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Syllabus Development and Programming Language Levels Guidelines

Scarino, Angela
Australian National Curriculum Resource Centre, Adelaide

Syllabus Design
David Nunan
Oxford University Press, 1988

Compiledas one of the Groups Duties Required in Following the Syllabus

Development Lecture, By:
Yudha Pratama Novarizal : 1502050204
Aina Kalisa Srg : 1502050210
Siti Khadijah daulay : 1502050211
Novia Sepbrina : 1502050212
Afandi Raja Gabe Panggabean : 1502050240
Adelia Ramadhani : 1502050247
Mifta Huljannah : 1502050251
Arif Gustian Zulmi : 1502050259

Faculty of Teaching Training and Education

Muhammadiyah University of North Sumatera

Praise and gratitude we thank God Almighty for blessing and grace so that
we are still given the opportunity to complete this review with a critical book
titled Syllabus Development and Programming Language Levels Guidelines
& Syllabus Design Critical book review we created to meet the completion of
tasks in the course of development of the syllabus, hopefully this critical book
review can add insight and knowledge for the readers.
In the critical writing of this book review , we certainly can not solve it
ourselves without the help of others. Therefore, we would like to thank the
lecturer, Ibu Hj. Darmawati, S.Pd.,M.Pd. We realize that critical book riview are
still far from perfect word because there are still many short comings. Therefore,
we are humbly apologizing and expecting constructive criticism and suggestions
for improvement and refinement in the future. Last but not least, we wish to read
and hope that the material in critical book review in the form of this paper can be
useful as it should for the readers.

Group 4




Author : Scarino, Angela
Title : Syllabus Development and Programming
Institution :Australian National Curriculum Resource Centre,
Report No : ISBN -0-642-53268-2
Pub Update : 88
Note : 164p.; For Related Documents, see FL 019 315-
Pub Type : Guides-Classroom Use-Teaching Guides
Edrs Price : MF01/ PC07 Plus Postage
Descriptions : Class Activities; Classroom Techniques; *Course
Course Content; *Course Organization; Curriculum
Design; Curriculum Development; Elementary
Secondary Education; Foreign Countries; Program
Design; Second Languange Program; State
Standards; Student Centered Curriculum
Identifiers : Australia; Australia Languange Levels Project

A syllabus is that part of the curriculum jigsaw which describes the
content (goals, objectives, and activities) of the learning. Given that it will
be used as a plan to guide the teaching/learning process, it is necessary for
it to include a general statement on method, resources, assessment, and
evaluation, which shows how the syllabus relates to the other components
of the curriculum jigsaw. At the classroom level, the syllabus is interpreted
and deve'ved in greater detail into a program of work, which takes account
of the particular learner group and the context in which the teaching and
learning occur.


The ALL syllabus guidelines provide a common framework for the

development of syllabuses at all levels of schooling in all languages. They
are designed to embrace that which is common to all languages and all
learners. Commonality is established through an organizational base
applicable to all Stages.
The ALL syllabus guidelinesn are sufficiently flexible to allow those
developing syllabuses in a specific language to focus on the content which
reflects the aspirations of the broad learner group for whom the syllabuses
are intended, as well as the sociocultural uses to which the language is
likely to be put. The components of an ALL syllabus and the ,relationship
which exists between them, are depicted in Diagram 2. The components
comprise a statement of goals and objectives, suggested activities through
which the goals and objectives are achieved, and a description of specific
content. A general statement on method, resources, assessment, and
evaluation describes the way in which the syllabus content is activated in
the classroom.
In Australia, syllabus development may proceed at a system, school, or
class-room level depending on the curriculum development policies and
practices which prevail in the state or territory in question. The syllabus
development guidelines presented in this book describe not only the
components but also the processes of syllabus development. They are
designed to be used by syllabus writers developing syllabuses in a specific
language at a system level, as well as by classroom teachers who are
responsible for developing syllabuses for use within their school for
learners of a particular language.

Syllabus Organisation and Content

A Description of the Stage : The Framework of Stages and its rationale are
discussed in Book 1. The ALL Project proposes that:

Syllabus content (goals, objectives, and activities) at each Stage should

derive from common syllabus guidelines based on common principles
of teaching and earning (see Book 1).

Such common syllabus guidelines should attempt to embrace what is

common to all languages and learners, but leave room for teachers of a
particular language to set out the goals, objectives, and activities which
reflect the needs and aspirations of the learners and the sociocultural
uses to which the language is likely to be put.

Stages should place comparable demands on learners of different

languages, though the objectives and activities of each Stage in each
language need not be identical.

The Activitles-Based Syllabus

A syllabus based on ALL Guidelines is an activities-based syllabus in
which the activity is seen as the central unitof teaching and learning, and
the activity-type as the central organising unit for syllabus design. The
term 'activity' is defmed as follows: An activiq involves the purposeful and
active use of language where learners are required to call upon their
language resource to meet the needs of a given communicative situation.
Using the activity as the central unit of teaching and learning promotes
communication in the target language; the focus in activities is on the
purposeful and active use of language rather than on the display or practice
of language forms. This approach is implicit in two of the principles
derloped by the Project to guide the teaching/learning process . These
principles state that:
1. Learners learn a language best when they are provided with
opportunities to participate in communicative use of the target
language in a wide range of activities.

2. Learners learn a language best when they are exposed to

communicative data which is comprehensible and relevant to their own
needs and interests.

The Activity-Type As The Organising Unit Of Syllabus Design

Language syllabuses have traditionally been organised on the basis of
discrete components of language. These have included:
1. Grammatical syllabuses centred around items such as tenses, articles,
singular/ plural, complementation, adverbial forms, etc.
2. Notional (or semantico-notional) syllabuses centred around notions
('units of meaning') and generally organised around themes relating to
broad concepts such as time, space, obligation, etc. (Wilkins 1976).
3. Functional syllabuses focused on the social functions of language as
the central unit of organisation, and concerned with such elements as
invitations, suggestions, apologies, refusals, etc. (Wilkins 1976).

Modes Of Language Use

The three broad dimensions will involve learners in using language in
several 'modes' (the four macro-skills: listening, speaking, reading, and
writing, and combinations of these). Activities occurring within the three
broad dimensions of language use can be said to employ six modes of
language use:
1. conversation (including telephoning) in order to establish and maintain
interpersonal relations.
2. correspondence (including writing messages) in order to establish and
maintain interpersonal relations.
3. listening to and/or reading data from public sources for information
and/or pleasure (this may involve subsequent reproduction of the data
e.g. by summarising it, by translating it into English, or by discussing
it with others in spoken or written form).
4. giving information in speech or writing in a public form (e.g. giving a
short talk, or writing a report)

5. listening to and/or reading or viewing, and responding personally to a

stimulus (e.g. stories, plays, films, songs, poems, pictures, etc.)
6. speaking and/or writing in an imaginative way (e.g. poems, songs,
short stories, etc.).

Guidelines For Grading Syllabus Content Through Activities

The term 'grading' refers to the decisions made regarding which activities
and exercises should precede or follow others. Until recently, grading in
language syllabuses has usually meant grading components of the
language. Befom considering the case for a global approach to grading, the
criteria on which grading has traditionally been based will be examined
briefly. In grammar-based syllabuses, grading was based on the sequence
in which Latin grammar was taught. This process was transferred to the
grammar of other languages, the elements of which were then sequenced
as closely as possible to the Latin formula. Learners were expected to
master the grammatical elements and the rules and paradigms on which
they were based, one after the other from lesson to lesson.
More recently, frequency of use and availability in the mind of the fluent
background-speaker were added as criteria to assist in the selection and
grading of vocabulary and grammar (e.g. Coste et a). 1976). Those items
that appeared most frequently in the samples of language collected, and
those language items that were most available in the minds of fluent
background-speakers when certain themes and topics were mentioned,
were to be taught before the less frequent and less available ones.
Additional criteria such as coverage (the extent to which a word or pattern
can cover a number of meanings), combinability (the extent to which a
word can be usefully combined with others), and learnability (the extent to
which learners can internalise particular forms) 'were also seen as useful
criteria in selection and grading.

