Page 1

TEFLnow Course in Teaching English to Young Learners

Unit i 3

YL 003

Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Synopsis In this unit we will explore various ways you could develop a course for young learners. From our first meetings with students, we will examine level testing and the needs analysis for the students. We will also consider some of the limiting factors which will affect the content of a syllabus, and look at how we might make adjustments as a result. A review of the different types of syllabus and how we might design one will follow, and then we’ll move on to some of the examinations we may have to prepare our students for. Finally we consider three stages of evaluation for our courses.

YL 003 Copyright Š 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 1


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment Level testing and needs analysis

Level Testing First we need to ask the question, “What is a level test and what does it show?” What they should show, if they have been designed correctly, is the ability of the participant to use the language. Usually these level tests are graded, which means they start easy and get progressively harder. The first ten questions would be answered correctly to be placed at level two, the next five of eight questions correct to be placed at level three and so on. Often this is presented in the form of ‘Can do’ statements. There are many different level descriptors, used by different examination and testing bodies, we will adopt a five level scale 1. Starter 2. Elementary 3. Pre-Intermediate 4. Intermediate 5. Upper-Intermediate

This banding relates to the Council of Europe and ALTE scales as follows:

Course classifier

CiLT

ALTE

Starter

Breakthrough

1

Elementary

Waystage

2

Pre-Intermediate

Threshold

3

Intermediate

Vantage

4

Upper-Intermediate

5

YL 003 Copyright © 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 2


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

We can present the level descriptions as follows: Starter Has a basic command of the language required for a range of familiar situations. Elementary Has an effective, but limited command of the language in a range of familiar situations. Pre-Intermediate Has a generally effective command of the language, in a range of situations, can take part in discussions. Intermediate Has a good operational command of the language, in a wide range of real world situations and can participate effectively in discussions and meetings. Upper-Intermediate Has a full operational command of the language at a high level and in most situations can present an argument and use suasion.

YL 003 Copyright Š 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 3


Unit i 3 Co C ourrs se dev evelopme ment

Sample A2 level test (part)

Complete the sentences with the word/s you think fits best into the space, from the words given. 1. Too __________ ice-cream makes you full. many much some a lot

amount.

2. Turn __________ the fan please, I'm hot. in on off down

out.

3. I'm __________ my new teacher next week. meet met meted meeting

meat.

4. Mrs Smith’s room is the __________ classroom in the school. cleanest clean cleaner most

clean cleaniest

5. I didn’t learn much English __________ I was at my last school. since for when during after 6. You __________ eat food in the library, as it's against the rules. should can must mustn't 7. __________ I look old, I'm only forty-three. despite even so

although

could

when

8. My bicycle has been broken __________ Friday. on last since for

in

9. If I could be anyone I __________ be Tiger Woods. may might should would

can

10. The bread had __________ so we took it out of the oven. rose risen rosed rised rise Note this level test is for reading, comprehension and writing, and that it doesn’t test other skills such as listening and speaking.

YL 003 Copyright © 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 4


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Needs analysis Having gained some knowledge of the students’ levels from the level test, the next step you can take is to carry out a needs analysis. This is to give you an idea of the students’ previous learning experiences, what they will use English for and what they feel would be the most beneficial areas for them to study. The needs analysis itself can take the form of a simple questionnaire (see the example on the next page). Using both the results of the level tests and the needs analysis, you are now in a position to arrange your groupings. Your first lesson with each group should have some time devoted to a needs negotiation. The form that this will take will very much be dependent on the age and level. For the younger age group this negotiation can be based around the class rules, rather than the syllabus content. It is also useful to let the students know what they can expect from you as their teacher (but don’t make promises you can’t keep). For the older students, the negotiation would take the form of a class discussion and should focus on the areas of learning that the students feel would be most useful to them as a group. By this stage, you should have already worked out a preliminary syllabus and you can direct the discussion to show how their needs are being addressed. There will always be some areas that one or two students need and others do not, so you can explain that any individual such needs will be addressed through homework and/or assignments, should the language point be outside of anything useful to the whole group.

