This assignment (project) is for a subject named: Language Curriculum Design. This is a final project for my master course, which will be evaluated out of100%.
The requirement and the main idea of the of this assignment is to:
(Discuss and evaluate a new major English curriculum in your teaching context).
So, I have chosen a course from my teaching context, and I want to evaluate it. The course’s name is “Language and Computer”
FirstTo help you do this project properly,I will provide you with following information, notes, and requirements to show you how this assignment must be done:
1- I will provide you with the syllabus of the course, which includes all the information about the course that should be evaluated. It includes the name of the course, the level where this course is taught, how the outcomes of the course are assisted, the knowledge and the cognitive aims of the course, the interpersonal aims of the course, and the main textbook for the course. It also includes other useful information that will give you complete idea of the course.
2- I will provide you with some information about the context where this course is taught. Namely, the institute, the teachers who teach this course, the students, and some other information that you need to describe the context of the course.
3- I will provide you with the outline in how this paper must be written. I will explain to you which area of the course you need to analyse and evaluate, as well as the necessary information that must be included in the evaluation of each area. I will give you the subtitles that must be included in the evaluation.
4- I will provide you with titles of some articles that must be used. However, you need to use other references carefully. All references must be of high quality and must be chosen carefully.
SecondThe structure of the paper should be as follow:
3- The context of the course.
4- The evaluation, which must includes the following five categories:
A- What was there before introducing this new curriculum?
B- What are the objectives of the innovation (of the new curriculum)?
C- What are the attitudes and beliefs about language teachinglearning that underlie the innovation of the curriculum?
D- How does the innovation respond to changing policesbeliefs about the role of English in Saudi Arabia?
E- What factors might impact on the success or otherwise of the new curriculum?
5- Recommendations.(youneed to conclude by making recommendations about further research that would need to be conducted to properly evaluate the new curriculum).
Note: I will describe below and give more information about each of the 6 previous mentioned elements. I will provide what information to include in each part of them.
1- The introduction, the abstract, and the conclusion:
The aim of this study must be written carefully and clearly. Its main aim is to analyse (discuss) and evaluate the courseaccording to the previous mention five elements. (A,B,C,D,E). So it is important to state the aim and the content of the paper as well as the results of this study carefully and clearly.
As the introduction, abstract and conclusion are connected to each other, there must be a coherent in writing them. You must be specific and direct to the point.
In the introduction: please start from the general to the specific, clarify the aim of the result of the evaluation and states that this paper will provide some recommendations about further research that would need to be conducted to properly evaluate the new curriculum at the end of the study.Also mention the limitation of this evaluation.
I will give you below some highlights about what the introduction must include and you need to arrange them logically and enhance or add to them.
You can start the introduction by explaining the importance of English at the present and how countries around the globe are trying to adopt English in their educational systems. And as the Saudi Arabia is working hard to improve its education and do some reforms, many universities under the supervision of the Ministry of Education are trying to improve their curriculums and teaching environments. Due to the importance of using technologies in teaching languages and the expansion of the technologies field, Saudi Arabia are trying to equip its student and teacher with the necessary skills to enhance the outcomes of teaching and learning the English language.
Then you may state the importance of curriculum evaluation for the policy makers and institutions to improve their institutes and education. Then you can go specific and explain that Taibah University is trying to improve its curriculum, and by doing so this new curriculum (Language and Computer) was introduce recently since one year to equip students in the department of English (who will become teachers in the future) with the necessary tools and skills in both the English Language and the technical computer skills that will help them to pursue their teaching career successful in the future, and as a result this improvement will help develop the general education system.
Please mention that the writer could not contact any of the teacher of who teaches this course and he had only the chance to do very quick call with the head of the department to investigate about the new curriculum.
In the conclusion: it should summarise the whole paper precisely. It should matches what will be stated in the introduction and the abstract. (Coherent)
2- The context of the curriculum:
This is very important part of this Project. You need to give very clear information about where this course is taught. I will give you some information below that you must rewrite and include in this part, and you can add some other information when neccessary using some articles from the Internet that is reasonable with the information I will provide below.
