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Selecting Contents of EFL Curriculum

There are various steps and strategies to select contents of EFL curriculum. In this post, the selecting content of the EFL curriculum will be based on Alvior (2015) that summarized some criteria as follows:

  1. Self-sufficiency, in economical perspective, the principle is that less teaching effort and less use of educational resources, but more benefits for students. Education should provide an independent learning experience in which students are given opportunity to experiment, observe and do field study.
  2. Significance, the content is significant if it is selected and organized for the development of
    a. Learning activities, skills, process, and attitude;
    b. Cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills, and cultural aspects of the students
  3. Validity, refers to the authenticity of the selected content, whether it is appropriate to be learned by students in the particular level. For instance, translation skill is not relevant for elementary students, but it is more relevant for college students.
  4. Interest, students learn well if the subject is meaningful for them.
  5. Utility, it is related to the advantages of the subject that might answer these students’ questions:
    a. Will I need this subject in my job?
    b. Will it give meaning to my life?
    c. Will it develop my potential?
    d. Will it solve my problem?
    e. Will it be part of the test?
    f. Will I have a passing mark if I learn it?
  6. Learnability, the subject must be within students’ experience. It exists in students’ environment. Thus, teachers should know how subjects are presented, sequenced and organized.
  7. Feasibility, the implementation of the content should consider the real situation of the school, the government and society. For example: teaching TOEFL to low proficiency level students who is rarely exposed to English in daily life is not feasible. Giving activities that is highly impossible to finish by students is also not feasible.
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Generally, in the selecting process teachers should think about the students (their interest and need), the materials (what to emphasize in the learning process), and how to organize it (Graves, 2000). Then, teachers start to conceptualize the content. Graves (2000) suggested these three focus areas as a guide:

  1. Focus in language: linguistic skills, topic/themes, competencies, content, situation, tasks, speaking, reading, communicative function, listening, writing, genre.
  2. Focus on learning and learners: affective goals, interpersonal skills, learning strategies.
  3. Focus on social context: sociolinguistic skills, sociocultural skills, socio-political skills.
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References:

Alvior, M. G. (2015, February 7). Seven Criteria for Selecting Subject-Matter or Content of Curriculum. Retrieved from SimplyEducate.Me: https://simplyeducate.me/2015/02/07/7-criteria-for-the-selection-of-subject-matter-or-content-of-the-curriculum/

Graves, K. (2000). Designing Language Courses: A Guide for Teachers. Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

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