The Second Language Syllabus Design English Language Essay

My purpose in this brief overview of 2nd linguistic communication acquisition ( SLA ) theory and syllabus design is to compare four recent proposals for standards for rating and sequencing the units of 2nd linguistic communication schoolroom activity. These are proposals for structural, lexical, accomplishments, and task-based course of studies. All four proposals show continuity with, and development from, similar earlier attacks. First, Ellis ( 1993, 1994, 1997 ) argues for a function for the structural course of study, alongside a meaning-based course of study. This grammatical attack to syllabus design has a long history in 2nd linguistic communication teaching method ( see Mackey, 1965 ; Richards & A ; Rodgers, 1986 ) and is clearly the footing of many presently popular English classs, such as New Horizon ( Asano, Shimomura & A ; Makino, 1997 ) , and linguistic communication plans throughout Japan and elsewhere. Second, Willis ( 1990 ) describes a lexical attack to syllabus design, inspired mostly by the work of the Birmingham principal analysis undertaking ( see Sinclair, 1987, 1991 ; Sinclair & A ; Renouf, 1988 ) . This attack can be seen as a development of earlier work on lexical scaling by Palmer ( 1917 ) , Thorndike ( 1921 ) , West ( 1953, 1960 ) and Willis ( 1990, p. six ) . For a treatment of the history of vocabulary control see Nation ( 1990 ) . Third, Johnson ( 1996 ) proposes a accomplishments syllabus edifice on his ain earlier proposals for communicative course of study design and those of others ( Johnson, 1982 ; Munby, 1978 ; Wilkins, 1976: Yalden, 1983 ) within an expanded theoretical model. Finally, the recent proposals for task-based syllabus design of Long ( Long, 1985, 1997, in imperativeness ; Long & A ; Crookes, 1992 ) , and Skehan ( 1996a, 1996b, 1998 ) , while differing in range and inside informations, both develop subjects evident in earlier work by Brown ( Brown, Anderson, Shillcock & A ; Yule, 1984 ) , Carroll ( 1980 ) , and Prabhu ( 1987 ) amongst others.

While these four attacks to syllabus design show grounds of theory and research-driven development from earlier proposals, there is besides more convergence between them than the different labels might look to connote. These are both grounds — theoretical development and an emerging consensus — for optimism about the advancement that is being made in linguistic communication teaching method. Though they vary in the extent to which they draw their motive from SLA research findings, all four proposals stress the pedagogic importance of undertakings, whether these are the exclusive units of analysis for course of study design, as in Long ( 1985, 1997, in imperativeness ; Long & A ; Crookes, 1992, 1993 ) , or used as vehicles for presenting a sequence of other units, as in Ellis ( 1993, 1997 ) , Johnson ( 1996 ) , and Willis ( 1990 ) . My farther purpose, so, is to separate between the utilizations of the term undertaking and the function of undertaking as an organizing rule in syllabus design in these proposals and to do connexions between each proposal and recent SLA research and theory.

Unit of measurements and Sequence: Options n Syllabus Design

Syllabus design is based basically on a determination about the ‘units ‘ of schoolroom activity, and the ‘sequence ‘ in which they are to be performed. There are options in the units to be adopted ( see Long & A ; Crookes, 1993 ; Long & A ; Robinson, 1998 ; Nunan, 1988 ; White, 1988, for farther treatment ) . Unit of measurements can be based on an analysis of the linguistic communication to be learned, in footings of grammatical constructions, as in Ellis ( 1993, 1997 ) , or of lexical points and collocations, as in Willis ( 1990 ) . Unit of measurements may besides be based on an analysis of the constituents of skilled behavior in the 2nd linguistic communication, for illustration the reading microskills described by Richards ( 1990 ) and Brown ( 1995 ) , or the communicative accomplishments organizing portion of Munby ‘s ( 1978 ) communicative demands profiler, and Johnson ‘s ( 1996 ) recent work. Unit of measurements may besides be holistic performative Acts of the Apostless, such as functioning repasts on an aeroplane ( Long, 1985, in imperativeness ) or happening a diary article in a library utilizing library engineering ( Robinson & A ; Ross, 1996 ) . They may be either generic, or based on demands analyses of specific groups of scholars.

