Teach English in ShuAngpaiwuxingling Linchang - Yongzhou Shi

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Although courses may vary in length, subject matter, level or approach, a systematic process, syllabus, is essential to effectively plan and structure a course in order to achieve instructional goals. Throughout their career, teachers will need to design, modify, revise or evaluate a syllabus or simply rethink and re-examine their syllabi. Being a systematic process, syllabus design follows a set of steps and requirements, as outlined in the next paragraphs. Before starting the syllabus design, teachers need to collect some information that would help them in this process. This information includes: 1)School’s academic policy and procedures, curriculum goals and outcomes, and academic calendar. This information will help design a syllabus that matches with the educational goals and calendar of the institution. 2)Target group. Here we need to consider students’ background, level and capabilities. 3)Available technologies, space and context. This information is essential to design relevant and feasible learning activities. Syllabus components and format may change from institution to another. To produce a well-designed syllabus, the following components should be included: • Course description – this should serve as an introduction to the course, explain its relation to the discipline, and mention major topics. • Basic information – this includes the course name, meeting time and place, instructor name, contact information and office hours. • Objectives and learning outcomes – this section describes most important knowledge, skills and attitudes gained in the course. It outlines what students will be able to do by the end of the course. • Course requirements – here we list what students are required to have before starting the course, in terms of proficiency, capabilities -knowledge and skills. • Course materials – this lists the course materials that are necessary to have, read or use either prior or during the lessons. • Grading and assessment– description of assignments and their evaluation criteria and the grade scale. • Academic integrity statement – this needs to match with the institution’s general academic integrity statement. This policy is on attendance, absence, plagiarism, group work and collaboration. • Class timeline and calendar – this section is the lengthiest as it describes in details what happens in each session. It is a reflection of how the course is organized. To produce this section, it is important to have decent subject matter knowledge, good teaching skills, proper knowledge of students’ level and familiarity of the course position within the curriculum. This section outlines for each session the date, topic, content, teaching methods, homework, readings, projects, assignments, assessments, and exams, used materials and technology and any useful co-curricular activities. After designing the syllabus, depending on the context and setting, it might be necessary to get the institution’s approval and hence some modifications might be required. Some schools require two version of the syllabus: 1) a teacher’s version which a detailed version used by teachers and school academic team and 2) a student’s version which is a simplified version that is distributed to students. Syllabus design can be a continuous process. During the first weeks of teaching it is important to monitor the relevancy and effectiveness of the syllabus design and make adjustments as necessary. Throughout the course, monitoring and feedback should be collected. At the end of course, a comprehensive evaluation should be conducted to inform future decisions for improvements. The syllabus is a foundational document and a critical piece of communication between the teacher and the school administration and between the instructor and the students that it is essential and worth to put significant thoughts when designing it.