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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Types of Syllabus

Telaah Kurikulum dan Buku Teks Bahasa Inggris SMA
Raida Asfihana, M.Ed

By Group II:





A.   Definition of Syllabus
Syllabus can be defined as a general outline of language teaching program which guides a teacher what to teach and how to teach in a language program. It, of course, should consist of the approach to apply, materials to teach, the techniques to implement, learning resources to use, and the methods of evaluation apply.[1]

B.   Types of Syllabus
Here are some types of syllabus:
1.      A structural (formal) syllabus
The content of language teaching is a collection of the forms and structures, usually grammatical, of the language being taught. Examples include nouns, verbs, adjectives, statements, questions, subordinate clauses, and so on.
2.      A notional/functional syllabus
The content of the language teaching is a collection of the functions that are performed when language is used, or of the notions that language is used to express. Examples of functions include: informing, agreeing, apologizing, requesting; examples of notions include size, age, color, comparison, time, and so on.
This syllabus has advantages and disadvantages[2]:
Ø  Advantages:
o   They reflect a more comprehensive view of language than grammar syllabuses and focus on the use of the language rather than linguistic form.
o   They can readily be linked to other types of syllabus content (e.g. topics, grammar, vocabulary).
o   They provide a convenient framework for the design of teaching materials, particularly in the domains of listening and speaking.
Ø  Disadvantages:
o   There are no clear criteria for selecting or grading functions.
o   They represent a simplistic view of communicative competence and fail to address the processes of communication.
o   They represent an atomistic approach to language, that is, one that assumes that language ability can be broken down into discrete components that can be taught separately.
o   They often lead to a phase-book approach to teaching that concentrates on teaching expressions and idioms used for different functions.
o   Students learning from a functional course may have considerable gaps in their grammatical competence because some important grammatical structures may not be elicited by the functions that are taught in the syllabus.
3.      A situational syllabus
The content of language teaching is a collection of real or imaginary situations in which language occurs or is used. A situation usually involves several participants who are engaged in some activity in a specific setting. The language occurring in the situation involves a number of functions, combined into a plausible segment of discourse. The primary purpose of a situational language teaching syllabus is to teach the language that occurs in the situations. Examples of situations include: seeing the dentist, complaining to the landlord, buying a book at the book store, meeting a new student, and so on.

4.      A skill-based syllabus
 The content of the language teaching is a collection of specific abilities that may play a part in using language. Skills are things that people must be able to do to be competent in a language, relatively independently of the situation or setting in which the language use can occur. While situational syllabi group functions together into specific settings of language use, skill-based syllabi group linguistic competencies (pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and discourse) together into generalized types of behavior, such as listening to spoken language for the main idea, writing well-formed paragraphs, giving effective oral presentations, and so on. The primary purpose of skill-based instruction is to learn the specific language skill. A possible secondary purpose is to develop more general competence in the language, learning only incidentally any information that may be available while applying the language skills.
5.      A task-based syllabus
 The content of the teaching is a series of complex and purposeful tasks that the students want or need to perform with the language they are learning. The tasks are defined as activities with a purpose other than language learning, but, as in a content-based syllabus, the performance of the tasks is approached in a way that is intended to develop second language ability. Language learning is subordinate to task performance, and language teaching occurs only as the need arises during the performance of a given task. Tasks integrate language (and other) skills in specific settings of language use. Task-based teaching differs from situation-based teaching in that while situational teaching has the goal of teaching the specific language content that occurs in the situation (a predefined product), task-based teaching has the goal of teaching students to draw on resources to complete some piece of work (a process). The students draw on a variety of language forms, functions, and skills, often in an individual and unpredictable way, in completing the tasks. Tasks that can be used for language learning are, generally, tasks that the learners actually have to perform in any case. Examples include: applying for a job, talking with a social worker, getting housing information over the telephone, and so on.
6.      A content-based-syllabus
 The primary purpose of instruction is to teach some content or information using the language that the students are also learning. The students are simultaneously language students and students of whatever content is being taught. The subject matter is primary, and language learning occurs incidentally to the content learning. The content teaching is not organized around the language teaching, but vice-versa. Content-based language teaching is concerned with information, while task-based language teaching is concerned with communicative and cognitive processes. An example of content-based language teaching is a science class taught in the language the students need or want to learn, possibly with linguistic adjustment to make the science more comprehensible.

A.   Conclusion
In general, the six types of syllabi or instructional content are presented beginning with the one based most on structure, and ending with the one based most on language use. Language is a relationship between form and meaning, and most instruction emphasizes one or the other side of this relationship.

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