Factors relating to the activity

1. Predictability
Activities in which the language is predictable(that isEwhere some
contextual support is available to assist learners to understand or be
understood) are simpler than activities which contain no such
predictability. When learners are able to refer to concrete things in
their immediate environment to support meaning, what they say,hear,
read, and/or write becomes more predictable.
For example, learners bringing their work to the teacher for comment
need little further language to convey to the teacher that they would
like some help withwhat they are doing. Similarly, a group oflearners
making a collage together with the help of a visitor from the target
language community, will not need much language to have the visitor
pass them the glue and scissors that they need. They will be able to
point and make a simple, predictable request. In such situations, the
language used is closely defined and concrete. Activities become more
complex when predictability is lessened because fewer clues are
available in the immediate environment.
2. Static and dynamic descriptions Crookes (1986) reports that
researchers have found that activities are easier when the speaker has
to describe or understand static, unchanging events (such as a picture,
or a situation) as opposed to dynamic events and activities (such as a
football match, or a narrative account).
3. Experientially known and experientially new Learners find activities
easier when the language used, the activity itself, or the information
contained within the activity, is familiar to them or relates to
experiences that they recognise.
4. Sociocultural spec(ficity If an activity presupposes an understandingof
certain aspects of the target culture and an ability to apply this
understanding, learners will fmd the activity difficult if these aspects
are new to them. This feature is generally less applicable to
backgroundspeakers, though it ought not to be assumed that all

background-speakers are familiar with all aspects of the target culture.

Nor should it be assumed that the target culture as it applies to a target
language community in Australia and the culture ofthe country of
origin, are identical.
5. Level of support If learners can draw support from someone or
something else in an activity, the activity is easier than when no such
support is available (e.g. where a sympathetic interlocutor is there to
help, where a dictionary or glossary is available, or where questions
are so phrased as to assist learners to find the answers, etc.)
6. Level of linguistic processing When the spoken or written text to be
understood is easy to process linguistically, an activity is likely to be
.asier than when it is not.
7. Level of cognitive demand Where there is little cognitive demand on
learners, an activity is likely to be easier than when a high level of
thought has to be applied to solve a problem.
8. Other characteristics of the activity An activity with few participants is
likely to be easier than an activity involving several people. The
number of steps needed to complete an activity will also affect its
difficulty. The term 'looping' refers to the insertion of additional steps
into an activity according to the ability of the learner(s) to cope with
the previous step or loop. Beginners can be expected to remain within
the range ot basic linguistic exchanges, whereas more advanced
learners can be expected to cope with an increasing amount of
unpredictability and a variety of responses as they proceed through the
activity. Diagram 7 depicts a flow chart which illustrates how a
number of loops are possible in a conversation between two people.

Factors Relating To The Learners:

Nunan (1987) poses a number of questions related to learner factors in
order to guide the grading of activities:
confident does the learner have to be to carry out the task? Does the
learner have the necessary level of comidence?

Motivation How motivating is the task?

Prior learning experience Does the activity assume familiarity with
certain knowledge and learning skills?
Does the learner's prior learning experience provide the necessary
knowledge and learning skills/strategies to carry out the activity?
Learning pace How much learning material has the learner shown
that he/she is capable of handling?
Is the activity broken down into manageable parts?
Observed ability in language skills What is the learner's assessed
ability in the skills concerned?
Does this assessment conform to his/her observed behaviour in class?
In the light of the teacher's assessment, what overall level of
performance can reasonably be expected?
Cultural knowledge/awareness Does the activity assume cultural
If so, can the learner be expected to have it?
Does the activity assume knowledge of a particular subject?
Linguistic knowledge How much linguistic knowledge does the
learner have?
What linguistic knowledge is assumed by the activity

Each step is elaborated below. Suggestions for alternative sequences are

provided at the end of this section:
Step 1 : Determine the appropriate Stage/or the learnergroup Although a
syllabus may be written to cover a complete Stage, it is also possible that a
system or a school might choose to develop more than one syllabus to
cover an individual Stage.
Step 2 : Write a statement on the broad goals of language learning A
statement of broad goals wili serve as an orientation to readers and users of
the syllabus.
Step 3 : Determine specific goals for the particular language and the
particular learner group Once the appropriate Stage has been established,

the characteristics of the learners should be considered (see earlier section

on Learner characteristics influencing syllabus content at dfferent Stages).
With these characteristics in mind, syllabus writers should refer to Table I
to determine the specific goals for the syllabus. Syllabus writers will need
to decide how much emphasis will be placed on each of the
communication goals described. This is likely to differ from Stage to
Stage, and from language to language. Syllabus writers will also need to
make appropriate refinements and extensions to the sociocultural,
learning-how-to-learn, and language and cultural awareness goals
suggested for the Stage.

The syllabus provides teachers with suggested goals, objectives, and
activities for a broad group of learners within a specified Stage. Teachers
use thesyllabus as a guide when selecting, organising, and recording in
detail in a program the learning experiences for a particular group of
learners. A program can be dermed as a description of the planned learning
of a class, a woup, or an individual learner over a specified period of time.
A program also stands as a record of the learning which takes place. It will
include a statement of what will be learned, and how, as well as details of
resources to be used, and assessment and evaluation procedures.
Programming is a process which enables teachers to present their subject
to its best advantage in a way that is relevant, ordered, and developmental
for the learner.

Philosophical rationale for programming
A program which is thoughtfully, carefully, and professionally prepared
will benefit the teacher and the learners as individuals, and as partners in
the learning process. As far as teachers are concerned, such a program:
will reflect their theory about how learners learn will help to clarify and
expand their thinking about the languages curriculum will assist them to

integrate the various components of the curriculum jigsaw will help them
to gain in confidence because of the program's direction and clarity of
purpose will contribute to their professional development can provide
accountable evidence ofgood practices.

Organisational Rationale For Programming

A program which is thoughtfully, carefully, and professionally prepared:
puts the syllabus into a time-frame provides both teachers and learners
with a means of ensuring that goals and objectives are achieved, both by
the class as a whole, and by individual learners within the class
Provides a continuing record of language, knowledge, skills, and concepts
developed is an accountable record of the learning activities of a class, and
a means whereby a faculty or a school administration can evaluate its
curriculum is essential for good classroom management and organisation
can be a model for supervisory work for beginning or relieving teachers.

Factors to be considered
Programming involves making decisions about classroom learning which
are fundamental to the kind of program which is to be developed.

Factors relating to context

The school language policy Policies will differ from school to school, but
in general, they will all express beliefs and assumptions about what
language is and how it is learnt, and they will also consider the question of
the development of individual learners and their different and changing

Factors relating to the underlying philosophy of learning

The eight principles of language learning These principles (see Book 1)
are fundamental to the planning of a language program based on the ALL
Guidelines. The principles remind teachers of the learning conditions
under which learners best learn a language.

The activity as the central unit gr teaching and learning If the best
learning conditions are le created for learners, teachers need to plan
activities and exercises (see earlie.. ction on The activities-based syllabus).

Developing a program
Programming will involve close reference to the syllabus. The program
will differ from the syllabus in that it will relate closely to the planned
learning of a particular group of learners, and will contain details of
method, resources, assessment, and evaluation. The program will begin
with a general overview of the planned learning for the specified period of
time. It will then focus increasingly on the more concrete or specific
aspects of the work to be covered as it becomes more detailed. Long-term
and short-term programs will differ only in the time-span for which the
planning is carried out and in the amount of detail they contain.

