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The Nature of Competencies Competence refers to the observable behaviors that are necessary for the successful completion

n of real-world activities. These activities are usually related to any area of life but they are normally linked to the field of work and to social survival in a new environment. According to Docking the relationship between competence and job performance is that the qualifications for a job can be described as a collection of units and competency. And a unit of competency might be a task, a role, a function or a learning module. These will change over time and will vary from context to context. Process to Developing a competency-based curriculum for a refugee program designed to develop language skills for employment are: o Reviewing existing curricula, resource materials and textbooks o Needs analysis (interviews, observations, survey of employers) o Identifying topics for a survival curriculum o Identifying competencies for each of the topics o Grasping competencies into instructional units Competency can be regarded as objects that are linked to specific domains or activities Criticisms of the use of competencies Definition of competencies (Arguments by Tollefson, 1986) o There is no valid procedures that are available to develop competency specifications o There is no way of knowing which competencies are essential o Focusing on observable behaviors can lead to trivialization of the nature of an activity Hidden values underlying competency specifications o CBL is based on a social and economic efficiency model of curriculum design that seeks to enable learners to participate effectively in society o The competencies selected as a basis for instruction typically represent value judgments. The standards Movement Standards are descriptions of the targets students should be able to reach in different domains of curriculum content.

Non-language outcomes and process objectives


If the curriculum seeks to reflect values related to learner centeredness, social reconstructionism, or cultural pluralism, outcomes related to these values will also need to be included. Non-language outcomes are outcomes that go beyond the content of a linguistically oriented syllabus There are 8 broad categories of non language outcomes in teaching adult immigrants: o Social, psychological, and emotional support in the new living environment o Confidence o Motivation o Cultural understanding o Knowledge of the community context

o Learning about learning o Clarification of goals o Access and entry into employment, further study, and community life The objectives of these domains relate to persona, social, culture and political need and rights of learners. Non-language outcomes represent more than desirable or optional by-products of the language learning process. Process of objectives are things that describe learning experiences rather than learning outcomes Bruner argues that a curriculum should focus less on the outcomes of learning and more on the knowledge and skills learners need to develop. o Includes the concepts and procedure that children should acquire through the processes of inquiry and deliberation Stenhouse argues that the curriculum should focus on activities that engage learners in such processes as investigation, decision making, reflection, discussion. Interpretation, making choices, cooperation with others. o He also argues that a curriculum is not designed on a pre-specification of behavioral objectives Objectives in the category of learning how to learn refer to learning strategies. o Learning strategy theory says that effective learning involves: Developing an integrated set of procedures and operations that can be applied to different learning Selecting strategies appropriate to different tasks Monitoring strategies for their effectiveness and replacing or revising them if necessary An example of developing strategies for effective organization and management of time: o Explicitly introduce students to the concept of time allocation in relation to study o Assist students to identify realistic times and time spans for home study o Assist students to prioritize study time allocation in relation to other everyday activities and family communities o Assist students to create a daily/weekly timetable of study