Along with picks in the units to be adopted, there are picks in the ‘sequence ‘ in which they can be presented. A course of study can dwell of a prospective and fixed determination about what to learn, and in what order, as in Long ( 1985, 1997, in imperativeness ) . In this instance the course of study will be a definition of the contents of schoolroom activity. A sequencing determination can besides be made online, during schoolroom activity as in Breen ‘s ‘process ‘ course of study ( Breen, 1984: Clarke, 1991 ; Littlejohn, 1983 ) . In this instance the initial course of study will merely steer, but non restrain the schoolroom activities. Finally, Candlin has proposed that a course of study can be retrospective, in which instance no course of study will emerge until after the class of direction. In this instance the course of study maps merely as a record of what was done, enforcing no commanding restraint on the schoolroom dialogue of content ( Candlin, 1984 ; Clarke, 1991 ) . None of the four proposals under reappraisal adopts retrospective sequencing, though the extent to which they differ with respect to prospective versus online determination doing about sequencing will be discussed.

The Role of the Learner in Approaches to Syllabus Design

Another utile differentiation in gestating options in syllabus design was made ab initio by Wilkins ( 1976 ) and refers to the scholar ‘s function in absorbing the content provided during group direction and using it separately to existent universe linguistic communication public presentation and lingua franca development ( besides see Long & A ; Crookes, 1992 ; Nunan, 1988, White, 1988: White & A ; Robinson, 1995 ) . Man-made course of studies involve a focal point on specific elements of the linguistic communication system, frequently serially and in a additive sequence, such as grammatical constructions, or linguistic communication maps. The easiest, most learnable, most frequent, or most communicatively of import ( sequencing determinations can be based on each of these finally non-complementary standards, and on others ) are presented before their harder, subsequently learned, less frequent, and more communicatively excess opposite numbers. These course of studies assume the scholar will be able to set together, or synthesise in existent universe public presentation, the parts of the linguistic communication system they have been exposed to individually.

In contrast, analytic course of studies do non split up the linguistic communication to be presented in schoolrooms, but involve holistic usage of linguistic communication to execute communicative activities. The scholar ‘s function in these course of studies is to analyze or go to to facets of linguistic communication usage and construction as the communicative activities require them to, in line with: a ) their underdeveloped lingua franca systems ; B ) preferred learning manner and aptitude profile ; and c ) to the extent that they are motivated to develop to an truth degree which may non be required by the communicative demands of the undertaking. For these grounds analytic attacks to syllabus design have been argued to be more sensitive to SLA procedures and learner variables than their man-made opposite numbers ( Long & A ; Crookes, 1993 ; Long & A ; Robinson, 1998 ; Nunan, 1988 ; White, 1988 ; White & A ; Robinson, 1995 ) .The extent to which the four proposals for syllabus design under reappraisal imply these functions for the linguistic communication scholar is besides discussed below.

SLA Theory and Approaches to Syllabus Design

How does SLA theory inform recent proposals for structural, lexical, accomplishments and task-based course of study design? The principles for each proposal are described below.

1. Ellis ‘ structural course of study

Ellis ( 1993, 1994, 1997 ) draws extensively on SLA research and theory to actuate his statements for a function for a structural course of study. Ellis ‘ statement remainders on two differentiations: between explicit witting cognition, and inexplicit tacit cognition ( see deGraaff, 1997 ; Robinson, 1993, 1994, 1996b, 1997a ; Schmidt, 1995 ) ; and between declaratory cognition of facts, and procedural cognition of how to make things ( see Anderson, 1983, 1992 ; DeKeyser, 1996, 1997, 1998 ) . He argues that explicit, declaratory cognition of L2 grammar can act upon the development of inexplicit declaratory cognition, and that, through communicative activity, inexplicit declaratory cognition can be proceduralised and used in self-generated skilled public presentation. This is a ‘weak interface ‘ theoretical account, which allows explicit cognition, under some conditions, to act upon the development of silent representations or competency. The chief status is that the scholar must be developmentally ready to integrate the expressed grammar direction into their lingua franca. Ellis cites research by himself ( 1989 ) , Pienemann ( 1989 ) , and others demoing that scholars pass through phases of development in the acquisition of, amongst other things, word order regulations, inquiry signifiers, and negation. Unless grammatical direction is timed to the scholar ‘s point of development it will non act upon the development inexplicit cognition base. Since phases of development are learner internal and concealed from the instructor, timing is hard to pull off. However, Ellis argues expressed grammatical cognition serves a figure of other maps: it can be used to supervise production ; it can assist scholars notice characteristics in the input ; and it can assist scholars compare their ain production with a mark theoretical account, and in some instances notice the spread between them. Knowing about grammar, Ellis argues, is hence utile. Tasks promote consciousness-raising, and noticing of mark grammar regulations. Undertakings are hence pedagogic devices for learning units of grammar ( illustrations are described in Ellis & A ; Noboyushi, 1993 ; Fotos & A ; Ellis, 1991 ) , and are used to implement a prospective man-made structural course of study.

