A i \ ]! i \ I T R O D I J C T i C I \ iF O R E i G iL ' ] A i \ J G U A GL I iARI\iIi\.JG

This table shor,vs that the contentof each unir has beenmappedout in four differ:, ent wayslSo there are in effe uses: To ensure that over the course_ ct fo ur s1zl1ab asa each of these s-vilabuses is properllicoveredinvolves some !'ery complex and clever, planning.

11.10 S p o t t i n gh o w a t e x t b o o ki s o r g a n i z e d You might think it easyto tell just by a quick giancehow a textbook is really organized. But it can in fact be very difficult. As we haveseen,the contentspage can heip, but often it will tell you very little, because unit namesdo not always revealmuch about organization. Column 1 of Now for English's contentspage (in 11.1)is a good example. The units have nameslike Oh Sally!andWat a mess!, that are not very revealing.Beware also of what a book saysabout itself. Many books say they are functional, and contain units bearingfunctional titles 'Describing 'Introducing yourself'. But like people' or the unit on 'Describing people'may in factbe a unit about the verb BE followed by an adjective, asin He's ' 'Introducing just yourself may tall, andShe's thin. Similarly, consistof BE plusa name |m Keith.The organizationmay, in other words,real1y be structural. How to tell the true from the false?The secret lies in the conceptof 'unit of organization'. to seewhat they You needto look cioselyat the lessonsthemselves, are really covering.If there is a clear structural thread running through a unit, while the functionswithin it seemto be disorganized,then that unit at leastis a strueturally-based one. Looking at all the units in a book should enableyou to saysomethingcertainabout its underlying syllabus. You are invited to look closelyat a textbook that you know. Try to work out what kind of syllabus it is basedon. This may take you sometime!

TEC HN O L O G Y . AIS RSES SS TED COU tl.S.lA virtuallearning environment

one This chapterconcludes with consideration of a rather different type of course, which is defined not by the type of learners who follow it or by how its contentis type, orgarized,but by the resources it uses. Becauseof what distinguishes this course our discussion will be lessabout organizationalprinciples and more to do with what the happensin the classroom. Or, more accurately,in the computer room, because courses we areconsidering aretechnology-assisted ones. It is certainly not surprising that modern technology - computers,emails,the thereare Internet- evokes quite different reactionsin people. At one end of the scale the Luddites(definedin the BBC EnglishDictianary as'people who stronglyoppose . . . the introductionof new machines and modern methods').At the other arethose 238