Programming tools
The following are offered as suggestions forplanning activities and short-
term units of work:
Focus wheel A tool for short-term programming is the focus wheel
(Diagram 10). The focus wheel outlines on one sheet all of the various
elements that need to be considered in programming, and at the same time
demonstrates how all of the elements are interrelated. The focus wheel can
be filled in accordance with the programming procedure already outlined.
Planning sheet The planning sheet in Table 5 contains the
sameinformation as the 'focus wheel', but it is set out as a table rathe than
as a wheel.

Planning web
The format of a planning web is provided in Diagram 1 1. The planning
web can be used in the following ways:

To develop objectives and activities related to an organisational focus

(before writing them into a program).
To elaborate from a planned program where the relationship between
objectives, activities, and exercises might not be stated closely enough
for planning purposes. The planning web will assist teachers to
determine the relationship and to make it explicit.
To prepare part of a unit of work. If the goals, objectives, activities,
exercises, and resources for a unit are set out in this way, it is
important that statements of method, assessment, and evaluation also
be included.

Language Exponents
The term 'language exponents' refers to the actual forms that may be used
to realize a particular meaning. Thus, for example, the function 'to ask for
information' may be realized in English by the language exponent 'Can
you Please tell me . . .?' The function `to make a suggestion' may be
realized by the language exponent 'Why don't you try . . .?'
To set out language exponents related to particular meanings is, of course,
a language-specific matter. In order to see how this has been done for
French and German in a school context, it may b.:. helpful to consult Clark
and Hamilton, Parts 2 and 3 (1984), which are based on the Council of
Europe's worth( on threshold levels (e.g .Van Ek 1975 and 1977, Coste et
al. 1976). Whether it is sensible to set out such lists of defamed
language exponents related to particular meanings is question to which
there seems to be no simple answer. If language exponents are set out in
advance of the teaching learning process, there is a suggestion that these
are in some sense the 'right' ones to teach. This may have dangerous
consequences, since it leads learners (and teachers) to believe that such
exponents are the only ways of realising the particular meanings, and that
there are no other ways of communicating them. There are very few
simple one-to-one relationships between lan- guage exponents and the
meanings that they can realise. Because teachers often express the wish for

guidance as to which language exponents to teach at which Stages,

however, it seems helpful to list which language ex- ponents might be
taught in the earlier Stages. The selection and grading of such exponents
would be based on criteria such as:
Are they useful? (do they seem to cover the meanings most useful to
the learner?)
Can they be generalized? (do they seem to fit the greatest number of
Are they easy to learn? (in terms of what is known about the stages of
Are they used frequently? (do they seem to cover the meanings likely
to be most often met by learners?)
Are they the language that would normally be used? (are they
fundamental for a particular activity?).

It remains sensible for syllabus writers to attempt to set out a grammar for
each Stage. They need to keep in mind, however, that there will be a wide
difference between a receptive grammar and a productive grammar. A
description of the projected study of grammar should take some account of
the evidence emerging from studies of interlanguage development
(Johnston 1985). This description would provide teachers with suggestions
as to what grammar to focus upon deliberately at each Stage.
Grammar remains an essential focus of attention in every Stage, since it is
this that gives language its generative capacity. Setting out an appropriate
grammar for each Stage, however, is a language-specific issue.
The grammar that is set out should be based to some extent on the most
appropriate ways of expressing the functions and notions established for a
particular Stage, starting in the beginning Stages with the most simple an
general sable patterns, and moving in Iiitc; Stages to more complex ones.
In many languages, for example, it is not necessary in the beginning Stages
to focus learners' attention on inverted interrogative patterns for asking

questions or making requests. These functions can often be realised in

statement form with rising intonation, reflecting the strategy often used by
untutored second language learners. The following list provides teachers
and syllabus writers with a guide for determining the grammatical content
of their syllabus. Syllabus writers should also refer to the grading criteria
set out earlier in this book in Guidelines for grading syllabus content
through activities.

The following is a list of language universals that should be considered:

Basic word order
The verb group
Verb markers and noun phrase relationships
Grammatical elements used to express notions of
Cause, effect, change, and sequence
Sentence construction in speech and in writing
Cohesive devices (see appendi commonfeatures of textual cohesion)
Markers indicating modality (e.g. Possibility, likeli-hood)
Elements essential for word meaning relationships culturally based
conventions of speech and writing
Style variation related to social relationships
(Adapted from Rado in VCAB Field of Study Design (LOTE), 1987).

As is the case with language exponents, it is probably counterproductive to
attempt to set out a vocabulary beyond the early Stages, in which
vocabulary can be related to the themes and topics likely to arise within the
activities suggested. Beyond the early Stages, vocabulary is difficult to
predict, and it becomes more a function of the resources used, of learners'
interests, and of activities, rather than of the syllabus itself. Any list of
vocabulary provided in a syllabus ought not to be the sole determinant of
the texts that are used, nor of the classroom activities that are undertaken.

Phonological and graphological features

It is likely that an almost complete set of phonological features in the
target language will be met in the very first Stage of a course. Mastery of
such features by non- background learners is usually a gradual process
which represents a restructuring of first language habits towards the
conventions of the target language. Nearly all languages contain particular
phonological features which can cause difficulties to speakers of certain
otherlanguages (e.g. tones in certain Asian languages will cause a degree
of difficulty for all learners whose dominant language is non-tonal).
Where applicable, it may be helpful for syllabus writers to indicate such
features, so that an appropriate focus of attention can be placed on them.

Skills and Strategies Related To The Learning-How-To-Learn Goals

Cognitive Processing Skills

These enable learners to understand and share values, attitudes, and
feelings; process information, and think and respond creatively.

They include the ability to:

Recall and evaluate concepts and generalisations
From personal experiences:
Share ideas
Illustrate knowledge and values

Understand and express their own feelings and opinions

Analyses, clarify, and develop values:
Identify and understand feelings and opinions of others
Examine the consequences of acting upon a particular feeling or
Take action:
Apply knowledge and values
Identify with people, ideas, and events

Use their imagination:

Think and respond creatively
Develop strategies to internalize new language:
Use mnemonic devices
Order and categories
Compare and contrast
Evaluate usefulness of strategies, choosing this most effective for
Analyses and judge meaning in a text and apply this understanding to
their own written and spoken language:
Recognise text-types and likely function(s) of a text
Recognise appropriateness recognise specific
Distinguish between fantasy, fact, and opinion recognize
Recognise bias, reliability, truthfulness, and
validity of information given
Make hypotheses and generalisations from specific data, test these out,
and reformulate them if necessary
Draw conclusions, using given information
Recognise relationships in a text, 9nd apply this knowledge to their
own spoken and written lang-uage:
Identify relationship(s) of various parts of a sentence
Distinguish important facts and ideas from sup-porting detail
Identify main ideas
Identify sequences
Identify cause and effect
Identify relationship(s) of parts of a text by recognising
referenc markers, discours markers, chronolo&al sequences, etc.
develop ideas logically and cohesively
Develop and modify concepts:
Compare and contrast data
Order and categorise data

Choose appropriate labels for categories analyses

concepts in the light of new data
Generate questions
Build on others' ideas

Suggested Organizational Focuses

Themes and Topics

The use of themes, like the use of other organisational focuses (e.g. skills,
genres, texts), is a means whereby activities can be drawn together under a
common umbrella of reference, rather than being presented as a series of
unrelated learning experiences. Syllabusef which provide a considerable
amount of detail regarding syllabus content, may prescribe or suggest
particular themes and topics and/or other organisational focuses. A theme
may be related to the conceptual content (e.g. Animals that live under the
sea, Holidays), or it may be related to a situation (e.g. At the post office,
Themes and topics should not predominate so much that they become the
principle around which a syllabus is developed. Syllabus and program
organisation should begin with the carefill specification of goals and

Other Focuses
It is less feasible to provide lists within other organisational focuses (e.g.
skills, genres, texts, projects, etc.) since these may be chosen from an
unlimited range of possibilities within each focus area. Choices will be
made at a language-specific level according to the needs of a particular
learner group.

