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Beruin, Laurence C.

October 20, 2018

MA-TSS

Curriculum Development and Syllabus Design Midterm Examination

1. For you, what is the best/most effective approach in language teaching?

The most effective approach in language teaching is the whole language approach. According to
Richards and Rogers’ book, Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching, this approach is based on the
principle that a foreign language must be taught as a whole, without being divided into its components.
The emphasis is on holism (viewing this as a whole) such that students must learn how to read and write
in a natural way, the same way they learn their native language, and giving more importance to activities
which are relevant to the student. It focuses in teaching the totality of language and meaning-making
while the teacher and student are working collaboratively. Teaching another language will be applied in a
more natural way as if a student is just learning his/her mother tongue through various group interactions
that share the same objectives of learning. This so-called natural way of learning language is through
constant communication and interpretation of language so that the learners can actually learn and
internalize whatever they are learning. It also make use of authentic real-world materials that are relative
to their community or surroundings such as literary pieces, newspapers, and storybooks that the learners
brought themselves while sharing their learnings amongst other learners. It is the most effective
approach, aside from the fact that it emphasizes collaborative learning and individual and group learning
strategies i.e. small group reading and writing, story writing and other writing activities, it focuses teaching
new language in the most familiar way similar to the ways that students learned and interpreted their
mother tongue.

2. What is the least effective approach in language teaching?

Because language or language teaching per se is all about constant communication amongst
individuals, the silent way/approach of language teaching seems to be the least effective as the teacher
is silent most of the time but is active in setting up situations and listening, which should not be the case
in language teaching. Teacher acting only as observers to the students’ ability to transfer what they have
learned in the new context is not as effective as it may seem despite the independent learning they
present, especially to students who are in need of constant guidance when learning is involved. It is a
good thing that students expected to learn at different rates and to make progress and not necessarily to
speak fluently but the aim of language teaching is for them to learn the new language thus making
progress is not equated to achieving its essential goal. In its purest sense, language teaching should
emphasize on communication, constant and in its most natural state.

3. What is needs analysis? Discuss its importance and how it is carried out?

Needs analysis is a procedure to collect information about learner’s needs which is distinct and
necessary in planning educational program. According to Richards and Rogers’ book, Approaches and
Methods in Language Teaching, it is concerned with identifying general and specific needs that can be
addressed in developing goals, objectives and content in a language curriculum. Whilst, it may also focus
either on the general parameters of a language curriculum, as well as societal expectations or on specific
needs set up by different stakeholders. It is important to do needs analysis as it can help find out what
language skills a learner needs in order to perform a particular role. Whilst it also help determine if an
existing course adequately addresses the needs of potential students or learners, in which a change can
be readily made if needs arises. For a particular set of learners, it is helpful in determining which students
from a group are most in need of training in particular language skills while also identifying gaps on what
learners can and need to be able to do. Lastly, it also take credit in collecting information about particular
problems that learners’ experience. According to Ornstein and Hunkins book, Curriculum foundations:
Principles and Issues, in order to conduct a needs analysis, the following procedure should be followed:

a. Set aside time and designate people who will conduct the needs analysis.
b. Create or obtain data gathering instruments and schedule time to gather data (for
example, through surveys, town meetings, questionnaires, tests, and interviews).
c. List the curriculum’s aims and goals.
d. Match the aims and goals.
e. Identify gaps between desired and actual results.
f. Decide which gaps require immediate curricular attention.
g. Suggest ways to address the identified gaps

4. Choose two factors to be considered in conducting situational analyisis.

Situational analysis focuses on the analysis of factors in the context of a planned or present
curriculum project that is made in order to assess their potential impact on the project. Factors included
in a situational analysis can be political, social, economic, or institutional, as well as the stakeholders in
language teaching and curriculum. It complements the information gathered during needs analysis thus
it is considered as a dimension of needs analysis with emphasis in evaluation process. In terms of
conducting situational analysis, two important will be discussed here, namely institutional factor and
teacher factor. Institutional factor focuses on the institutions (school, university, or language institute)
delivery of a language teaching programs. Because each institutions create their own culture of learning,
which is a setting where people interact and where patterns emerge for communication, decision making,
role relations, and conduct, the impact of language teaching is highly dependent on this said culture.
Institutions with credibility in delivering and achieving learning outcomes are likely to succeed in
implementing language teaching curriculum, as opposed to institutions with low level of achievement and
mainly focus on profit instead of producing quality learners. On the other hand, teacher factor is crucial
in any given situation as it is important to know the kinds of teachers the program will depend on and the
kinds of teachers needed to ensure that the program achieves its goals. If the teachers fit the said program
then objectives are expected to be achieved but if not, such is bound to fail as it will entirely miss all its
necessary goals and objectives, as well as financial loss in the process. As with any curriculum or language
teaching, teachers should be of critical importance for they play a crucial role in the actual learning
process.

References:

Ornstein, A. C., & Hunkins, F. (2004). Curriculum foundations: Principles and Issues (4th ed). USA: Pearson
Education Foundation Inc., accessed via Scribd.com

Richard, J.C. & Rogers, T.S. (1986). Approaches and Methods in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, accessed via archive.org

Powerpoint Presentation, accessed via DLSU-D schoolbook