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Components of curriculum

Needs Analysis
Needs analysis implies gathering data from various sources to find out, for example, the sort
of language skills students specifically need, the activities they are expected to carry out in the
foreign language, the type of situations in which learners will be using it, and the skills
needed for further education or demanded by the labor market and determined by local
employers.

Brown (1995) defines needs analysis as “the systematic collection and analysis of all relevant
information necessary to satisfy the language learning requirements of the students within the
context of the particular institutions involved in the learning situation”.

Goals and Objectives


The result of determining the needs of language students is the specification of goals, which
are the general statements about what must be accomplished in order to attain and satisfy
students’ needs.

The process by which goals are divided into smaller units and applied to an instruction
programme is known as the setting of objectives. Objectives specify precisely what the
learner should be able to do after a unit or period of instruction. They may be defined with
reference to a unit of work within a course or to the course as a whole, and they serve to
present the aims in a form that can be taught, observed and tested.

Language Testing
Another important stage in curriculum development is the elaboration of tests based on a
programme’s goals and objectives. Tests may have different purposes within a programme.
Tests are important to unify the curriculum and give it cohesion, purpose and control.

Materials
Curriculum development also involves taking decisions about adopting, developing and
adapting materials in order to meet the students’ needs and promote effective learning and
teaching.

Language Teaching
The role of teachers in the process of curriculum development is very important as they are
quite often responsible for making decisions on all components of the curriculum. Therefore,
teachers must be well informed about the process of developing a language curriculum.

Evaluation
According to Johnson (1989) “evaluation is the systematic collection and analysis of all
relevant information necessary to promote the improvement of a curriculum, and assess its
effectiveness and efficiency, as well as the participants’ attitudes within the context of the
particular institutions involved”, there are different types of evaluation.

Brown (1995) mentions various teaching activities which are the responsibility of both
language teachers and programme administrators. These teaching activities are the selection
of approaches, syllabuses, techniques and exercises.

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