Statements Of Syllabus Content For Each Stage

The descriptions which follow represent suggested syllabus content for
each Stage. These suggestions should not be seen as prescriptive but rather
as possible language areas on which teachers, syllabus writers, and those
involved in the production of language learning materials can draw. The
objectives, activities, contexts, roles, relationships, themes, topics,
functions, and general notions listed do not constitute a rigidly dermed
language syllabus, nor is a specific sequence implied. In all syllabuses and
programs of work, syllabus writers and teachers will need to allow for
additional content arising from negotiation with learners
The syllabus content provided foreach Stage (except Stage 5) takes the
following form:
Suggested objectives and activities for each activity-type (i.e. focus on
communication goals)
Suggested spec(fic goals, objectives and activities for each of the
following focuses:
Sociocultural Goals
Learning-How-To-Learn Goals
Language And Cultural Awareness Goals
Checklists of likely functions and general notions, suggested contexts,
roles, relationships, themes, topics, grammatical areos, modes of
communication, and text-types

The syllabus content provided for Stage 5 takes the following form :
Component 1: Continuing developmentof learners' language resource,
based on work done in previous Stages
Component 2: Some suggested options (suggested specific goals,
objectives, organisational focuses, and suggested activities are
provided for each option)

Statement Of Suggested Syllabus Content For Stages AC

The statements of suggested syllabus content for Stages A and C are
combined. Learners at Stages A and C are not viewed as two distinct
groups, but rather as a continuum of learners ranging from those with no
previous background in the language (Stage A), to those who have been
exposed only to the target language(Stage C). The following diagram
depicts some of the possible backgrounds from which these learners might

Statement Of Suggested Syllabus Content For Stages B D

The statements of suggested syllabus content for Stages B and D are
combined. Learners at Stages B and D are not viewed as two distinct
groups, but rather as a continuum of learners ranging from those with no
previous background in the language (Stage B), to those who have been
exposed only to the target language (Stage D). The following diagram
depicts some of the possible backgrounds from which these learners might

Statement of Suggested Syllabus Content for Stage 1

This statement provides suggested syllabus content for learners in Stage 1:
upper primary/junior secondary/middle secondary learners with little or no
previous contact with the target language Learners at this Stage will differ
in age and level of schooling. This will influence the choice of objectives
and activities in a syllabus prepared specifically for learners of a particular
age or at a particular level of schooling. The implications for teachers and
syllabus writers are as follows:
The choice of themes and topics will depead on differences in
learners' interests.
the choice of activities to develop skills will depend on differences in
learners' skill development (e.g. Literacy skills, research skills, etc.)
the choice of subject matter, tailored to learners' intellectual level,
will depend on differences in conceptual development and experience.

The descriptions of learner characteristics influencing the content of

Sages, (see earlier section in this book, Learner characteristics influencing
syllabus content at decrent Stages ) provide further information to assist
teachers and syllabus writers to develop appropriate content for the
particular group(s) of learners within the Stage.

Statement of Suggested Syllabus Content for Stage 2

This statement provides suggested syllabus content for learners in Stage 2:
Upper primary/junior secondary language learners with a school
background in the target language throughout primary school
Middle secondary second language learners with a school background
in the target language in upper primary/junior secondary (stage 1)
senior secondary second language learners with a background in the
target language at
Senior secondary (stage 1)
The three broad groups of language learners outlined above differ in age
and level of schooling and previous experience of the target language.
These differences will influence the choice of objectives and activities in a
syllabus prepared specifically for any one of these three groups. The
implications for teachers and syllabus writers are as follows.

Implications with regard to differences in age and level of schooling:

The choice of themes and topics will depend on differences in
learners' interests
The choice of activities to develop skills will depend on differences in
learners' skills development (e.g. Literacy skills, research skills, etc.)
The choice of subject matter, tailored to learners' intellectual level,
will depend on differences in conceptual development and experience

Implications with regard to differences in previous experience of the target

Differences will exist among learner groups at Stage 2 in terms of previous
experience (or 'time on task') in the target language. This will have
implications for the selection of content for each group. As in any
syllabus, the objectives and activities which are selected/created should be
appropriate to the learners' previous experience of the target language, and
provide all learners with opportunities which challenge and broaden their
capacity to use the language successfully.

Statement of Suggested Syllabus Content for Stage 3

This statement provides suggested syllabus content for learners in Stage 3:
Upper primary/junior secondary background-speakers who have
completed Stages C and D second language learners with a school
background in the target language
Middle secondary learners (having begun in junior or middle primary)
Senior secondary learners (having begun in junior secondary) senior
secondary learners who have completed senior secondary Stages 1 and

The four broad groups of language learners outlined above differ in age
and level of schooling and previous experience of the target language.
These differences will influence the choice of objectives and activities in a
syllabus prepared specifically for any one of these four groups.
The implications for teachers and syllabus writers are as follows.
Implications with regard to differences in age and level of schooling:
The choice of themes and topics will depend on differences in learners'
The choice of activities to develop skills will depend on differences in
learners' skill development (e.g. Literacy skills, research skills, etc.)

The choice of subject matter, tailored to learners' intellectual level, will

depend on differences in conceptual development and experience
implications with regard to

Differences in previous experience of the target language:

Differences in home background in the target language Learners who have
a home background in the target language are likely to have a range of
experience of both the language and its culture; learners' experience may
range from occasional language contact with relatives to total use of the
target language at home. Learners who have a home background in the
language will generally be able to engage in activities which:
Require learners to use the language in a wider range of contexts, and
for a wider range of purposes.
Require a greater productive capacity.
Require less selective language use on the part of the teacher and other
speakers enable them to take full advantage of the family and the local
target language community as a resource.

Differences in previous experience of the target language (lime on

Differences will exist among learner groups at Stage 3 in terms of previous
experiences or 'time on task' in the target language. This will have
implications for the selection of content for each group. As in any
syllabus, the objectives and activities which are selected should be
appropriate to the learners' previous experience of the target language, and
provide all learners with opportunities which challenge and broaden their
capacity to use the language successfully.

Statement of Suggested Syllabus Content for Stage 4

This statement provides suggested syllabus content for learners in Stage 4:
Middle secondary background-speakers with a school background in
the target language from the beginning of primary school
Senior secondary second language learners with a school background
in the target language from the beginning of primary school
senior secondary second langr age learners with a school background
in the target language from the beginning of secondary school
The three broad groups of language learners outlined above differ in age
and level of schooling and previous experience of the target language.
These differences will influence the choice of objectives and activities in a
syllabus prepared specifically for any one of these three groups. The
implications for teachers and syllabus writers are as follows.
Implications with regard to differences in age and level of schooling:
The choice of themes and topics will depend on differences in
learners' interests
The choice of activities to develop skills will depend on differences
in learners' skill development (e.g. Literacy skills, research skills,
The choice of subject matter, tailored to learners' intellectual level,
will depend on differences in conceptual development and
Implications with regard to differences in previous experience of the
target language:

Differences in home background in the target language

Learners who have a home background in the target language are likely to
have a range of experience of both the language and its culture; learners'
experience may range from occasional language contact with relatives to
total use of the target language at home. Learners who have a home
background in the target language will generally be able to engage in
activities which:

Require them to use the language in a wider range of contexts, and for
a wider range of purposes
Require a greater productive capacity
Require less selective language use on the part of the teacher and other
speakers enable them to take full advantage of the family and the local
target language community as a resource.

Differences in previous experience of the target language ('ame on task')

Differences will exist among learner groups at Stage 4 in terms of previous
experiences or 'time on task' in the target language. This will have
implications for the selection of content for each group. As in any
syllabus, the objectives and activities which are selected shouldbe
appropriate to the learners' previous experience of the target language, and
provideall learners with opportunities which challenge and broaden their
capaciv to use the language successfully.

