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By Arnis Silvia

Lets imagine..

Ms. Azizah works in a reputable English course in Jakarta. One day, she was asked to design a course syllabus for students at a newly established International Kindergarten (age 5-7). What should she include in the syllabus?

Pick up seven grammatical items that you think appropriate for Ms. Azizah class.
Past Tense Cardinal Number Ordinal Number Subject (I, You, He, She) Abstract Nouns V-ing WH-Questions How many How much Prepositions (in, on, under) Directions (turn rights, go straight) Color Animals Adverbs of time Subjunctives Parts of body Adjectives (big, small, short, tall, long)

Let me Introduce you to.. STRUCTURAL SYLLABUS


Structural syllabus is a syllabus which consists a list of grammatical items selected and graded in terms of simplicity and complexity

- Nunan (1988)

A synthetic language teaching strategy is one in which the different parts of a language are taught separately and step by step so that acquisition is a process of gradual accumulation of the parts until the whole structure of the language has been built up. - Wilkins (1976:2)

Language Samples as Chuncks

All grammatical items (language samples to be covered in a certain period of learning)

Chunks (selected grammatical items to be taught in sequence)

It is proposed by Rod Ellis in 1993 It is the most traditional yet common type of syllabus Grammatical structures as the central organizing feature It is commonly associated to Grammar Translation Method and Audiolingual Method (earlier), but also then developed to Task Based Language Teaching, and Notional Functional Approach (Communicative Language Teaching)

Language is a system which consists of a set of grammatical rules; learning language means learning these rules and then applying them to practical language use. functional ability arises from structural knowledge or ability.
it is easier for students to learn a language if they are exposed to one part of the grammatical system at a time. The syllabus input is selected and graded according to grammatical notions of simplicity and complexity.

The Structural Syllabus generally consists of two components: 1. A list of linguistic structures, that is, the grammar to be taught, and 2. A list of words, that is, the lexicon to be taught.


Very often the items on each list are arranged in order showing which are to be taught in the first course, which in the second, and so on.
The criteria for sequencing are various. The teacher regards the items from the point of view of levels or stages. For example, beginning, intermediate, advanced, or grades, 1,2,3, etc.

1. Analysing the linguistic components to be covered in each period of study 2. Breaking down the grammatical items to be taught in sequence 3. Arranging sequence from simple to more complex 4. Presenting (teaching) one sequence one at a time 5. Moving from one sequence to others until all are taught

The learner moves from simpler to more complex grammatical structures and may grasp the grammatical system more easily. Teaching and testing are relatively simple, because teachers deal with discrete-point knowledge and skills. The teachers need not be fluent in the language they teach, since grammatical explanations and drills do not require a high level of language proficiency. It is very much helpful to develop writing skills. It enriches students basic vocabulary.

It over-emphasizes language structure and neglects communicative competence. It hampers the students creative sides because it confines him/her within the walls of some specific rules. the role of the student is passive, since it is the teacher who is deciding what to teach in which stage. It is, thus, a teacher dominated syllabus.

Structural syllabus still becomes the basis for the development of todays teaching methods In practical pedagogy, structural syllabus cannot stand alone without being integrated with other syllabus types It is better to modify structural syllabus to be more communicative and reinforce students active involvement

Thank You
Suggestions and Questions are welcomed