Practical guidelines to syllabus choice and design
It is clear that there is no such single type of content which will be appropriate for all teaching settings, and the needs and conditions of each setting are so particular that it is impossible to give specific recommendations for combination. However, a set of guidelines for the process can be offered. As the steps to be used in preparing a practical language teaching syllabus choice can be named the following:
1. Define and estimate, to the possible extend, what results are desired for the students in the instructional program or a course, i.e. what the students should be able to do as a result of the instruction.
2. Rank the syllabus types which were presented in the previous item according to their probability of leading to the desired outcomes. Arrange the six types in such a way so that to show the level of preference you going to give to each type.
3. Evaluate available resources for teaching, needs analysis, materials choice and production and in training for teachers.
4. Rank the syllabi according to available resources. It is necessary to decide what syllabus types would be the easiest to use in practice taking into account available resources.
5. Compare the lists made which are the results of step two and four. If there is a necessity - make a few regulations to the earlier list; present a new list of ranking which would be based on the availability of resources.
6. Indicate one or two syllabus types as dominant and give minor importance to one or two as secondary.
7. Review the question of combination or integration of syllabus types and define how it is possible to achieve these combinations and in what proportion.
In order to make practical decisions about syllabus design, the designer of the course must take into consideration all the possible factors that can have an influence upon the teach ability of a particular syllabus. When the instructor starts designing his or her course with an investigation of each syllabus type, then consideration of the choice and integration of the different types according to local needs, as a result he or she may find a principled and practical solution to the problem concerning the appropriateness and effectiveness in syllabus design.
A syllabus plays a very significant role in the whole course design because it is the most important document which is created by the instructor for the learners presenting a kind of an agreement between the teacher and the students. Thanks to the syllabus the learners will get the first impression of the teacher and the whole course he or she has designed. It documents the beliefs of the instructor about teaching. The tone for the course also depends on a well-composed syllabus. Students may have negative attitude towards the course in case of misunderstanding some points given in the syllabus which are not correctly defined. Even an especially good syllabus may be changed when it is used for the next...