Statement of Suggested Syllabus Content for Stage 5

Stage 5 is intended for senior secondary learners (background-speakers
and second language learners) who have a school background in the target
language from the beginning of primary school.
The goals, suggested objectives, and activities outlined for Stages 1-4 are
assumed as the basis of language learning at Stage 5. At this Stage there
are two mskjor components; in the first component learners continue to
work towards expanding and refming their language resource and their
ability to use it within the five broad goals and six activity-types.
The second component is designed to encourage learners to use their
language resource in special interest areas, and vocational or cross-
curricular studies. This is achieved through a series of options, which also
embrace the five broad goals and six activity-types. The options enable
learners to fine-tune their study skills, as well as develop their productive
skills in different genres.

This Stage provides a worthwhile course for those learners who have a
general interest in the target language as well as those learners who wish to
study the target language for specialist purposes (e.g. business studies,
interpreting and translating, etc.).
Learners extend and ref-me their language resource and their ability to use
it through an integrated program involving the five broad goals:
communication, sociocultural, learning-how-to-learn, language and
cultural awareness, and general knowledge. They engage in a range of
activities covering all six activity-types and all modes of communication
(see Table 3, Table of Language Use).


Author : David Nunan

Title : Syllabus Design
Institution : Oxford University
Report No : ISBN 0194371395
Pub Update : 88
Pub Type : Language Teaching: A Scheme for Teacher
Editors : C N Candlin and H G Widdowson


1. The Scope of Syllabus Design

Candlin ( 1984) suggests thar curricula are concerned with making
general srarements abour language learning, learning purpose and
experience, evaluarion, and the role relarionships of teachers and
learners. According to Candlin, rhey will also contain banks of
learning items and suggestions about how these mighr be used in

1.2. A General Curriculum Model

It is possible to srudy 'the curriculum' of an educational institution
from a number of different perspectives. In the first instance we can
look at curriculum planning, that is at decision making, in relation to
identifying learners' needs and purposes; establishing goals and
objectives; selecting and grading content; organizing appropriate
learning arrangements and learner groupings; selecting, adapting, or
developing appropriate materials, learning tasks,. and assessment and
evaluation tools.

1.3. Defining Syllabus

The narrow view draws a clear distinction between syllabus design and
methodology. Syllabus design is seen as being concerned essentially
with the selection and grading of content, while methodology is
concerned with the selection of learning tasks and activities. Those
who adopt a broader view question this strict separation, arguing that
with the advent of communicative language teaching the distinction
between content and tasks is difficult to sustain.

1.4. The Role of the Classroom Teacher

In a recent book dealing, among other things, with syllabus design
issues, Bell ( 1983) claims that teachers are, in the main, consumers of
other people's syllabuses; in other words, that their role is to implement
the plans of applied linguists, government agencies, and so on. While
some teachers have a relatively free hand in designing the syllabuses
on which their teaching programmes are based, most are likely to be,
as Bell suggests, consumers of other people's syllabuses.

2. Points of Departure

2.1. Introduction
If we had consensus on just what it was that we were supposed to teach
in order for learners to develop proficiency in a second or foreign
language; if we knew a great deal more than we do about language
learning; if it were possible to teach the totality of a given language,
and if we had complete descriptions of the target language, problems
associated with selecting and sequencing content and learning
experiences would be relatively straightforward. As it happens, there is
not a great deal of agreement within the teaching profession on the
nature of language and language learning. As a consequence, we must
make judgements in selecting syllabus components from all the

options which are available to us. As Breen (1984) points out, these
judgements are not value-free, but reflect our beliefs about the nature
of language and learning. In this and the other parts in this section, we
shall see how value judgements affect decision-making in syllabus

2.2. Basic Orientations

Syllabus designers focused, not only on language functions, but also
on experiential content (that is, the subject matter through which the
language is taught). In evaluating syllabus proposals, we have to
decide whether this view represents a fundamental change in
perspective, or whether those advocating process syllabuses have made
a category error; whether, in fact, they are really addressing
methodological rather than syllabus issues. This is something which
you will have to decide for yourself as you work through this book.

2.3. Learning Purpose

Assumptions about the learner's purpose in undertaking a language
course, as well as the syllabus designer's beliefs about the nature of
language and learning can have a marked influence on the shape of the
syllabus on which the course is based. Learners' purposes will vary
according to how specific they are, and how immediately learners wish
to employ their developing language skills. Broadly speaking, there are
two different types of needs analysis used by language syllabus
The first of these is learner analysis, while the second is task analysis.
Learner analysis is based on information about the learner. The central
question of concern to the syllabus designer is: 'For what purpose or
purposes is the learner learning the language?' There are many other
subsidiary questions, indeed it is possible to collect a wide range of
information as can be seen from the following data collection forms.

The second type of analysis, task analysis, is employed to specify and

categorize the language skills required to carry out real-world
communicative tasks, and often follows the learner analysis which
establishes the communicative purposes for which the learner wishes
to learn the language.
The most sophisticated application of needs analysis to language
syllabus design is to be found in the work of John Munby ( 1978) . The
mode l developed by Munby contains nine elements. According to
Munby, it is import ant for the syllabus designer to collect inform at
ion on each of these components:
1. Participant
2. Purposive domain
3. Setting
4. Interaction
5. Instrumentally
6. Dialect
7. Target level
8. Communicative event
9. Communicative key

Criticisms of early needs analysis work led to a change of emphasis,

with a greater focus on the collection and utilization of 'subjective'
information in syllabus design. This change in emphasis reflected a
trend towards a more humanistic 'approach to education in general.
Humanistic education is based on the belief that learners should have a
say in what they should be learning and how they should learn it, and
reflects the notion that education should be concerned with the
development of autonomy in the learner.
The approach to syllabus de sign promoted by Munby has led , in some
in stance s, to syllabuses with an arrow focus such as 'English for
Motor Mechanic s' and 'English for Biological Science '. The
assumption behind the development of some such syllabuses is that

there are certain aspects of language which are peculiar to the context s
in which it is used and the purposes for which it is used .

2.4. Learning Goals

Learning goals may be derived from a number of sources, including
task analysis, learner data, ministry of education specifications, and so
on. While we shall take into consideration a variety of goal types, the
focus will be principally on communicative goals. These are defined as
the general communicative activities in which the learners will engage
(or, in the case of foreign language learning, could potentially engage)
in real-world target language use.

3. Product-Oriented Syllabuses

3.1. Introduction
In 2, I drew a distinction between product-oriented and process-
oriented syllabuses. We saw that product syllabuses are those in which
the focus is on the knowledge and skills which learners should gain as
a result of instruction, while process syllabuses are those which focus
on the learning experiences themselves.

3.2. Analytic and Synthetic Syllabus Planning

It was Wilkins (1976) who first drew attention to the distinction
between synthetic and analytic syllabuses. He described the synthetic
approach in the following terms:
A synthetic language teaching strategy is one in which the different
parts of language are taught separately and step by step so that
acquisition is a process of gradual accumulation of parts until the
whole structure of language has been built up. ( Wilkins 1 976: 2)

3.3. Grammatical Syllabus

The most rigid grammatical syllabuses supposedly introduced one item
at a time and required mastery of that item before moving on to the
next. According to McDonough:
The transition from lesson to lesson is intended to enable material in
one lesson to prepare the ground for the next; and conversely for
material in the next to appear to grow out of the previous one.
(AJcDonough 1 981 : 2 1 )
One of the difficulties in designing grammatical 'chains' in which
discrete grammatical items are linked is that the links can be rather
tenuous. It is also difficult to isolate and present one discrete item at a
time, panicularly if one wants to provide some sort of context for the
language. In addition, evidence from second language acquisition
(SLA) research suggests that learning does not occur in this simple
additive fashion.