YL 003 Copyright © 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 5


Unit i 3 Co C ourrs se dev evelopme ment

Sample A2 needs analysis questionnaire (part)

1. Which of these do you do most often in English? (a) Speaking (b) Reading (c) Listening Answer ____________________

(d) Writing

2. Which of these do you do least often in English? (a) Speaking (b) Reading (c) Listening Answer ____________________

(d) Writing

3. Which of these do you think is the most difficult to do in English? (a) Speaking (b) Reading (c) Listening (d) Writing Answer ____________________ 4. What was the last book you read in English? Answer _______________________________________________________ 5a. Do you read English-language magazines or comics? Answer ____________________ 5b. If ‘yes’ which magazines or comics do your read? _______________________________________________________ 6a. Do you watch English-language television programmes? Answer ____________________ 6b. If ‘yes’, which programmes do you watch? _______________________________________________________

YL 003 Copyright © 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 6


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Limiting factors There will always be some form of mismatch between what we would ideally like to do and what we have to do. Some of the factors that create these limitations here could include:

Your employer The school or company you work for may have decided what is and isn’t to be taught, there is very little you can do about this. You will have to explain to your older students that there is certain material that will be tested, through examinations and this is why it is included in the syllabus, even though they may not feel it is particularly relevant to what they feel they need. Time constraints Your contact time will have been decided before you arrive and this will have a major impact on what you can put into your syllabus. Some schools will tell you what time to spend on particular areas, others may not. It is well worth consulting other teachers in your department to see what they do, Resources In order to effectively teach various topics, you will need to have access to certain resources, for example, books, a photocopier and so on. What resources you have access to, may, to some extent affect what you can teach. One particularly useful bit of advice here is to get to know the administration staff of the school, the secretaries and so on. It is surprising what they will be able to produce for you that others find impossible to get.

YL 003 Copyright Š 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 7


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Cultural issues You need to be sensitive to certain issues in your teaching which relate to cultural norms and taboos. If you don’t know enough about the culture to make these decisions then consult the management or administration staff. In particular be aware that resources within the school may well have been checked, but those of your own or those you take from the internet probably have not been.

Students You have to take account of your students in the design of the syllabus. A group of teenage boys in Marseilles, France will have very different motivational factors than a group of missionary school students in China, for example. If your teaching style is radically different to the normal practices of other teachers at the school, you may find yourself having to explain to parents and senior staff why your methods are suitable.

YL 003 Copyright Š 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 8


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Syllabus design If you are working for a state school or private language academy in most cases you will be given a syllabus when you arrive. In some cases the syllabus will be broken down into units and even individual lessons, telling you the order of what to teach. In a school situation your classes may already have been arranged either by age or by level. But what happens if you arrive and a syllabus is not available? If you have a little spare time, you may wish to read through some of the literature available for designing a language syllabus. The first thing you will find is that there are many different theories as to what a syllabus should be designed around.

You will see such terms as: Q Q Q Q

The structural syllabus (based on sequencing by grammar complexity) The functional-notional syllabus (based around communicative purpose) The learner led syllabus (students have input to the design) The situational syllabus (based on the situational needs rather than grammar)

These may be broken down further still: Q Q Q

The student syllabus (what the students will see) The material syllabus (the materials required at each stage of the syllabus) The organizational syllabus (how groups, resources will be organized)

