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Analysing Different Teaching Syllabus'

In the area of language teaching, many coaching syllabuses have emerged which may be classified according with their goals. Examples will be the grammatical or structural syllabus which targets teaching sentence structure; the lexical syllabus which the goal is to teach students lexis and the orthography of the target terms; the situational syllabus which is concerned with teaching terms related to certain situations; the topic-based syllabus, which includes as its goal the coaching of specific matters, for example, physical subject areas such as global warming. There is also the skills-based syllabus which considers the four skills of terminology learning, namely, being attentive, speaking, reading and writing; the task-based syllabus, in which the task is the key to acquiring vocabulary and the included syllabus, which tries to integrate all sorts of syllabus into one syllabus. This sort of syllabus is central to the 'Headway' group of books.

The concentrate of the coaching syllabuses in universities and schools used to be on the grammar of the prospective language. Priority was given to structural categories, such as word class, and to understanding these categories. It was observed, however, that learners using the structural syllabus lacked the ability to connect fluently in the target language, because they had little practice in expressing themselves communicatively, even though that they had mastered the sentence structure. These were able only to memorise the structural categories and never engaged in conversing with others. This problem, therefore, could be fixed only by creating a new syllabus that could meet learners' needs and improve their communicative ability. As a result, a notional-functional syllabus emerged, with new goals and types of procedures.

This newspaper examines the notional- efficient syllabus. Inside the first part, a short section seeks to define the term 'syllabus', followed by a section about the general meaning of any notional-functional syllabus. The second part considers the strategy taken in this kind of syllabus and discusses it. The third part focuses on an essential requirement in the notional-functional syllabus, particularly, needs examination. The fourth part highlights the talents and weaknesses of this syllabus. The fifth part shows the way the notional-functional syllabus has been affected by ideas of dialect and learning. The ultimate part, attempts to describe the coaching situation best suited to this kind of syllabus plus some of its most important aspects.

The Notional- useful syllabus:

Before we attempt describing and speaking about the notional-functional syllabus, we ought to provide a meaning for the term syllabus.

What is a syllabus?

It is noteworthy that many freelance writers such as, (Brumfit: 1984; Nunan: 1988; Richards: 2001) have sought to determine this word. For example, a syllabus is thought as:

a specs of this content of a course of instruction which lists exactly what will be trained and tested (Richards: 2001:2).

It is defined also by Nunan (1988:159) as:

a specs of what is to be trained in dialect and the order where it is to be taught.

Furthermore, it can just lay down what is to be educated, or look at the harder task of organizing what is to be learnt (Brumfit: 1984). Accordingly, it is mentioned that they concur that a syllabus should be a specified by a plan which leads coaching aims. White (1988) will abide by Nunan (1988), in addition, a syllabus can include such aspects as, framework, functions, matters, skills and situations. The choice of goal among these aspects will specify the sort of syllabus.

1. 2. What is a notional-functional syllabus?

The first appearance of the kind of syllabus was in the 1970s, when sociolinguists and vocabulary philosophers first attempted to echo the functional aspects of language in the coaching syllabuses (Nunan: 1988). It really is valuable mentioning the the notional- efficient syllabus is based on two important aspects, namely, a conceptual or notional aspect and an operating aspect. The first, will take into consideration ideas such as, cause and effect, time, movement and space. The second describes and classifies the intentions behind terms use. Actually, neither of these aspects was new for terminology teaching. They been of much concern in the words teaching field, yet what was new was the adoption of notional-functional categories as guidelines in syllabus organisation. Because of this, the great stress on grammatical factors was relaxed, because the communicative categories were taken into account (White, 1988).