3.4. Criticizing Grammatical Syllabus

The wider view of language, focusing not only on linguistic structures,
but also on the communicative purposes for which language is used,
developed from insights provided by philosophers of language,
sociolinguists, and from other language-related disciplines. The
immediate reaction to such a wider view is to contemplate ways of
incorporating it into the language syllabus. Unfonunately, the
form/function disjunction makes the process of syllabus design much
more complex than it would have been had there been a neat one-to-
one form/function relationship. We shall look at the practical
difficulties of incorporating formal and functional elements into
syllabus design in Section Two.
Assuming the existence of stages of development, a logical step for
syllabus design might seem to be writing these stages directly into a

new syllabus. [i.e. ordering the syllabus in the same order in which
items occur in the learners' repertoire.] On the other hand, if learners
pass through developmental stages in a fixed sequence, then it might
seem equally lo.gical to disregard the question of how the syllabus is
written - at least as regards structure - since learners will organize this
aspect of learning for themselves. (johnston 1 985: 29)
Pienemann and Johnston use their speech-processing theory to explain
the order in which grammatical items are acquired. They suggest that
structures will be acquired in the following stages:
Stage 1
Single words and formulae.
Stage 2
Canonical or 'standard' word order, e.g. for English, Subject + Verb +
Stage 3
Initialization/ finalization. Final elements can be moved into initial
position or vice versa, e.g. words such as adverbs can be added to the
beginning or end of clauses.
Stage 4
Semi-internal permutation. Internal elements can be moved to initial or
final position, e.g. words can be moved from inside the clause to the
beginning or end of the clause.

3.5. Functional-Notional Syllabuses

Many teachers, on first encountering the terms function and notion
find them confusing. In general, functions maybe described as the
communicative purposes for which we use Language, while motions
are the conceptual meanings (objects, entities, states of affairs, logical
relationship, and so on) expressed through language.

3.6. Criticizing Functional-Notional Syllabus


Syllabus planners find that when turning from structurally-based

syllabus design to the design of syllabuses based on functional-
notional criteria, the selection and grading of items become much more
complex. Decisions about which items to include in the syllabus can
no longer be made on linguistic grou nds alone, and designers need to
include items which they imagine will help learners to carry out the
communicative purposes for which they need the language.

3.7. Analytic Syllabuses

Analytic syllabuses, in which learners are exposed to language which
has not been linguistically graded, are more likely to result from the
use of experiential rather than linguistic content as the starting point
for syllabus design. Such content might be defined in terms of
situations, topics, themes or, following a suggestion advanced by
Widdowson ( 1 978 ; 1 979), other academic or school subjects. The
stimulus for content-based syllabuses is the notion that, unlike science,
history, or mathematics, -language is not a subject in its own right, but
merely a vehicle for communicating about something else.

4. Process-Oriented Syllabuses

4.1. Introduction
We saw that syllabuses in which the selection and grading of items
was carried out on .a grammatical basis fell into disfavour because
they failed adequately to reflect changing views on the nature of
language. In addition, there was sometimes a mismatch between what
was taught and what was learned. Some SLA researchers have claimed
that this mismatch is likely to occur when the grading of syllabus input
is carried out according to grammatical rather than psychplinguistic
principles, while others suggest that the very act of linguistically
selecting and grading input will lead to distortion.

4.2. Procedural Syllabus

A syllabus which is organised around tasks, rather than in terms of
grammar or vocabulary. For example the syllabus may suggest a
variety of different kinds of tasks which the learners are expected to
carry out in the language, such as using the telephone to obtain
information; drawing maps based on oral instructions; performing
actions based on commands given in the target language; giving orders
and instructions to others, etc. It has been argued that this is a more
effective way of learning a language since it provides a purpose for the
use and learning of a language other than simply learning language
items for their own sake. (Richards, Platt, and Weber 1 985: 289)
Both task-based and procedural syllabuses share a concern with the
classroom processes which stimulate learning. They therefore differ
from . syllabuses in which the focus is on the linguistic items that
students will learn or the communicative skills that they will be able to
display as a result of instruction.

4.3. Task-Based Syllabuses

We shall now look at some other proposals for the use of tasks as the
point of departure in syllabus design. The selection of 'task' as a basic
building block has been justified on several grounds, but most
particularly for pedagogic and psycholinguistic reasons. Long and
Crookes ( 1 986) cite, general educational literature which suggests
that tasks are a more salient unit of planning for teachers than
objectives; Candlin ( 1987) provides a pedagogic rationale, while Long
( 1 985) looks to SLA research (although, as we saw in 3, SLA
research can be invoked to support contrary views on syllabus design).

4.4. Content Syllabuses

In 3 we saw that the content syllabus is yet another realization of the
analytic approach to syllabus design. It differs from task-based
syllabuses in that experiential content, which provides the point of

departure for the syllabus, is usually derived from some fairly well-
defined subject area. This might be other subjects in a school
curriculum such as science or social studies, or specialist subject
matter relating to an academic or technical field such as mechanical
engineering, medicine, or computing.
In a recent publication, Mohan ( 1 986) argues for content-based
syllabuses on the grounds that they facilitate learning not merely
through language but with language. We cannot achieve this goal if we
assume that language learning and subject-matter learning are totally
separate and unrelated operations. Yet language and subject matter are
still standardly considered in isolation from each other. (Mohan 1 986:

4.5. The Natural Approach

The so called 'natural approach' has been most comprehensively
described by Krashen and Terrell ( 1983). Like Long's task-based
proposal, the principles underpinning the approach are claimed to be
based on empirical research and can be summarized as follows:
1. The goal of the natural approach is communication skills.
2. Comprehension precedes production.
3. Production emerges
4. Activities which promote subconscious asquistion rather than
conscious learning are central.
5. The affective filer is lowered

4.6. Syllabus Design and Methodology

Widdowson takes a rather traditional line on this matter, suggesting
that a syllabus is the specification of a teaching programme or
pedagogic agenda which defines a particular subject for a particular
group of learners. Such a specification provides not only a
characterization of content, the formalization in pedagogic terms of an

area of knowledge or behaviour, but also arranges this content as a

succession of interim objectives. (Widdowson 1 987: 65)
He further suggests that the two syllabus archetypes, structUral and
functional-notional, exhaust the possibilities for the syllabus designer.
Both types assume certain methodological practices. The structural
syllabus, 'will tend to promote activities which serve to internalize the
formal prop'erties of language' (op. cit.: 7 1 ) . The danger of this type
of syllabus is that learners may not be able to use their linguistic
knowledge in actual communicatiQn. The functional-notional syllabus
will promote activities which attempt to replicate in class 'real'
communication. Classroom activities thus become a 'dress rehearsal'
for real-life encounters.

4.7. Grading Task

The development of communicative language teaching with its focus
on meaning has led to the use of more authentic materials. These,
naturally enough, contain a range of linguistic structures, which has
meant that grammatical criteria alone can not be used as a yardstick of
In Mohan's knowledge framework, task difficulty is determined by
cognitive complexity. On the specific practical side, tasks which focus
on description are simpler than those involving sequence, and these, in
turn, are simpler than tasks involving choice. On the corresponding
theoretical side, classification is simpler than the identification of
principles, which is simpler than evaluation.

5. Objectives

5.1. Introduction
It may come as some surprise to those familiar with the theory and
practice of syllabus planning to find that we are only now getting
around to discussing objectives. I have postponed consideration of

objectives until after the discussion of process-oriented and product-

oriented syllabuses because the issues raised in those discussions are of
particular relevance here. This does not mean that I am advocating the
specification of content before the specification of objectives. Whether
one moves from a specification of objectives to content and activities
or the other way round will depend on the type of syllabus being
developed, and the role which the objectives are made to play. In the
so-called 'rational' curriculum process (Tyler 1 949), objectives are
specified before content and activities because their principal role is to
act as a guide to the selection of the other elements in the curriculum.