YL 003 Copyright Š 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 9


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

You will find a lot of material which relates the syllabus design to particular learning theories, see for example: Three Approaches to Task-Based Syllabus Design, Long and Crookes (http://w3.coh.arizona.edu/classes/ariew/slat583/Long%26Crookes.pdf) Waystage, Van Ek & Trim (Council of Europe) Threshold, Van Ek & Trim (http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/60/2/181) Having ploughed your way through this material you may ask yourself if there is an easier way of going about this process. There probably is. Firstly you need some information. (i) How long is your course and how is it broken down? (for example 20 x one hour slots) (ii) How many progress tests (during the course) will you have? (for example one progress test after 10 lessons and an achievement test at the end = 2 hours) (iii) Leave some flexible time to cover things that come up or you didn’t think of at the start (for example one hour) (iv) What language points do you have to cover on your course (for example the alphabet, greetings, colours, animal vocabulary, shape and size, dates, ’wh’ questions, there is/there are, etc.) (v) What ability and age range is your group (for example starters ages 4 and 5 years) It is useful to designate the first lesson to Introductions, both you to them and them to you. Also in this session you can outline the syllabus and why the various components are there and what you expect them to achieve. It’s also useful to let them know at the start when the assessments will take place. This leaves you with 16 teaching hours to cover your material. Do you have answers to all the above questions? If so we can now map out a matrix for your 20 hours (see example on the next page).

YL 003 Copyright © 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 10


Unit i 3 Co C ourrs se dev evelopme ment

Sample Syllabus:

Syllabus for group K3 Mon to Fri, 9.30 – 10.30 am Lesson

Room 9b Content

Resources

1

Introductions/getting to know you Classroom rules

Ice breaker games



The alphabet

Coursebook pages 2, 3, 4



hello, goodbye, nice to meet you

Coursebook pages 5 - 8



My name is‌

Coursebook pages 9 - 11



Color vocabulary

Coursebook pages 12,13



It is + color;͞ It’s + color

Coursebook pages 14



Animal vocabulary

Coursebook pages 15, 17



Animal adjectives

Coursebook pages 18, 19



Revision

Revision sheets

1

Progress test

K3, PT 001

1

Shapes

Coursebook pages 20, 21

1

Sizes

Coursebook pages 22, 23

1

Days of the week

Coursebook pages 24

1

Months and dates

Coursebook pages 25

1

Wh’ questions 1

Coursebook pages 26, 28

1

‘Wh’ questions 1

Coursebook pages 29, 30

1

Singular/plural

Coursebook pages 31, 32

1

There is/there are

Coursebook pages 33

1

Revision

Revision sheets

20

Achievement test

K3, AT 001

YL 003 Copyright Š 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 11


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment Assessment of students

It is most important for yourself and your students, that some regular form of testing or assessment of learning takes place. This will allow you to measure the efficacy of your program and allow your students to monitor their progress. It will also provide you with information to guide any modifications or improvements to your course. What type of tests should you give and how often? Let’s start by looking at the type of tests available and what these tests are designed to do. Types of test include: Q Q Q Q Q Q

diagnostic placement aptitude achievement proficiency progress

Diagnostic tests are designed to assess the students’ knowledge and skills in specific areas that have accrued due to past learning experiences. These tests would take place before your course begins. Placement tests are designed to enable you to group students by their current ability in a range of areas rather than anything specific. These tests often take the form of multiple choice style questions to make the marking quicker. Aptitude tests are designed to predict students’ probable future performance on a course. They try to assess if the student will be able to use the language. Achievement tests are designed to assess students learning of a known body of work (for example a syllabus). They are usually designed to give maximum discrimination between students, so that individual progress can be monitored.

YL 003 Copyright © 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 12


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Proficiency tests are designed to assess the students’ current knowledge and reference this forward to some future task. For example, will this student be able to study Medicine in the medium of the English language at a U.K University? Progress tests are designed to assess students’ progress in learning specific areas taught in the class. They tend to be less formal than external achievement tests and are often ‘created’ by the teacher themselves. They can inform the teacher of the efficacy of their program and motivate students by their ‘knowing what they don’t know’. In terms of our course (which is for 20 hours) and syllabus, an end-of-course progress test would be suitable. For a much longer course, we may have a mid-course progress test and end with an achievement test. Most published book series available for young learners used in your teaching programs offer progress tests in their texts (see the Friends, English Parade, and Let’s Go series, for example). Alternatively, you can adapt tests set for external examinations by cutting and pasting relevant questions. You will also find many tests available on various websites on the internet, such as www.english-test.net, www.easyenglish.com, www.usingenglish.com and www.a4esl.org. Whatever method you use to generate these progress/achievement tests you should always try to ensure the following: Q Q Q

That the tests are marked very shortly after they are given That they are annotated and returned to the students as soon as is practicable That some form of remedial teaching takes place to cover common areas of weakness indicated in the test results.

