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Skill Based Syllabus is one of design Syllabus Process. Design mean concerned with
the selection, sequencing and justification of the content of the curriculum. 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 Skill based syllabus designer needs to take into consideration
when he or she embraces a Skill task based approach to creating syllabuses and pedagogical
Before going to know about Skill based syllabus, The first lets to know about skill.
Generally, skill mean an ability to do an activity or job well. it involves someone who has
had special training and practicing to do it. So, what is the meaning skill in language
teaching? The term skill in language teaching is used as a specific way of using
language that combines structural and functional ability.
In skill-based syllabus, the content of the language teaching involves a collection of
particular skills that may play a role in using language. Relevance on student-felt needs or
wants is the advantage of the skill based syllabus because learners who know what they
need to do with the language generally show great acceptance of instruction that is clearly
directed toward their goals. on the other hand, there are many people argue that skill based
syllabus will limit people general language proficiency and some bad impact related to
social value that Skill based instruction that is too limited in scope can program students for
particular kinds of or isolated them from achievements and ambition that the competencies
do not prepare them. The primary purpose of skill-based instruction is to teach the specific
language skill that may be useful or necessary in using language. Skill-based syllabus
merge linguistic competencies (pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and discourse)
together into generalized types of behavior such as listening to spoken language for the
main idea, writing well-formed paragraphs, delivering effective lectures and so forth.
There are four mode understanding the language :

The Example Skill In English Learning :

Reading skills

skimming and scanning

Writing skills

writing specific topic sentences, reports.

Speaking skills

giving instructions

personal information

asking for emergency help over the telephone

Listening skills

getting specific information

listening to foreign radio or TV for news

talking orders in the Shop, restaurant, Book store, etc

Language Skills According to Brown, 1998

Discriminate among the distinctive sounds of English.
1. Retain chunks of language of different lengths in short-term memory.
2. Recognize English stress patterns, words in stressed and unstressed positions,
rhythmic structure, intonation contours, and their role in signaling information.
3. Recognize reduced forms of words.
4. Distinguish word boundaries, recognize a core of words, and interpret word order
patterns and their significance.
5. Process speech at different rates of delivery.

6. Process speech containing pauses, errors, corrections, and other performance

7. Recognize grammatical word classes (nouns, verbs, etc.) systems (e.g., tense,
agreement, pluralization), patterns, rules, elliptical forms.
8. Detect sentence constituents and distinguish between major and minor constituents.
9. Recognize that a particular meaning may be expressed in different constituents.
10. Recognize cohesive devices in spoken discourse.
Recognize the communicative functions of utterances, according to situations, participants,
1. Infer situations, participants, goals using real-world language.
2. From events, ideas, and so on, described, predict outcomes, infer, links, and
connections between events, deduce cause and effects, and detect such relations as
main idea, supporting idea, new information, given information, generalization, and
3. Distinguish between literal and applied meanings.
4. Use facial, kinesic, body language, and other non-verbal clues to decipher
5. Develop and use a battery of listening strategies, such as detecting key words,
guessing the meaning of words from context, appealing for help, and signaling
comprehension of lack thereof.

Produce differences among English phonemes and allophonic variants

1. Produce chunks of language of different lengths.

2. Produce English stress patterns, words in stressed and unstressed positions,
rhythmic structure, and intonation contours.
3. Produce reduced forms of words and phrases.