Here is some information that must be included in the part of the context:
A)-This course is taught in Taibah University, in Saudi Arabia, in the college of Sciences and Arts. It is taught as a core subject in the department of English in the college. It is taught in the seventh level (seventh semester). The main aim of the English language department is to prepare students and equip them with the necessary knowledge, skills to become teachers.
B)-Students enrolled in the English department must complete 8 semesters (4 years). Upon completing the course requirements (136 credit hours) they are provided with a bachelor certificate that enables them to pursue their career as English teachers in different educational level in Saudi Arabia.
C)-the department has only one stream, which is (English language). Students enrolled in the department are all citizen from Saudi Arabia. The average number of students enrolled in the department is 250 students every year. The average number in the class is 40 to 60 students.
D)- The institution (Taibah University) are the responsible for designing its curriculum and syllabuses in all the different colleges. The university policy emphasise that all teachers must commit to the internal regulation of the university, so they have commit to the curriculum, the syllabus, the textbooks, and all the teaching strategies that the university suggest. The teacher also must to commit to the previous planned teaching period. The teachers in the department all come from Arabic background from different Arabic countries. There is no any native speaker teacher of English in the department. There are 7 who hold PhD degree, 3 hold master,4 hold bachelor degree.
E)- The course (Language and computer) is designed, as all the other course in the department, to be a learner-cantered curriculum. The policy of the department emphasise that teacher must use the communicative teaching approach for their teaching. This course was introduced to the study plan in the college as a result of the department trials to enhance and improve its curriculum and outcomes based on the needsof the students in the department and the needs of the teaching and education system in Saudi Arabia which suffer from lacking the enough of the qualified number of the teachers.
F)-The assessment of the outcomes of the course include two mid-tem exams, a presentation using PowerPoint in a topic chosen by students at the end of the semester, and a final exam at the end of the teaching period.
E)- English in Saudi Arabia is taught as a foreign language (EFL) in all the Saudi institutions. English languageis not used in social communication
3-The evaluation of the course:
This section includes five essential elements, which must be included in the evaluation of this course. Namely the course must be evaluated according to these elements.
I will state each element below, give some information about how to evaluate it separately,and what to include in the evaluation. You may add to it using some information from articles from the Internet, which discuss the evaluation of similar course in the Saudi context (the Internet is full of such paper). But you need to be careful to avoid any contradictory or plagiarism.
A)- The first element of the evaluation is: What was there before?
In this section you should state the following (I will give you general Idea and you can expand them and improve them profitably, but please be direct to the point without any unnecessary information):
Before introducing this new curriculum in the study plan in the department of English, students were only exposed to a course that is taught in Arabic language, which aim to equip students with the general overview of the helpful material that they can use in their future teaching context. This Arabic course is titled “ Teaching Materials”. Generally, it aimsto expose student to the materials and teaching aids that might help in their future teaching. This course was essential course (compulsory subject) that all students in the department must study.
This teaching materials course was adopted from another university when first the university of Tibah was established seven years ago. It was based on some references and theoretical knowledge that may be described as traditional comparing to the age of new technologies. It includes general information about the use of some traditional equipment such as the overhead projector, the smart board, and superficial introduction about the components of the computer and how it may be used in the class.
These basic information, although somehow is useful, but actually not enough especially in the age of the blinded learning, the blackboard use, and the online learning. In addition, the expansion of programming and the use of multimodal and the smart devices applications requires institutions as well as teachers to prepare and equip themselves with modern strategies in teaching materials and aids in the use of technologies in teaching the language.(here you need to support this idea from the literature, You need to mention how important is that any curriculum should be designed to meet the needs of the students, there is a theory named “need analysis” that is important to be used here to explain the idea that any curriculum must be designed according to the learners’ needs.Make sure to use short and specific and clear evidence to support the argument).