It is, however, worthy of mentioning that the Threshold syllabus (Vehicle Ek: 1975) and the Waystage syllabus (Van Ek and Alexander: 1977) are prototypes of notional-functional syllabuses made by the Council of European countries. The content of the syllabuses includes notions such as those mentioned previously and functions such as are located at the Threshold level ( Ek and Trim: 1990), ( see, Appendix:1). D. A. Wilkins (1976) was the keenest advocate of the notional- efficient syllabus. He notes that this kind of syllabus should encompass three types of meaning: first, semantico- grammatical meaning, where grammatical form is trained by semantics, such as, time, which includes point of their time, duration and relationships; second, modal interpretation, in which there's a concern with the nature of the speaker's behaviour, such as, the scale of certainty, including: conjecture, hesitation, conviction and disbelief; and third, the communicative function, where speakers are expected to provide communicate information, such as, demands and issues (Wilkins: 1976).

The approach applied in the Notional- practical syllabus:

It is important to note that there is a contention among such freelance writers in the terms teaching site as, (Wilkins: 1976; Nunan: 1988; Richards: 2001). This contention is approximately whether the procedure used a notional- efficient syllabus is analytic or fabricated. In fact, Wilkins (1976) is the first writer who has paid attention to the difference between synthetic and analytic strategies in coaching syllabuses (Nunan: 1988). The distinction lies in the fact that the strategy of language coaching in a artificial approach depends on the procedure of acquiring dialect through a gradual accumulation of words parts. These different parts are educated separately until the complete linguistic structure is built up. In contrast, with the analytic way linguistic control of the training environment is not important, because terminology components aren't viewed as building blocks. In other words, they are not gradually accumulated. Furthermore, the important forms of terminology are isolated from the contrasting framework in which they probably happen. Therefore, the emphasis of learning is significant aspects of the language framework (Wilkins: 1976). Wilkins continues on to suggest that a notional-functional syllabus maybe considered an example of the analytic method of language teaching. It is because it requires no compulsory exposure to sentence structure, although we will probably be able to distinguish particular forms from their language environment in order to learn the grammatical system sufficiently (ibid, p 19).

It emerges that (Nunan: 1988; Richards: 2001) disagree with Wilkins's view that the approach of a notional- practical syllabus is analytic; they consider it synthetic. Associated with that the functional-notional syllabus was an effort to replace the structural syllabus, yet in the long run, it remained like the latter, because, the sort of exercise and this content which learners need to understand is altogether comparable to those of the structural syllabus, although, the systems in the notional-functional syllabus have useful labels(Nunan: 1988). Additionally, it is known that the notional -functional syllabuses stayed exactly like the structural syllabuses, because they failed to remove the need for linguistic control and gradually forms gathered (Richards: 2001). It really is, therefore, decided with the views of Nunan and Richards, because functional-notional syllabuses aren't different enough from structural syllabuses. For instance, in structural syllabuses learners have to learn different verb tenses steadily. In notional- practical syllabuses, they have to create sentences according to the type of function in a sequence way. Hence, the methodology is commonly synthetic rather than analytic.

Needs evaluation:

This term identifies a set of techniques used to gather information about learners and their communications tasks which might assist in syllabus design. The question why learners should try to learn the target terminology is not solely the concern of needs analysis. Syllabus planners, however, will require information about such aspect as, the social expectations positioned on learners and the probability of resources to help put into practice the syllabus. Syllabus designers, therefore, use two different types of needs research. The first is learner examination and the next, task analysis. Learner analysis can be involved with the learner's purpose in learning the terminology and with a great many other questions by which a great deal of information can be amassed through, for example, data collection varieties (Nunan, 1988). In needs evaluation a syllabus plan is derived from the requirements which syllabus organizers or teachers are based on determining the type of language required. This specifies the ends which the learners desire (White: 1988). White seems to have considered a needs research similar to a blue printing for a residence build since, in order to drew up plan, an architect needs to take a look at another house to acquire information about the look. The architect, therefore, is similar to a syllabus planner or teacher (ibid, p83). Wilkins, on the other hands, drew attention in notional-functional syllabuses to the learners' needs. He suggested that the categories to use in syllabus should be "relevant to the particular people of learners" (Wilkins: 1981:84). Therefore, notional-functional syllabuses are based on the learner's needs, that are known through needs evaluation, for example, from interviews asking learners what they might need to learn (see, Appendix: 2).