4. Use an adequate number of lexical units (words) to accomplish pragmatic purposes.

5. Produce fluent speech at different rates of delivery.
6. Monitor ones own oral production and use various strategic devices (pauses, fillers,
self-correctors, backtracking) to enhance the clarity of the message.
7. Use grammatical word classes (nouns, verbs, etc.) systems (tense, agreement,
pluralization), word order, pattern, rules, and elliptical forms.
8. Produce speech in natural constituents: in appropriate phrases, pause groups, breath
groups, and sentence constituents.
9. Express particular meaning in different grammatical forms.
10. Use cohesive devices in spoekn discourse.
1. Appropriately accomplish communicative functions according to situations,
participants, and goals.
2. Use appropriate styles, registers, implicature, redundancies, pragmatic conventions,
conversation rules, floor-keeping and yielding, interrupting, and other
sociolinguistic features in face-to-face conversations.
3. Convey links and connections between events and communicate such relations as
focal and peripheral ideas, events and feelings, new information and given
information, generalization and exemplification.
4. Convey facial features, kinesics, body language, and other nonverbal cues along
with verbal language.
5. Develop and use a battery of speaking strategies such as emphasizing key words,
rephrasing, providing a context for interpreting the meaning of words, appealing for
help, and accurately assessing how well your interlocutor is understanding you.
This is the Video of Skill Based Syllabus

Characteristics of a Skill-based Syllabus(Railley, 1988)

Skills are things that people must be able to do to be competent in a language,

relatively independently of the situation or setting in which
the language use
can occur.

The content of the skill-based language teaching is a collection of specific abilities

that may play a part in using language.

The primary objective of a skill-based instruction is to teach a specific

language skill, such as listening for gist, using proper intonation contours, reading
for the main idea, or using cohesive devices in writing.

These specific skills are immersed with specific linguistic competencies, such as
pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and discourse

The skills-based approach drew its theoretical roots from behavioral psychology
and structural linguistics. Specifically, it is based on the following principles:

(a) The whole is equal to the sum of its parts;

(b) There are differences between spoken and written


(c) Oral language acquisition precedes the development of literacy;

(d) Language learning is teacher-directed and fact-oriented;
(e) Student errors are just like sins which should be eliminated at all cost.

Advocates of the skill-based approach view language as a collection of separate

skills. Each skill is divided into subskills (micro and macro skills).

These subskills are gradually taught in a predetermined sequence through direct

explanation, modeling and repetition.

The mastery of these skills are constantly measured using discrete- point tests
before learning a new one.

These involves learning the sub-skills that enable one to be proficient in each
skill. The ability to use language in specific ways is partially dependent on general
language ability, but partly based on experience and the need for specific skills.There are
some examples of the way to apply skill-based syllabus such as:
Guessing vocabulary
from context
Reading for the main idea

Scanning or non prose material

Using affixes as clues to meaning
More scanning of non prose material

Summarizing readings
Dictionary work
More inference work
More statement
Analysis of paragraph structure
Using context clues

More work on affixes

Restatement of informational content
More affix work
More inference
Critical reading skill
Using expectations

Competences That Must Be Had By the Students

1. Students will be able to identify common food items from each food group
2. Students will be able to read name and price label
3. Students will be able to identify coins by name and amount
4. Students will be able to give correct change
5. Students will be able to identify family members by name and relationship
6. Students will be able to write name, address, telephone number, and age in
appropriate place form.
1. Skill-based content is most useful when learners need to master specific types of
language uses.
2. It is possible to predict at least what material that students really need.
3. Relevance on student-felt needs or wants .
1. Under the right circumstance, the skill based syllabi has few drawbacks. Up till
now, there is a theoretical question about this kind of syllabus. That is about the
whether the degree to which ability to perform specific in language is dependent
overall language proficiency or not.
2. Besides that, there are different opinions about this syllabus related to the
relationship between skill instruction ad general language proficiency. One side
believes that skill based syllabus will be helpful because someone learns language

specifically. But other side said that this syllabus will limit some ones general
language proficiency.
1. Skill-based instruction is most appropriate when learners need specific skills, and
especially when these skills are well-defined and the learners have little need for
global language ability.
2. Skill-based instruction is probably more appropriate for adults that for children, for
whom emphasis on concrete content is more appropriate.
3. Skill-based instruction is not appropriate, in large amount, at least, for general
purpose or beginning level language programs in which the need of the learners are
broad or yet to be defined.
4. In such case, focusing on narrow skill-based applications will take instructional time
away from content that is more likely to address their need for overall language