Another important note is that the language that is used in teaching the “ teaching material course”, which is Arabic, is not suitable for the students who will be teachers in the future and who will be using the English language in their teaching context. It, then, will be better to teach this course at least in the English language so that the students can gain good background about these materials in their teaching context in the future and also expand their English knowledge with regards to technical terms.
These previous mentioned doubts have led the department to suggest some changes to this course. So, it was suggested that this course must be changed and a new curriculum must be introduce to the study plan in the department to fill in the gap and enhance the outcomes of the department. The department also see that such improvement might meet its students need to help them lead successful careers in the future. Moreover, it matches the new vision that the Ministry of education attempt to achieve (Expand this Idea)
As a result, the new course “ Language and Computer” was introduced and implemented since one year ago. It is important to say that this course aims not only to equip students with the required computer knowledge and skills they such as:multimedia, computer, aided language learning and the Internet, but also aim simultaneously to improve some linguistics features through out the process of teaching this course such as technical vocabulary about technologies, antonyms, word formation, and synonyms.
B)- The second element is: What are the objectives of the innovation?
I will state some notes about this element and please expand them and arrange them. You can induce more objectives from the attached syllabus and from the previous mention ideas, but be careful of the repetition of the ideas.
1- Due to the latest new project of improving education in Saudi Arabia, many institutions have started to revise their curriculums, methods of teaching, and event their research interests.At Tibah University, in the department of English,in particular, ithas started advanced steps in this regard. It is now leading a project to enhance the quality of its education by adopting native speaker teachers, revising the old curriculum, improving the quality of assessment, integrating technologies widely in the process of teaching and learning.
3- When the curriculum “ Language and Computer” has introduced its main objectivesare to equip students with the necessary cognitive and interpersonal skills as well as knowledge about using technologies in their classes as teaching aids in the future. It also aim to improve certain linguistics features.
4- According to the department head, he stated that students’ needs are changing, and that the necessity to meet these changes is important in providing the community with qualified participant that can function successfully in their future careers.
He stated also that younger students who are now considered professional users of technologies and smart devices also need a new paradigms and strategies to be implemented in their learning context to facilitate their learning. However, without qualified teachers in the use of technologiesin teaching, the gap between the reality and hopes will increased. He continued that the new curriculum was designed according to the learners’ needs as well as the need of community, institution and educators.
He hoped that the curriculum will achieve its aim not only in developing technical skills among the learners, but also will improve their linguistics knowledge especially in the area of technologies.
He concluded that this step in introducing this curriculum should be followed by many steps to change all the courses that are taught in the department in Arabic language to be taught in English language, which will be reflected on the final outcomes of the department.
(Here you need to find if there is evidence from the literature that support this idea or refute it)
C)- The third element of the evaluation is: What are the attitudes and beliefs about language teachinglearning that underlie the innovation of the curriculum?
To respond to this section please look at the following article:
You can summarise some notes from this article about the beliefs and attitudes about learning and teaching English language, and most importantly, is to connect these beliefs and attitudes to the introducing of this new curriculum.
(this article may help you respond to the next question too)
You may need to use another article to support the argument in this section.
D)- The fourth element of the evaluation is :How does the innovation respond to changing policesbeliefs about the role of English in Saudi Arabia?
Here you need to state the following ideas and support them from the literature. If you can come up with more profitable ideas that will be great.
Please choose the evidence for each statement carefully and be specific and direct to the point.
1- The Saudi government is trying to develop its education by adopting new strategies in all its education levels. ( Need evidence from the literature). English language in the Saudi context is now a necessity.English language now ,although still taught as EFL language, but in the reality it is the second language in the country. It is the language of communication in business and political affairs. ( need evidence)
2- Due to the changing polices and beliefs, and due to the Saudi needs for the English language to communicate with the external world in business, policy education, it has adopted a new ambitious strategies to develop the English language curriculums, teachers, and teaching methods. (need evidence from the literature).