Strengths and weaknesses of the notional-functional syllabus:

One of the positive aspects which characterises the notional-functional syllabus is the give attention to communicative factors as a starting place in a syllabus plan. For example, in this syllabus, there's a matter for the linguistic elements which learners need to be able to speak. Furthermore, the grammatical and situational factors, on the one hand, aren't neglected in this syllabus, because communicative competence will be produced and learners will be determined by the use of language. On the other hand, all sorts of terms functions could be covered in functional notional syllabuses not entirely the typical vocabulary functions that might emerge using situations (Wilkins, 1976).

It is worth clarifying the difference here between grammatical competence and communicative competence. According to Richards (2006), grammatical competence consists of a concentration on the sentence as a unit of examination and the power of terms learners to analyse the form of the word in order to produce their own sentences in the prospective words. Communicative competence, however, means circumstances where learners may use the terms in important communication.

Another positive facet of a notional-functional syllabus regarding to Widdowson, is the improvement which it displayed over grammatical syllabuses, because this syllabus allows an genuine and communicative use of language in the framework where the forms are offered (Widdowson: 1978).

However, Finocchiaro and Brumfit (1983) compliment the syllabus for giving the communicative purposes of students highest goal. Moreover, implementing a functional-notional syllabus in the terminology teaching area provides distinct benefits: First, no compulsory exposure to language grammar; second, the provision of concrete learning duties; third, the opportunity for educators to be led by some rules of psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and educational theory; fourth, the insistence on the need for vocabulary learners to truly have a real goal in speaking.

Fifth, the widespread progress of target language lessons is provided by this kind of syllabus. Sixth, modular and adaptable training could be upgraded by this syllabus. In addition, being attentive and reading activities that happen to be also called receptive activities are given in this. Furthermore, the communicative capabilities of learners will be motivating due to the basic communicative functions which existing in this syllabus (ibid, p36).

Hence, we're able to see that notional-functional syllabus takes into account the value of communicative activities in terminology coaching. As Littlewood (1981) implies, the purposes of communicative activities are, first, to give whole-task practice, whereby students in the prospective language classroom get practice in completing a whole task with its various communicative activities. Second, they improve inspiration, in that the top target for is to communicate with others; consequently if they recognise that their classroom can provide this target their inspiration to learn seems to provide them with close attention. Moreover, they can create a framework which helps learning, because communicative activities encourage positive associations between learners and their teacher. As a result, these relationships contribute to a propitious learning environment.

But, despite its positive aspects, this type of syllabus still has some constraints. One of these limitations is the difficulties which syllabus designers have regarding grading and selection, because a notional-functional syllabus has much concern for communicative factors. To illustrate, grading is the procedure of arranging the content of your syllabus from easy to difficult (Nunan, 1988). The items, that ought to be included in this syllabus, aren't chosen on linguistic basis only, but also on the communicative purposes with which learners embark on a course (ibid, p37). Furthermore, because in a functional framework syllabus organizers have no empirical evidence to make their collection of exponents and buildings, it is thought that their selection is based just on intuition (White, 1988). In an effort, however, to solve the challenge of grading and selection in the notional-functional syllabus, cross types syllabuses emerged. These syllabuses combine the structural and notional categories in a single syllabus, yet even these types of syllabuses have turned out problematic, because, as White suggests, there have not been enough evaluate them (ibid, p82).

Another shortcoming, with this kind of syllabus is that there is no compatibility between function and form, because, to be able to decide which function has been explained, we have to know about the context. For example, in the next sentences:

We are planning of heading to see the new Woody Allan film tonight.

How about heading to start to see the new Woody Allan film tonight.

(White, 1988:76).

In these examples, there is misunderstanding if they should be seen as forms of invitation or function ways of making an indicator (ibid, 77). In addition, Widdowson in his critique the notional-functional syllabus notes that the technique of dress rehearsal brings about the actions which try to produce traditional communication in the classroom. This strategy may enable learners and then convey the items learned in the situations that they can rehearse, however, not in new situations (Widdowson: 1987).

