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UNIVERSIDAD AUTÓNOMA DEL ESTADO DE MÉXICO

FACULTAD DE LENGUAS

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COURSE PLANNING AND SYLLABUS DESIGN

 

LEVELS OF PLANNING

I-            DEVELOPING A COURSE RATIONALE

II-          DESCRIBING ENTRY AND EXIT LEVELS

III-        CHOOSING COURSE CONTENT

IV-         SEQUENCING COURSE CONTENT

V-           PLANNING THE COURSE CONTENT

VI-         PREPARING THE SCOPE ANDSEQUENCE PLAN

 

 

The course rationale

It is a brief written description of the reasons for the course and the nature of it. The course rationale seeks to answer the following questions:

Who is this course for?
What is the course about?
What kind of teaching and learning will take place in the course?

The course rationale answers these questions by describing the beliefs,values and goals that underlie the course. It serves to provide the justification for the type of teaching and learning that will take place in the course. It provides a sucint statement of the course philosophy. It helps to provide focus and direction to some of the deliberations involved in course planning. The rationale serves the purposes of:

• Guiding the planning of the various componentsof the course.
• Emphasizing the kinds of teaching and learning the course should exemplify.
• Providing a check on the consistency of the various course components in terms of the course values and goals.

Then, this consists of a brief written description of the reasons, values, goals and beliefs for the course and the nature of it, as well as contents, the kind of learners, theroles of the teachers and  learners and the kind of teaching/learning that will take place to justify the course.

Moreover, it provides a succinct statement of the course philosophy to focus and direct deliberations involved in course planning.

Example of a course rationale: 

This course is designed for high school students who wish to improve their communication skills in English in order tobroaden their professional studies prospects. It teaches the basic communication skills needed to communicate in a variety of different real situations. The course seeks to enable participants to identify their strengths and needs in language learning and to give them the confidence to use English more effectively to achieve their own goals. It also seeks to develop participants’ skills inindependent learning outside of the classroom. 

Describing the entry and exit level

 In order to enable the target level of the program to be assessed, it is necessary to know the level of students proficiency at which the program will start and the level learners might be expected to reach at the end of the course (elementary, intermediate and advanced), however, more detaileddescriptions are needed. Information might be available from their results on international tests such as TOEFL, IELTS or specially designed tests are required. 

An approach that has been widely used is to identify levels of performance in the form of band levels or points in a proficiency scale which describe what a student is able to do at different stages in a language program. These guidelinesrepresent a graduated sequence of steps that can be used to structure a foreign language program.

In order to plan a language course, it is necessary to know the level at which the program will start and the level learners may be expected to reach at the end of the course. For these purposes, more detailed descriptions are needed of students’ proficiency levels before they enter a program andtargeted proficiency levels before they enter a program and targeted proficiency levels at the end of it.

Information may be available on student’s entry level from their results on international proficiency test. Or specially designed tests maybe needed. Information from proficiency test will enable the target level of the program to be assessed and may require adjustment of the program’s...
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