Teach English in Huanben Nongchang - Nantong Shi

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The syllabus can essentially be described as a learning plan - integrating what to talk about with how to talk about it. For this reason syllabus design is a critical component to developing a relevant and suitable business course.While this is a function of the teacher, it is often negotiated with the students, the company and or affiliated teaching organization. Once the aims and objectives are agreed upon, the syllabus is designed to outline the actions and activities that will be taken to achieve them. For the purposes of this paper a sample syllabus will not be presented but rather the different considerations that go into making it along with a mini example. The first consideration is the language ability of the students. This is determined by a level test that can be administered before the official commencement of the course to ascertain English proficiency. The students in this example are at pre-intermediate level . The next consideration is length of study. This is crucial to the planning as it delineates how many lessons and for how long. For this example, the course is a predetermined 12 hours, to be completed in 6 weeks divided into two weekly sessions for an hour duration each. The next consideration is the professional background and interests of the students. Studies have shown adult learners pay attention to things that will benefit them directly. The students in this example are in a corporate communications department and need English competence in public relations and promotions. The next consideration is the topic selection. This is pulled from the needs analysis and usually negotiated with the students and the organization. In this example the teaching priorities are brand promotions; hosting clients; representing at tradeshows and; writing business reports. The next consideration is the type of syllabus. The literature posits that there are six types of syllabi namely: structural, functional, situational, skill based, task based and content based. In this example, the syllabus design draws mainly from the situational and task based approaches. The next consideration is how to organize the syllabus. This is first centred around the language the learner needs, followed by the type of content and interactions that will be most beneficial to the student. In this example, the syllabus is organized around activities that facilitate a particular language use, idioms, grammar and intercultural skills. The next consideration is selecting suitable material. As most materials and reference texts will be authentic sources, the teacher will select materials from company websites, specialist blogs and magazines and podcasts. A major resource however will actually be the students themselves bringing relevant content to class. The next consideration is course delivery. This is less about a teaching methodology and more about ways to keep learners motivated. How can the teacher give the students confidence and control of their learning? In this example, the students will regularly have situations to role play and present as groups. They are then given feedback and provided with a language template for each situation. The last consideration is the method of assessment. The teacher needs to measure learning against the course objectives. More importantly, the students need to see their progress and what communicative task they can successfully perform now. In this example, there will be a written and oral achievement test as well as a task based assessment. To conclude, good syllabus design should consider factors that affect the teachability and suitability of the syllabus. There also needs to be a balance of language input and language revision in the class. Finally, the syllabus should outline the name of each unit, the skills it covers, the grammar and vocabulary in use, the tasks it requires and the resources it uses. It's not a simple task, nor is it one size fits all. It does make for a very interesting and unique teaching experience when the teacher creates their own syllabus. References Deambros, M. Designing Business English programmes 2. Retrieved from: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/designing-business-english-programmes-1 Deambros, M. Designing Business English programmes 2. Retrieved from: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/designing-business-english-programmes-2 Dick, L. (2005, September 21) Syllabus Writing. Retrieved from: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/syllabus-writing