Module Level: M


Salah Troudi

Credit Value: 15

ECTS Value: 7.5

Pre-Requisite: None

Co-Requisite: None

Duration: Variable to suit flexible delivery modes

Total Student Study Time: 150 hours comprising:

  • 15 hours lectures, seminars and tutorials
  • 15 hours directed reading
  • 7 hours of seminar preparation
  • 73 hours self-study
  • 40 hours assignment preparation

Print Formatted Module Descriptor

Print Module Descriptor

Date of Last Revision: Friday, 30th May 2008

Language Course and Syllabus Design (EFPM784)

Please note that this module is not currently recruiting.


  1. To introduce a variety of approaches to syllabus design employed in foreign language teaching. 
  2. To provide the tools students need to scrutinise and critically analyse teaching programmes used in student's current and future teaching contexts. 
  3. To develop a good understanding of the role of the various participants in syllabus design, implementation and evaluation.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

Subject-specific skills:

  1. the ability to critically evaluate a syllabus with reference to different approaches to syllabus design 
  2. the ability to critically reflect on the roles of various participants in the syllabus design process 
  3. the ability to apply tools to the design of a foreign language programme in a given socio-cultural setting.

Core academic skills: 

  1. an ability to learn both independently and co-operatively with peers from differing cultural and pedagogical backgrounds. This will be evidenced during group discussions and task completion 
  2. an ability to listen actively and effectively. 
  3. an ability to give a presentation to an audience of peers drawing on an understanding of the academic literature as applied to practical teaching situations

Personal and key skills: 

  1. an ability to identify strategic options in the choices open to syllabus designers. 
  2. an ability to evaluate the relative success of different strategies and approaches to syllabus design 
  3. an ability to evaluate the merits of others’ ideas.

Learning / Teaching Methods

lectures, seminars (both students and lecturer led), tutorials


  1. a presentation of the foreign language syllabus and programme currently employed in a teaching context students are familiar with in the light of the various approaches to course and syllabus design discussed in the course.
  2. a presentation based on the assessed essay mentioned below.


A 3,750 word essay to accompany a presentation given on the aspects of syllabus design theory and practice relevant to a teaching context with which the student is familiar. It is intended that the student will critically reflect on the syllabus design being used. The essay will contain adequate reference to academic literature and may contain locally produced documents relevant to the topic under discussion.

Syllabus Plan

  • a definition of syllabus; broad and narrow definitions, and the relationship between syllabus and curriculum. 
  • a consideration of various aspects of syllabus design and the roles of different participants in these. 
  • an introduction to different approaches to syllabus design and underpinning theories of learning and language – including an examination of process and product orientated syllabuses and structural, procedural and negotiated syllabuses. 
  • a critical examination of the notion of a communicative language syllabus 
  • reflective discussion of student led presentations on syllabi from different parts of the world

Reading List

  • Coombe, C. Folse, K. & Hubley, N. (2007). A practical guide to assessing English language learners. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Breen,M. and Littlejohn, A. (eds) (2000) Classroom decision-making: negotiation and process syllabuses in practice. CUP
  • Brumfit, C. (1995) Language Education in the National Curriculum. Blackwell
  • Graves, K. (1996) Teachers as Course Developers. CUP
  • Nunan, D. (1989) Syllabus Design. OUP
  • Rea-Dickens, P and Germaine, K. (eds) (1998) Managing Evaluation and Innovation in Language Teaching, Longman
  • Richards, J. (2001) Curriculum development in language teaching. Cambridge: OUP
  • White, R.V. (1988) The ELT Curriculum: design, innovation and management. OUP
  • Willis, D. (1990) The Lexical Syllabus. Collins


Last edited on Thursday, 2nd February 2012