Curriculum Development in Language Teaching by Jack Richards

Planning Goals and Learning Outcomes

In Curriculum Development in Language Teaching by R. Jack, the fifth chapter, Planning Goals and Learning Outcomes involve a lecture on planning goals and curriculum development. In decision making, this forms a crucial dimension, especially in curriculum development. It is assumed that people are generally motivated to pursue specific goals. I specifically want to become a teacher in the future, which is why I am doing this course. Formulation of goals is not a scientific enterprise but rather a judgmental call.

There are basically five curriculum ideologies that shape the nature of the curriculum. These include learner-centeredness, social reconstruction, academic rationalism, efficiency, and cultural pluralism. The ideologies help in shaping the nature of language and the practices of language teaching. The philosophy of the curriculum will reflect what the curriculum developers believe is worthwhile and changes that need to be implemented in the learning process.

The aims provide instructions and guidelines for learners and teachers, any changes, and the purpose of the program. These statements show how the curriculum seeks to realize the ideologies of the curriculum. Objectives are statements that are more specific as to what the program wants to achieve. They facilitate planning and provide measurable outcomes.

Objectives make teaching technology but are limited to only observable outcomes. Hence, Competence-Based Language Teaching (CBLT) is a good alternative as it shifts focus to the ends of learning rather than the means.

Non-language outcomes and process outcomes are also found in a curriculum, for example, knowledge of the community, confidence, and motivation.

Course Planning and Syllabus Design

In chapter six of Curriculum Development in Language Teaching, the lecture was about course planning and syllabus design. In the development of the course rationale, it should be consistent and emphasize the type of teaching required. I need to know how long I expect to be at school. In choosing the course content, we use the information gathered during the needs analysis as well as a continuous reference to the aims and objectives of the course.

In determining the scope and sequence of the program, one should be focused on the breadth and in-depth coverage of the course. It can be simple to complex, chronological order, needs of learners, or spiral sequencing, which involves the recycling of items.

One should have detailed planning by selecting the framework for the syllabus and development of instructional blocks (Jack, 2001). Grammatical syllabus arranges the items in a way that facilitates the learning process and allows the development of basic communication skills. However, it only focuses on the forms rather than meaning and uses sentences alone. Lexical syllabus identifies a given target vocabulary to be taught and arranges it according to different levels. The functional syllabus analyses the concept of communication competence into different components and provides a more comprehensive view of language. The situational syllabus is organized on the basis of the language needed for practical and immediate use. The topical syllabus is organized around topics or units of content and therefore facilitates comprehension and motivates learners as it integrates all the four skills of learning.

The competency-based syllabus focuses on what the learner should master in his specific activities. The skill-based syllabus focuses on performance for specific tasks only while a task-based syllabus focuses on the tasks that students should complete in the target language to ensure it is meaningful.

In the development of instructional blocks, a self-contained language sequence with its own goals is developed to reflect an overall objective of the course. This makes the course more teachable and coherent. Finally, the scope and sequence plan is developed by listing the modules and units, their content, and the time that is required for each module or unit.


Jack, R. (2001). Curriculum development in language teaching. New York, NY. USA: Cambridge University press.

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