THE COMPONENTS OF OUR CURRICULUM
1. INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS IN OUR PROGRAMS
Unlock 1 Reading & Writing,
Unlock 1 Listening & Speaking
Grammar In Context 1,
Unlock 2 Reading & Writing,
Unlock 1 Listening & Speaking
Reading Explorer 1,
Unlock 3 Reading & Writing,
Unlock 3 Listening & Speaking
Reading Explorer 2,
Lecture Ready 1,
Unlock 3 Reading & Writing,
Unlock 3 Listening & Speaking
Reading Explorer 3,
Lecture Ready 2,
Grammar In Context 3
Unlock 4 Reading & Writing,
Unlock 4 Listening & Speaking
Reading Explorer 4,
Lecture Ready 3,
Grammar Explorer 3
In addition to these books, various supplementary materials through which students can further study and recycle what has been learnt are provided. Online components of the books and other online platforms such as the Macmillan English Campus (MEC) are also used to provide the students with extra activities.
2. THE ONLINE LEARNING PORTFOLIO (LP)
The Learning Portfolio is;
- a road map to the individuals’ progress towards goals,
- a reflective analysis of learning,
- an encouragement and celebration of improvement.
The rationale behind implementing the Learning Portfolio is that;
- our approach to education is progressive; we value process in language learning,
- we not only give importance to exams, but also the students’ learning process and progress throughout the course,
- we want to give students the chance to exhibit their performance to themselves and to their teachers and classmates,
- we want students to reflect on their own performance, which creates ownership.
The aim of the Learning Portfolio is to;
- promote learner autonomy and independent learning,
- encourage responsibility for one’s own learning,
- promote critical and reflective thinking,
- expose students to thematically linked reading and listening texts.
The key concepts in the Learning Portfolio are;
The components of the Learning Portfolio are;
- an initial reflection sheet for speaking,
- an initial reflection sheet for writing,
- reflection sheets for speaking and writing outcomes,
- a final reflection sheet for overall progress in speaking & writing.
Learning technique used for the LP:
TASK BASED LEARNING
TBL consists of tasks that helps learners learn by doing meaningful tasks that require them to use the language. The task is an activity in which students use language to achieve a specific outcome. The speaking and the writing outcomes of each unit of the textbook or the compiled materials pack serve to fulfil the purpose of TBL.
• Rationale behind TBL:
TBL helps students do something in class, which they would do every day in an authentic situation. TBL encourages students to focus on meaning and makes grammar teaching meaningful as it serves a purpose. In TBL lexical and grammatical forms are not taught in an isolated context. TBL helps develop target language fluency and student confidence.
Key elements of TBL:
- Communicative Language Approach – The tasks are created with the idea that learning a language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning.
- Learner Centred Approach – There is more emphasis on learners doing the tasks actively rather than being passive receivers.
- Integrated Skills – The content of the course is arranged around the integration of 4 skills.
3. EXTENSIVE READING – GRADED READERS
The aim of extensive reading is to;
- help students enjoy reading in the second language,
- encourage students to continue reading long after formal study of the second language is over,
- help students regard the reading of a text not only as an object for language studies but also as a literary experience or simply as a pleasurable experience,
- enhance students’ language proficiency,
- enable students to enrich their vocabulary,
- develop awareness of language structures,
- help students improve their writing skills,
- promote confidence and motivation to develop a positive attitude,
- improve reading ability.
The role of the teacher in extensive reading is to;
- orient students to the goals of the program,
- establish expectations,
- explain the methodology,
- guide students in getting the most out of the program,
- be a role model of a reader for students,
- be an active member of the classroom reading community,
- demonstrate what it means to be a reader and the rewards of being a reader.
The characteristics of extensive reading are;
- letting students select what they want to read so that they enter the second language culture on their own terms,
- helping students know for what purpose they are reading when they read,
- reading for overall meaning,
- reading for its own reward,
- establishing a non-competitive, non-judgemental classroom environment,
- discouraging students from using dictionaries,
- encouraging guessing meaning from context,
- choosing books a little below the students’ linguistic level to provide them with a reading comfort zone.
4. PROJECT BASED LEARNING (FOR INTER AND UPPER-INTERMEDIATE STUDENTS)
PBL focuses on the idea that learning is possible through active investigation and engagement in the subject rather than being talked at in a traditional classroom. In PBL, students gain knowledge and improve their skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging question or find solutions to a problem. Assessment of the project includes peer and self-assessment as well and it does not only evaluate the final work, but the whole process. This means that assessment is not something that is done to the students at the end of the project as it is built into the project flow and the students are also a part of it.
- Rationale behind PBL:
PBL offers an alternative to students who cannot benefit from direct teaching. PBL is likely to make students more active, engaged and self-directed with a project that provides real-world relevance for learning. It improves learning because students who learn with PBL are more likely to be able to apply and transfer what they have learned to new situations. PBL requires students to use technology as they needtofind resources and information to create their work. It helps students improve their problem solving and collaboration skills by giving students voice and choice. PBL also gives students the opportunity to showcase their learning and be proud of it.
Key elements of PBL:
- Skills improvement - The project focuses on the skills covered throughout that course.
- A Meaningful Problem or Question - The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a provocative question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
- Structured Collaboration – Students learn to work in teams and be responsible to each other as they will have to contribute to the project individually and as a part of the team.
- Sustained Inquiry - Students engage in an extended process of research and preparation.
- Authenticity - The project has real-world relevance and it features context and tasks that students can relate to. It speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
- Student Voice & Choice - Students can take some control of their own learning, make some of the decisions, including what to create. They can choose from a list of options provided by their instructors.
- Reflection - Students and teachers reflect on learning, the quality and the effectiveness of the project work, their weak points and how to improve them.
- Guidance - Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their work during the process. Students need careful scaffolding to manage their time and the tasks.
- Assessment throughout the Project – There is not a traditional test at the end of the project, but it is embedded into the flow of the project so that the students get the chance to be guided throughout the project.
- Public Product - Students make their project work public by displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.
5. OUTSIDE CLASS STUDY (OCS)
Outside class study will be a part of our assessment as the students will be expected to complete a range of activities outside of class with the online workbook and Macmillan English Campus (MEC).
• Rationale behind OCS:
Due to different learning styles, students need to be provided with different kinds of materials and activities that will help them discover their own learning strategies. Students need to practise the skills that are taught outside of the class as well so that learning really takes place.
RATIONALE BEHIND THE CURRICULUM SYSTEM:
Our curriculum is built upon two main principles; building and recycling. Therefore, the sequencing is from simple to complex with a ‘spiral approach’, which means certain objectives are revisited throughout the course and across the levels. As for the design of our curriculum, two different types of syllabi are combined in an eclectic manner. The primary syllabus is the thematic syllabus and the second syllabus type is the skills-based syllabus.
With the thematic syllabus, we emphasize;
• making better links between ideas
• using the target structures and vocabulary items in a meaningful context
• recycling vocabulary items within particular themes.
With the skills-based syllabus, we emphasize;
• a whole-language approach
• meaningful tasks
• content arranged around the integration of skills.