5.2. Types of Objectives

The term 'objective' is a loaded one which has caused a lot of debate
within the educational community. There is disagreement about the
nature of objectives and also about the precision with which they
should be formulated. Some curriculum specialists maintain that no
sound instructional system could possibly hope to emerge from a
syllabus in which content is not stated in the form of objectives. Others
argue that the process of specifying content in terms of objectives leads
to the trivialization of that content. There are, of course, different types
of objective, and some of the controversy surrounding their use could
well be a result of a lack of clarity about just what is meant by the term

5.3. Performance Objectives in Language Teaching

In 1972, a book on the use of performance objectives in language
teaching was published by Valette and Disick. In the book, arguments
similar to those already outlined are advanced for the use of an
objectives approach to syllabus design. In particular, it emphasizes the
importance of stating objectives in terms of student rather than teacher
behavior, and of specifying input rather than output.

The first of these, the performance component, describes what the

learner is to be able to do, the second, the conditions component,
specifies the conditions under which the learner will perform, and the
final component, the standards component, indicates how well the
learner is to perform.
The specification of conditions and standards leads to greater precision
in objective setting, and also facilitates the grading of objectives
(objectives can be made easier or more difficult by modifying
conditions and standards). Gronlund ( 1 9 8 1 ) argues that the effort to
specify objectives in performance terms forces us to be realistic about
what it is feasible to achieve, and that they greatly facilitate student
Setting learning objectives serves a number of useful purposes: it
enables the teacher to evaluate what has been learned since terminal '
behaviour is always defined in terms which are measurable; it means
that learners (provided they have participated in the process of setting
objectives) know what they are supposed to be learning and what is
expected of them; it provides a constant means of feedback and on-
going evaluation for both teacher and learner; and it provides 'a way of
beginning the individualisation of instruction' (Steiner 1 975) since
learners can set their own standards of performance and evaluate how
well these standards have been attained. (Brindley 1 984: .35)

5.4. Criticizing Performance Objectives

Rowntree ( 1 9 8 1 ), a persuasive advocate of objectives during the
1970s, has more recently accepted that there are many ways other than
the objectives approach of providing a rationale for a programme or
course, and that what may suit one teacher, subject, situation, or
student group may be inappropriate to another.
I certainly believe that objectives must be considered at some stage of
course planning. If they are not themselves used as the means for
arriving at course content, then they can provide a powerful tool for

analysing and elaborating content arrived at by other means.

(Rowntree 1 98 1 : 35)

5.5. Process and Product Objectives

A real-world objective describes a task which learners might wish to
carry out outside the classroom, while a pedagogic objective is one
which describes a task which the learner might be required to carry out
inside the classroom. Examples of both types of objective follow.
Real-world objective
In a shop, supermarket, or department store, learners will ask for the
price of a given item or items. Questions will be comprehensible to
shop assistants who are unused to dealing with non-native speakers.
Pedagogic objective
The learner will listen to a conversation between a shopper and a shop
assistant and will identify which of three shopping lists belongs to the
shopper in question.
Process objectives differ from product objectives in that they describe.
Not what learners will do as a result of instruction, but the experiences
that the learner will undergo in the classroom. These experiences will
not necessarily involve the in-class rehearsal of final performance,
although they may do so. The form that the objective takes will reveal
the attitude of the syllabus designer towards the nature of language and
language learning.


6. Needs And Goals

6.1. Introduction
In 6 we shall look at some of the ways in which the concepts and
processes introduced in 2 have been applied.

6.2. Need Analysis

In 2 we saw that needs analysis refers to a family of procedures for
gathering information about learners and about communication tasks
for use in syllabus design.
The following sets of data, extracted and adapted from Munby ( 1 978)
show the sorts of information which can be collected through needs

6.3. From Needs to Goals

In considering needs and goals, we should keep in mind that the
teacher's syllabus and the learner's syllabus or 'agenda' might differ.
One of the purposes of subjective needs analysis is to involve learners
and teachers in exchanging information so that the agendas of the
teacher and the learner may be more closely aligned.
For those goals aimed at learners who were at roughly the same
proficiency level, it might be possible to identify certain common
elements, particularly in terms of grammar and common core
vocabulary items. "It is in the specification of experiential content
(topics, themes, situations, and so on) that differences might occur.
The macroskill focus might also vary, with some students wishing to
focus on the development of literacy skills and others wishing to
concentrate on the development of listening and/or speaking skills.
The following nine general communicative goals were developed as
part of a curriculum for students learning second and foreign languages

at the school level. The goals were not derived directly from learners,
but from an analysis carried out by syllabus planners, experienced
teachers, and educational authorities.

7. Selecting and Grading Content

7.1. Introduction

We shall examine a number of different syllabuses, and explore the

ways in which grammatical, functional, and notional items are
selected, graded, and interrelated. The aim of 7 is to familiarize you
with the ways in which these different elements are conventionally
treated. This should provide you with the skills and knowledge you
will need to analyse the selection and grading of content in your own
syllabuses, a task you will be asked to undertake in Section Three.

7.2. Selecting Grammatical Components

These days, few syllabus designers who adopt a synthetic orientation
would be prepared to defend a syllabus based entirely on grammatical
forms. Most attempt some sort of synthesis between grammatical,
functional, and notional items. Later, we shall look at some of the
ways in which syllabus planners have tried to integrate these various

7.3. Selecting Functional and Notional Components

In recent years, any number of functional and/or notional typologies
have made their appearance in the market place. While there are
similarities amongst these, as one might expect, there are also
differences. This reflects the fact that the typologies have been
produced largely through intuition. The following category headings
give some idea of the diversity which is possible.

7.4. Relating Grammatical, Functional, and Notional Components

As we have already seen, the link between grammatical, functional,
and notional components is not entirely predictable, although there are
certain components which are consistently linked together by syllabus
designers and course book writers.

7.5. Grading Content

In 3 , we saw that, traditionally, items in a grammatical syllabus are
graded largely according to whether they are easy or difficult, and that
difficulty is defined in grammatical terms. We also saw that
grammatical difficulty is not necessarily the same as learning

8. Selecting and grading learning tasks

8.1. Introduction
In particular we shall look at examples and applications of the ideas
presented in 4. First, we shall look at the relationship between goals,
objectives, and tasks. We shall then look at tasks which have been
proposed in relation to the various process-oriented syllabuses
discussed in 4. Finally, we shall examine a range of task types.

8.2. Goals, objectives, and tasks

In Section One, we examined the desirability of relating classroom
activities to syllabus goals and objectives so that courses and
programmes derived from such syllabuses have an overall coherence
of purpose. Failure to provide links between goals, content, and
learning activities can lead to a situation in which the desired outcomes
of a programme are contradicted at the classroom level. As
Widdowson has pointed out:
It is perfectly possible for a notional syllabus to be implemented by a
methodology which promotes mechanistic habit formation and in

effect is focused on grammar; and conversely for a grammatical

syllabus to be actualized by a methodology which develops a genuine
capacity for communication. (\V iddowson 1987)

8.3. Procedural syllabuses

The advantage of having a restricted set of goal statements is that it can
provide a degree of coherence which may otherwise be lacking. It also
enables th syllabus planner to link classroom tasks to the real-world
uses to which learners might wish to put their second language skills.
In educational contexts where there is no specific communicative end
in sight, proposals have been made for basing the syllabus, not on
content, but on procedures which are felt to promote second language
acquisition. One such proposal is the Bangalore Project.

8.4. The natural approach

In 4, we saw that the authors of the natural approach divide language
goals into basic personal communication skills (oral and written) and
academic learning skills (oral and written).

8.5 Content-based syllabuses

Mohan's knowledge framework, consisting of a practical aspect and a
theoretical aspect was described. Here, we shall look at ways in which
this knowledge framework is realized through action situations.
One of the techniques suggested by Mohan for representing action
situations is through flowcharts. The figure on the facing page shows
the flowchart of a shopping situation between a clerk and a shopper.