The notional-functional syllabus also lacks a thorough use of needs research. Relating to Richards (2001), the term needs is not recognized obviously because needs may discovered on the basis of intuition and the hobbies of the syllabus organizers. Therefore, the conditions for this term in the syllabus aren't clear-cut. Hence, from the limitations of notional-functional syllabus discussed above, it could be seen, that such a syllabus tends to be product- based mostly syllabus, which concentrating on what terms is learnt somewhat than process-based syllabus which centers on how terms is learnt. The outcome is that the list of goods that a notional-functional syllabus offers is provided to be learnt, yet how they'll be learnt is not given.

The influence of language ideas and learning on the notional-functional syllabus:

Theoretical views of terms teaching varied in their ideas. Fore example, you have the structural view in which language is considered a structural system connected with elements for the coding of meaning. This view is considered traditional in vocabulary teaching. The functional view, therefore, came up as a reaction to it, on the main one hand, and an effort to boost it, on the other side. Language in the efficient view is considered a way of conveying practical interpretation (Richards and Rodgers: 1986). Nunan (1988), however, attracts attention to the way in which the communicative view was included by syllabus designers in the 1970s and at that time attracted significant amounts of concern. This view, which is allied to the efficient view, asserts that the communicative and semantic sizes of language are as important as the grammatical characteristics of vocabulary. Thus, the content of language teaching is specified and organized by its communicative and semantic sizes through so this means and function categories instead of, composition and grammar elements (Richards and Rodgers, 1986). Because of this, the notional syllabuses followed by Wilkins in 1976 came up as an attempt to apply this view of words in educating syllabuses. Hence, the notional syllabuses comprised not only grammar elements and lexis, yet also standards of the notions, subject and principles which learners require in communication (ibid, p17). It is noted, furthermore, that the useful view is commonly with views such as Halliday's view (1970) which is convinced that:

linguistics can be involved with the information of speech acts or text messages, since only through the study of language used are all the functions of vocabulary and therefore, all components of meaning, brought into focus ( Halliday:1970:145).

Hence, it appears clear that the notional-functional syllabus is heavily influenced by efficient and communicative views of terms.

It is important to note, however, that the notional-functional syllabuses are affected not only by ideas of dialect, yet also theories of learning. Because, as Richards and Rodgers (1986) observe, the models of structural, functional and interactional approaches in language teaching are considered imperfect in themselves, because they offer only theoretical frameworks for instructing language. Thus, they need educational theories of terms learning in order to be complete. According to Richards and Rodgers, there are two types of learning theories, namely, process-oriented ideas and condition-oriented ideas. The first, is made on the procedures of learning namely, "habit creation, induction, inferencing, hypothesis trials and generalization" (ibid, p18). The next concentrates on dialect learning from the point of view of human character and the physical context. Therefore, it is should be noted that communicative so this means comes under the umbrella of condition-oriented theories, because, learners need to learn how they may transfer their communicative so this means through terminology. They could undertake it by way of a notional method of language teaching, because the foundation of this approach comes from the belief that what learners need in the domains of language is a lot more important than words mastery as unapplied system (Wilkins, 1976). Because of this, it could be seen a notional-functional syllabus depends heavily on the practical view of words and condition-oriented ideas of learning. As Wilkins (1981) emphasizes, what web links the notional methodology with the communicative language teaching activity is the knowledge of terms learning in which the communicative purposes have significant amounts of concern.

The teaching situation best suited to the notional-functional syllabus:

Since, the concentration of your notional-functional syllabus is on the development of communicative competence such as language learners need for communication in the mark language, Furthermore, this kind of syllabus offers the teaching of each day language on the globe beyond the class. It could, therefore, be argued that the notional-functional syllabus is ideal for English for Specific Goal (ESP) or short English courses. Such as for example, courses running a business English taught within an oil company. Training of this kind would be suited for many who want to visit an British speaking country for a business trip or trip, where they'll need to work together in various situations. This syllabus benefits those who would like basic communicative functions, for example, greeting, asking for guidelines, or expressing thoughts. As Wilkins (1976:71) reveals,

actual language training regarded by some learners as complete in themselves but by others a basis for even more learning. I would argue a notional syllabus is can meet identified communication needs while at the same time it is constructing a more generally established linguistic competence.

