Review of Book

Title : Language Curriculum Design
Writer : I.S.P. Nation and John Macalister
Publisher : New York: Routledge of the Taylor & Francis Group. 2010
Pages : 224 pages

Dzur Rif’ah Mahmudah/12B01124/C
Graduate Program
State University of Makassar

Curriculum Design is the way to improve teaching, of course always in benefit
of the student. Curriculum design involves the integration of knowledge from many
of the areas in the field of Applied Linguistics, such as language acquisition research,
teaching methodology, assessment, language description, and materials production.
Both writers of this book describe how to design a curriculum which involve several
steps and also describe plenty of examples of actual application of the steps.

This book presents three big notions of language curriculum design. Chapter 1
provides an overview of Chapter 2 to 8 which are the major steps in the curriculum
design process. Chapter 9 describes several ways in which these steps can be
covered. Chapter 10 to 14 take up important issues in curriculum design, choosing
and modifying course books, innovation theory, retraining teachers, and helping
teachers and learners make use of a course. The composition of this book is very clear
and gives detail information not only about the major steps to design curriculum
theoretically and several alternative ways that can be covered, but also describes
plenty of examples of actual application empirically.
In the chapter 1, the writers begin the key concept by provides an overview of
chapter 2 to 8 which involve the major steps in the curriculum design process in circle
form. The circle consists of three outside circles (principles, environment, and needs)
and a subdivided inner circle (goal as its center). In this first chapter of this book, the
writers only explain focus on a different part of the model and in the second to eighth
chapter; the writers explain details about it. Chapter 2 to 8 of this book examine each
of the parts of curriculum design process: environment analysis, needs analysis, and
principles (outer circle); goals, content, and sequencing; format and presentation;
monitoring and assessment (inner circle); and evaluation. The writers said that
environment analysis considering the factors of the situation in which the course will
be used and determining how the course should take account of them. Need analysis
considering the present proficiency, future needs and wants of the learners. The
application of principles involves first of all deciding on the most important
principles to apply and monitoring their application through the whole design
process. The important thing from this part is that result of applying principles is a
course where learning is given the greatest support. So, the outer circle becomes a
basic part of curriculum design process and support to conduct inner circle design.
The last, evaluation can involve looking at every aspect of a course to judge if the
course is an adequate and where it needs improvement.
In chapter 9, the writers explain sharply the process of designing curriculum. They
serve two considerations in designing new curriculum. Firstly, the designers and the teachers
have to determine the starting point for the curriculum design process. Secondly, the
designers and the teachers should know the curriculum design models they will apply. This
notion related to the first notion in which the writers explain the part of curriculum
design process and then it continues to the way of designing new curriculum. So, the
coherence and cohesion of the book content are keeping in touch each other.
The last is the third notion in chapter 10 to 14. The writers here explain deeply
about the important issues related to language curriculum design process in
implementation. Start from how the teacher and the learners invoked in working
together to make decisions at many of the parts of the curriculum design process –designing
syllabus. Then continue to decide what books are suitable to be used by adopting,
adapting, and evaluating. Other issue that is also related to language curriculum
design process is curriculum change. The change of curriculum can occur because of
there is change occur in an educational system. In this issue, the writers offer the
strategy of changing process –innovation. The issue also coming from the planning an
in-service course such as work shop for teacher. This planning uses the processes of
curriculum design to conduct it.

As the review above, I as reviewer can conclude that the content of this book
has three big notions in which explain deeply, coherently, and cohesively. But, in this
book there is one chapter that is not suitable in setting. The chapter is chapter 14, the
last chapter of this book, which contains about the process of design the curriculum.
How the teacher and the learners engage in the curriculum design process. Actually,
this explanation should have been included in the second big notion not in the third
which consist of the issues in design curriculum process.