8.6. Levels of difficulty

The following tasks have been adapted from Brown and Yule. In each
task, the students are working in pairs.
1. Both students have a photograph which is almost identical. The
speaker has to describe what is in the photograph as accurately as

possible in order that the listener can identify in what way his
photograph differs from the one which the speaker is describing.
2. The speaker has a diagram. The listener has a blank sheet of paper,
a black pen, and a red pen. The speaker has to instruct the listener to
reproduce the diagram as accurately as possible on his sheet of
3. The speaker has a cartoon strip story. The listener has a set of
pictures which show scenes or the. characters from the story and
some from different stories.
4. The speaker has a set of photographs depicting a sequence of events
leading up to a car crash. The listener has a set of photographs,
some ofwhich show details of the particular car crash being
described and some for another car crash.
5. The learner watches a short piece of video film in which a teacher
expresses a fairly strong opinion that corporal punishment is
necessary in school to ensure that teachers can do their work and
that students can learn.

8.7. Teaching grammar as process

I am dealing with these here rather than in 7 because Rutherford is
basically concerned with grammar as process rather than product. This
is evident in the following:
Given all that we presently know about language, how it is learned, and
ho\v it can be taught, the 'grammatical' part of a 'grammatical syllabus'
does not entail specification of the language content at all; rather, it
specifies how that language content (chosen in accordance witth a
variety of other, non-linguistic criteria) is to be exploited. The
immediate reasons for not assigning a specifying role to grammar are
worth reiterating. Grammatical specification in the syllabus has to result
in the selection and ordering of grammatical constructs -a necessarily
linear and sequential display of language items for learner input.
Language acquisition, on the other hand, is not a linear progression, but

a cyclic one, or even a metamorphic one. That is, the learner is

constantly engaged in reanalysing data, reformulating hypotheses,
recasting generalizations etc. (Rutherford 1987: 159)

9. Selecting and grading objectives

9.1. Introduction
We shall now look at applications of the ideas presented in 5. In
particular, we shall look at the distinctions between product-oriented
and processoriented objectives, and real-world and pedagogic

9.2. Product-oriented objectives

Product-oriented objectives describe the things that a learner will be
able to do as a result of instruction. Product, or, as they are more
usually called, performance objectives may be couched in different
terms. For example, they may refer to grammatical, functional,
thematic, or topical skills and knowledge.

9.3. Process-oriented objectives

Process objectives focus, not on the outcomes of instruction, but on
the classroom activities themselves.


10. General principles

10.1. Curriculum and syllabus models

Not all of the following tasks will be relevant for all readers.
Where one task presupposes the completion of a preceding task, or
utilizes resources from it, this will be indicated.

10.4 Experiential content

You will recall that experiential content refers to the topics,
themes, situations, settings, and so on which provide a context for
the linguistic content. The selection of experiential content is one
task where there is potential for negotiation between learners and

Bahasa yang digunakan sederhana
Tampilkan cover sederhana
Banyak memunculkan kreasi baru
Pembahasan isi buku mudah dimngerti
Memberikan contoh-contoh yang sederhana namun sesuai dengan
perkembangan teknologi
Menjelaskan secara rinci
Buku ini termasuk kategori berisi lengkap, deskripsi dari bagian isi
yang menjabarkan segala penjelasan secara detail .
Di setiap materi tertera table dan contoh yang jelas

Buku ini memiliki materi-materi yang dijangkau luas, sehingga para
pebaca yang tidak menyukai bahasa yang sulit akan suka memiliki
buku ini
Di setiap materi terdapat contoh yang lengkap
Banyak terdapat contoh soal
Prosedure silabus yang dijelaskan sangat jelas
Menjelaskan level disetiap tingkatan
Tersedia glossary pada akhir buku


Buku ini tidak memiliki sumber referensi yang banyak dalam
penjelasan materi materinya, sehingga tidak mampu membuka
pemikiran para pembaca.
Buku ini memiliki sangat sedikit sekali diagram-diagram penerapan
model pembelajaran.
Lebih banyak membahas pada belajar dan pembelajaran dari pada
pembahasan silabus.
Materi-materi yang di sampaikan hanya dijelaskan dalam jangkauan
Buku ini hanya memuat 164 halaman.

Terlalu banyak tabel sehingga para pembaca susah di pahami
Terlalu banyak Task dan sedikit pembahasan
Buku ini hanya memuat 165 halaman.


a. Teori/konsep
Program silabus adalah rencana pembelajaran pada suatu dan atau
kelompok mata pelajaran/tema tertentu yang mencakup standar
kompetensi, kompetensi dasar, materi pokok/pembelajaran, kegiatan
pembelajaran, indicator pencapaian kompetensi untuk penilaian,
penilaian, alokasi waktu, dan sumber belajar.

Pengembangan silabus:
1. Guru kelas/mata pelajaran, atau
2. Kelompok guru kelas/mata pelajaran, atau
3. Kelompok kerja guru (MGMP)

b. Analisis Mahasiswa
Dengan focus silabus yang menyarankan kemungkinan konten pada
tahap intruksional yang berbeda dan menjelaskan prosedur untuk
perenanaan silabus. Silabus berisi sebuah pengantar yang mendalam
dari semua perangkap proyek dan kerangka kerja deskrisi rinci tentang
orgaisasi dan konten bahasa asing, termasuk tahap instrusional
karakteristik pelajar yang mempengaruhi isi silabus pada tahap yang
berbeda, contoh studi kasus, tujuan umum, dan spesifik, konsep silabus
berbasis kaum muda, tipe aktifitas sebagai unit pengorganisasian
design silabus, dan untuk mengurutkan silabus berisi aktifitas kasar
pada ikhtisar proses pengembangan silabus dan isu-isu termaksud
factor yang perlu dipertimbangkan, alat pengembangan program, pro-
berguna dan pembrograman.


a. Teori/konsep
Desain silabus menurut David Nunan yaitu untuk memberi para guru
alat dan teknik untuk menganalisis dan tunduk pada pemeriksaan kritis
terhadap silabus yang mereka gunakan. Hal ini juga dimaksudkan untuk
memberikan konsep dan prosedur bagi guru-guru yang berada dalam
posisi untuk berperan dalam pengembangan silabus yang mereka

b. Analisis Mahasiswa
Tujuan umum dari buku ini adalah untuk mendorong pembaca untuk
mendorong pembaca untuk memperdalam pemahaman mereka tentang
konteks pengajaran dimana mereka bekerja. Secara khusus, diharapkan
tugas membantu pembaca mengembangkan sikap kritis terhadap silabus
atau silabus yang dengannya mereka berkerja.


Silabus Analitik: silabus berdasarkan unit Non-Linguistik seperti topik,
tema, pengaturan, dan situation. Peserta didik terpapar dengan 'potongan'
bahasa yang holistik dan diminta untuk mengekstrak pola dan keteraturan
dari ini. pendekatan komunikatif, pendekatan pengajaran bahasa di mana
fokusnya adalah pada proses komunikasi yang jarang terjadi daripada item
struktural, fungsional, atau nosional. Kurikulum prinsip dan prosedur
untuk perencanaan, pelaksanaan, evaluasi, dan pengelolaan program
Untuk perencanaan silabus dan pengajaran di kelas. Deskripsi rinci tentang
silabus dan isi bahasa bahasa asing, termasuk tahap instruksional, karakter
peserta didik yang mempengaruhi isi silabus pada tahap yang berbeda,
contoh studi kasus, tujuan umum dan spesifik, konsep silabus berbasis
aktivitas, jenis aktivitas sebagai pengorganisasian unit desain silabus, dan
pedoman untuk menyusun silabus isi silabus melalui kegiatan, gambaran
umum tentang proses pengembangan silabus; dan diskusi tentang isu-isu
dalam pemrograman kelas, termasuk faktor-faktor yang harus
dipertimbangkan, program pengembangan dan alat pemrograman yang
berguna. Materi yang ditambahkan mencakup pernyataan tentang silabus
spesifik, pernyataan isi silabus yang disarankan untuk setiap tahap
instruksional dan contoh unit pembelajaran.