Designing a Syllabus

From the theories given above, we conclude that when designing a syllabus, curriculum, school mission and students’ needs should be taken in consideration in order to achieve learning objectives. As stated by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Kosova (MESTK) “In order to achieve the targeted aims and objectives of particular grade English language curriculum and to cover the topical content of particular grade syllabus, teachers should select and use materials of appropriate level from textbook(s) and other sources (online magazines and newspapers, TV, video, Internet).
These materials should be primarily dedicated to teenagers and young adults. It remains in the teacher’s domain to select teaching materials that may be type and profile appropriate, which (s)he may use either as alternative or as supplementary material in the English language program.Although it is estimated that within a school year, approximately 8 content areas should be covered, it is the teacher’s responsibility to plan the number of topical areas (units) and the composition of it, in accordance with the total amount of hours dedicated to English in different types of vocational schools.
In addition, teachers may plan an amount of 20 – 30% of overall teaching materials, which (s)he may use with a particular profile of learners in order to cover specific professional needs and meet the requirements of particular vocational schools. These could be a selection of specific texts/materials suitable for the particular type/profile of vocational schools (e.g. texts in medical field, technical field, business, catering…).
Apart from this, teachers may use supplementary materials to suit the learners’ needs, that is, their background knowledge (or lack of it), their interests and motivation. Supplementary materials (video tapes, documentary films, drama activities, projects, contests and quizzes, and similar), may be used either within regular English classes, or within additional activities planned by the vocational school curriculum (choice subjects, extra-curricular activities, and similar).” The above citation can be found on the website of MESTK under the section of vocational schools curriculum.
However, the difference between general schools and vocational schools’ curriculum is made only by the part cited in this paper. I.e. English language taught in professional schools despite different study domain, is not treated as ESP program but the burden falls on the teacher who, besides the units that are envisaged to be included in the program, is obliged to select additional materials which are profile appropriate. Scholars as Dudley-Evans and ST John (1998) describe the teacher as the material selector, researcher, and an evaluator as well as syllabus designer.
They continue their argument emphasizing that these roles cannot be fulfilled if the learners’ needs are not analyzed beforehand. ESP teachers have to complete all the roles mentioned above in order to achieve the harmony between, students’ needs, study domain and the curriculum designed by the Ministry of Education. 2.5 Using textbooks in the lesson Textbooks have an essential role in language classrooms in all types of educational situations. It is a kind of media used by both students and teachers.
When using a textbook teacher is assured that everyone in the class is getting the same amount of knowledge and that they are equally evaluated and tested. Course books provide a diversity of learning resources since they make a set of workbooks, cassette tapes, or CD-ROMs, and a teacher’s guide. Richards (2010) claims that there are also some disadvantages in using textbooks; for example, they may not reflect students’ needs.
Each textbook aims to occupy the global market and so it is unable to serve everyone’s needs. There are innumerous textbooks which are designed for teaching-learning process but not all of them are categorized as good textbooks. As the result, before choosing a textbook, teachers should really understand about needs, interests, abilities, and level of the students.
Similarly, Harmer (2007) declares that the most important part of the use of textbook is to adopt the needs of the students. Bertin (2003) proclaims that it is a special skill that teachers should have in order to choose the textbook that suits language level, content, activity and the logical order of the textbook.
In English for foreign learners (EFL) classes, a course book is the key to language teaching, language learning as well as it is a window to particular language culture. Nevertheless as Dickins (1994) clarifies, that the resources evaluation literature tends to focus absolutely on the analysis of the product. This means that teachers themselves carry out the evaluation of textbooks in order to conclude which materials best suit their purposes, schools mission and students’ needs.
Despite its special importance, regarding features mentioned above, a textbook should be selected and evaluated carefully before used in the class. Cunningsworth (1995) proposes four criteria for analyzing textbooks:o “Coursebooks should correspond to student’s needs. o They should match learners’ uses (present or future).
Selected textbooks should equip learners with the knowledge that will effectively serve them for their purposes.o They should take in consideration students needs and facilitate their learning process.o They should have a key role as a sustention to learning. Their role is similar to teachers. They negotiate between the target language and the student.”

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