It is, however, important to note that there are some aspects that ought to be taken into account in the educating situation suited to the notional-functional syllabus, including the following:

6. 1. Language level:

Linguistic effectiveness among terms learners is categorized into levels, such as, newbie, primary, pre - intermediate, intermediate, higher - intermediate and advanced. Maybe it's, therefore, argued that notional-functional syllabus appears to be suited to intermediate or advanced learners somewhat than beginners. Associated with that learners in the first stages try to concentrate on vocabulary learning before learning how expressing themselves communicatively through useful meanings. Consequently, it is thought that this syllabus appears to be un suitable for beginners, because intermediate or advanced learners already possess the center vocabulary, however, their concentrate will be on producing phrases communicatively. Thus, it seems more appropriate for the coffee lover.

6. 2. Class size:

It could be argued that since a functional-notional syllabus targets learners needs, as Wilkins(1976) signifies, in his notional syllabuses that the categories which need to be applied in this kind of syllabus should be individual to a specific band of learners. It really is thought, therefore, that large classes which are comprised of dissimilar learners are not ideal for the functional-notional syllabus. This sort of syllabus needs a specific band of learners, for occasion, as it pertains to English for Specific Purpose (ESP) programs. In them are particular communities, such as, Business English learners, engineering English learners or medical English learners. These groups of learners will be suited to this kind of syllabus.

6. 3. Diagnosis:

Since, the purpose of a notional-functional syllabus is to enhance the communicative language ability of learners, quite simply, their ability to utilize terminology in their marketing communications. There seems, therefore, to be no need for formal assessment. The reason is that the analysis will concentrate on the way in which learners can achieve this potential through expressing ideas such as, probability or affirmation. For example, in the case of business English lessons, the assessment is based on the learners' performance in communicative language with customers; that is, how well they can talk to their customers for occasion, in making demands or offering business.


Syllabuses in the words coaching domain have varied in their goals and techniques. The traditional ones are structural or grammatical, with a give attention to finding ways of learning the grammar of the prospective terminology. But this syllabus neglects ways of acquiring competence in communicative words. Hence, as is seen in the above mentioned, the notional-functional syllabus emerged for learners to improve their communicative skills which would be determined through its basic communicative functions. Everything depends on everything we use terminology to do. Furthermore, we can conclude that the notional-functional syllabus is based on the learners' needs, which can be discovered through a needs evaluation strategy. This syllabus has two main aspects: functions which package with such the communicative abilities as, requesting, grading, arguing and expressing emotions and notions related, for example, to space, location, time and amount. It is noted, however, that the key in designing this kind of syllabus comprise: first, the situations where learners use the target vocabulary, broken down in to the place, the time and folks who engaged in these situations; second, the matters which are found atlanta divorce attorneys day communication, such as, requesting directions, offering help or shopping. Admittedly, the notional-functional syllabus possesses negative as well as positive aspects. Some of the strengths are its concentrate on communicative factors as a starting point and in its high motivating electric power, because it enables learners to express their ideas and thoughts more easily. Furthermore, all sorts of function could be protected in practical- notional syllabuses, not only the typical vocabulary functions which might emerge using situations. It really is noted, however, that a few of the negative aspects which are highlighted in today's paper are the problems in selecting and grading, the functions and forms and there lack of compatibility between function and form, because, to be able to choose which function is being explained, we have to find out about the context. Furthermore, needs examination strategy is not discovered evidently, because the id of learns' needs only on the basis of intuition on the part of syllabus organizers.

We could see, however, that the notional-functional syllabus has been inspired heavily by practical and communicative views of dialect and condition-oriented theories of learning. Finally, we can conclude that, although this kind of syllabus has some constraints, it is widely used in many countries, since it is effective for learners with special purposes, such as, learners of ESP ( English for specific purposes).

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