How often you should carry out progress tests? Certainly a minimum of once in any course, probably at the end if it is a short duration course (10 hours), or as soon as a reasonable 'chunk' of the syllabus has been covered in longer courses.

YL 003 Copyright © 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 13


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Examinations It is not unusual to have to prepare students for specific examinations in English. Possibly, the best known suite of examinations at this level, are the Cambridge examinations. For our age range we will mainly be concerned with the CYLE (Cambridge Young Learners of English) tests. The CYLE tests are at three levels: Starters - designed originally for 7-year-olds with about 100 hours of study in the English language. Movers - designed for 8-year-olds to 11-year-olds with about 175 hours of study in the English language. Flyers - designed for 9-year-olds to 12-year-olds with about 250 hours of study in the English language. The age ranges quoted are only the designed ranges. In reality a much wider range of ages take the various tests. There are three separate tests for each level, in speaking, reading/writing and listening. These examinations are designed to lead into the higher, adult examinations of KET and PET. KET is the Key English test and is designed for students over 13 years of age at the elementary level. PET is the Preliminary English test – it’s designed for lower intermediate students.

YL 003 Copyright © 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 14


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Course evaluation On completion of your course, particularly for the older age groups, it is advisable to do some form of evaluation. This is useful for a number of reasons: Q

Q

Q

It will help you to evaluate your material and suggest improvements that you can make to it. It gives your students an opportunity to feedback on your course and evaluate its efficacy, against your initial stated aims. It can be quite difficult for teachers to ask their students to give feedback on their teaching, but you will find that the information they give you, both good and bad, will be the most valuable feedback that you can get. Students are rarely critical in a malicious sense, when given the opportunity to feed back in this way and their comments are usually insightful and helpful. Finally it provides you with useful information that can form the basis of a report that you can give to your employer, which they are quite entitled to expect from you. Rather than giving your own personal general impressions, you can show the actual feedback comments from the students.

An efficient way to gather this information is through the use of an end of course questionnaire. On it you should remind students of the initial aims of the course and ask them to rate various aspects of the course on a 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) scale. It is also useful to know why they have given the particular grades, so after each question leave five or so blank lines for them to add additional comments. Try to ask questions on the whole range of the course, including the syllabus, materials and teaching style. Ask the students to offer suggestions for improvement both in terms of what you do now and what you could add in the future to make the course more rounded, balanced and useful to them.

YL 003 Copyright Š 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 15


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Task sheet Unit 3 Check your knowledge before attempting the unit test.

Note: not all the information needed for the answers can be found in the unit, soyou may need to research from other sources. 1. Refer to the level test on page 4 and write five similar questions for a group of 9-year-olds. (i) …………………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….……………………… …………………………

…………………………

…………………………

…………………………

…………………………

(ii) …………………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….…………………….. …………………………

…………………………

…………………………

…………………………

…………………………

(iii) ………………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….…………………….... …………………………

…………………………

…………………………

…………………………

…………………………

(iv) …………………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….……………………. …………………………

…………………………

…………………………

…………………………

…………………………

(v) …………………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….…………………….. …………………………

…………………………

…………………………

…………………………

YL 003 Copyright © 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

…………………………

Page 16


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

2. What are the main differences between a functional-notional syllabus and a structural syllabus? Give as much detail as possible. .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............

3. What do the terms KET and PET mean? .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............

YL 003 Copyright © 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 17


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

4.. State five factors which may affect or limit syllabus design. (i) …………………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….……………………… .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............

(ii) …………………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….…………………….. .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............

(iii) ………………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….…………………….... .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............

(iv) …………………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….……………………. .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............

(v) …………………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….…………………….. .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............ .…………………………………………………………………….........…………………………………….………………………............

YL 003 Copyright © 2012 TEFLnow.com. All rights reserved.

Page 19

Yl unit 3  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you