22 SES 07 F JS, EMI and Beyond: Planning international curricula in higher education for multilingual and multicultural contexts Part 1
Joint Symposium NW 22 and NW 31 to be continued in 22 SES 08 F JS
English language teaching tends to focus on the product rather than the process. This insistence on focusing on the “one size fits all” end product has certainly characterised approaches to syllabus design, where the Bananarama Principle of “it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it”, i.e. the process, is undervalued or completely disregarded. However, process approaches to syllabus design can actively champion the often-excluded voices of the learners by including them in the decision-making stages of the course. This talk will present a three-year action research project that has modified the advanced English for Specific Purposes (ESP) syllabus for Economics students at the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano so that it better meets the individual language needs of each learner. Given the specific teaching model of the University, with a focus on English as a Medium of Instruction, the ESP course is an important element in the programme to provide opportunities for the learners to improve some of the skills and language necessary to study in English. The new syllabus blends a predominantly process approach to syllabus design with elements of a product approach because “no one approach can be responsive to learners’ needs” (Graves 2008: 161). This blended approach provides opportunities for the learners’ voices to be an intrinsic part of the course by allowing them to negotiate aspects of the syllabus, ranging from the contents and the language skills practised, to the means of assessment. Fostering inclusion in the language classroom in this way provides opportunities for the normally excluded learners, through negotiation, to be included in the design, implementation and evaluation of their course. This focus on negotiation also aims to create the conditions “leading to teaching and learning which is as effective as possible” (Breen & Littlejohn 2000: 9). Keywords: ESP, Syllabus design, Negotiating course content, Learner-centred, Action research
Breen, M. & Littlejohn, A. 2000. ‘The significance of negotiation’. In M. Breen. & A. Littlejohn (eds). Classroom Decision-Making. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 5-38. Graves, K. 2008. “The Language Curriculum: A Social Contextual Perspective”. Language Teaching: Surveys and Studies, 41(2): 147-181.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
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