3- In terms of curriculum developing, the ministry of education has changed all the curriculums in the general education and substitute them with modern ones.
On the other hand it has encouraged the university to revise and reform their curriculums, especially in the college of education which are responsible for preparing future teachers and build up partnerships with professional global institutions to enhance the environment of teaching and learning. (need evidence from the literature).
4- The new curriculum is a trial to go hand in hand with the political interest in Saudi Arabia to improve the quality of teaching and learning the English Language which is thought to be reflected profitablyon the community and the countries.
5- It is believed that good teachers are the main component in improving the quality of teaching and learning, hence, a great effort is given to improve the curriculums and teaching method in the college of Arts, Education, and sciences.
6- In the Saudi context, institutional policies and educators emphasise that all the new curriculum should be designed to be learner-centred curriculum, and that the teachers are encouraged to apply communicative methods in their teaching, and reinforce the collaborative work inside classes. ( need evidence to illustrate how such techniques are important in teaching the language and how the Saudi institutional policies implementing such theories)
7- The expansion of the use of technologies in the education system in Saudi Arabia requires to equip teachers and students with the necessary abilities and skills to match with the social, political plan. No doubt that technologies nowadays are essential component to facilitate the process of teaching, learning, and individual learning of the new languages.(Need evidence).
8- The integrating of the technologies in the teaching context by using Blackboard, and the expansion in the online courses requires teachers, on one hand to be qualified in the use of technologies, and on the other hand it requires institutions to equip their universities with the necessary tools .
E)- The fifth element of the evaluation is: What factors might impact on the success or otherwise of the new curriculum?
In this section, please find reasonable response supported with evidences.
Limitation of the study:
1- No teachers or students were included in the evaluation, except the head of the department who accepted to do very quick call to discuss the new curriculum with the author.
2- As there were no any need analysis has been done for this course either by teachers or institution.
Author’s Critiques for the course:
– The new course gives only superficial knowledge, not in depth, about the use of technologies in teaching and learning. It exposes student to theoretical experiences much more than practical one.
– The linguistics features that are taught in this course are simple comparing to the level of the students where this course is taught (level 7). In such level student must already masteredthese features.
– The process of assessment throughout the course seems not to have much to do with technologies except that students are required to do presentation at the end of the semester using PowerPoint.
– Comparing to the new curriculum, the old one, although not updated but it seems to have more knowledge about the teaching materials than the new one.
– The author sees that teaching programing language in this course is not suitable and not beneficial for the students. Teachers need to be equipped with the skills in using the computer application, the technological devices which will be useful for them when they practice their profession as teachers.
– The course provides only theoretical knowledge about technologies and concentrate on the use of the technical linguistics terms.
– Teachers of the this course, as the author is a part of the teaching community, are not qualified in the use of technologies and more specifically they are not qualified in teaching programming. For many times we all refer to our students to provide help inside classes for some technical problems in using the computer.
– Although it looks good idea to introduce the new course in the English language instead of the Arabic language, but on the other hand, it looks strange that the objectives of the course aim at developing the technical skills in the use of technologies in teaching, and on the same time concentrate in other linguistics knowledge. This might distract the students and may affect the process of assessment. It might be better to develop the objective of the course to concentrate only on the content, and as it is taught in the English language, students will certainly benefit from the course to improve their language indirectly.
Here,please provide some genius recommendations that could improve the implementation of this course.
I will suggest some below:
1- In this stage the institution as well as the teacher should carry out a need analysis study to investigate the successfulness of the curriculum. It is not accepted to spend more three years or more to find out then the course needs to be improved, changed or redesign.
2- This course is better to be used to improve the students’ knowledge and language in the field of technologies and their related tools. Namely, to concentrate only in the linguistic side and the institution needs to design another professional course that might develop the students’ experiences in teaching materials or teaching technology tools.
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