2. Willis ‘ lexical course of study

Pulling on a different type of empirical grounds — big scale principal of spoken and written linguistic communication usage — Willis besides argues for a man-made course of study, where word and collocation are the units of analysis. Willis nowhere draws on SLA research to the extent Ellis does to actuate his proposal, but does reason that SLA research findings show “ input does non equal intakeO and that “ the premise that linguistic communication can be broken down into a series of forms which can so be presented to scholars and assimilated by them in a predictable sequence ” is incorrect ( Willis, 1990, p. three ) . Arguing against “ a methodological analysis which presents scholars with a series of forms ” in a presentation, pattern, production sequence Willis proposes taking “ meaningful exposure as a starting point ” ( Willis, 1990, p. four ) . Exposure should be organised in three ways: a ) linguistic communication is graded in trouble ; b ) linguistic communication representing the commonest forms is selected ; and c ) the linguistic communication course of study is itemised to foreground of import characteristics. Exposure is therefore tightly controlled. Rather than linguistically rating the content of the course of study Willis argues for lexically rating it utilizing principals of linguistic communication usage to place word frequence at the 700 word, the 1,500 word, and the 2,500 word degrees. Wordss in the principal are itemised as collocations representing each word ‘s typical forms of usage. In consequence, though, lexical rating leads to lingual scaling, since as Willis notes, by placing the commonest words, “ necessarily it focuses on the commonest patterns excessively… the lexical course of study non merely subsumes a structural course of study, it besides indicates how the constructions which make up the course of study should be identified ” ( 1990, p. six ) . In the lexical course of study these three principals are the bases of exposure at three degrees of scholar development. Willis claims that exposure is non sequenced or controlled within these degrees, and the lexical course of study “ does non order what will be learned and in what order, ” instead “ it offers the scholar experience of a bantam but balanced principal from which it is possible to do generalizations about the linguistic communication as a whole ” ( Willis, 1990, p. seven ) . In other words, the scholar principal which forms the footing of exposure at each degree is carefully itemised, but these points are non presented separately and serially.

So is at that place, so, a lexical course of study, apart from the superior differentiation between degree 1, 2, and 3 principals? Willis describes the development of the COBUILD Course ( an example of the lexical course of study ) as a procedure of first intuitively make up one’s minding on interesting subjects, so developing undertakings and taking texts to complement them, and so foregrounding lexical points within, e.g. , the first 700 word degree, as they occurred in the texts. This series of highlighted points is the course of study, but sequenced harmonizing to no standards that are discussed, apart from teacher intuition ( see D. Willis, 1990, pp. 74-90 ) . The methodological analysis attach toing the course of study ( described in D. Willis, 1990 ; and in item by J. Willis, 1996a, 1996b ) involves a pre-task debut to a subject, and exposure to texts ; a undertaking rhythm where a undertaking is planned, drafted and rehearsed ; and a concluding linguistic communication focal point where scholars consciously focus on signifiers used during the undertaking. Course planning and content, therefore the course of study, is therefore mostly determined by the picks of texts and undertakings — subjects about which the lexical course of study says nil. This is, so, a language-focussed man-made course of study, but with some control given to the scholar about which signifiers to go to to and concentrate on, since the itemised principal at each degree map as a usher, instead than as a prospective program, leting more online dialogue of content than Ellis allows. Surprisingly, given Willis ‘ supplication of SLA research findings to back up his attack, no history is taken of research into learnability and acquisition procedures ( a literature Ellis draws on ) in choosing the collocations presented in principal at each degree of exposure, though these necessarily contain word order combinations, every bit good as tense and aspectual differentiations which are developmentally scheduled ( for the SLA of tense/aspect see Anderson & A ; Shirai, 1996 ; for the SLA of English collocations see Gitsaki, 1996 ) .

3. Johnson ‘s accomplishment course of study

Pulling on the work of Anderson ( 1983, 1992 ) and the indicative mood, procedural differentiation referred to by Ellis ( 1997 ) , Johnson argues that SLA and general accomplishment larning draw on the same general cognitive mechanisms. Traditionally, skill acquisition has been viewed as a speed-up in the usage of ab initio attention-demanding declaratory cognition. With pattern, attentional demands diminish and declaratory cognition is proceduralised. Johnson argues that many facets of 2nd linguistic communication acquisition can be viewed as the contrary procedure, from ab initio fast, unattended and unanalysed usage, pulling on procedural cognition entirely, to declarative cognition. This occurs when formulaic linguistic communication is used fluently at first, without any cognition of its internal construction. As this becomes attended to and analysed, declaratory cognition emerges. Declarative cognition is valuable because it allows greater generalizability of linguistic communication usage, and is non context dependant, in contrast to procedural cognition. Johnson concludes that his proposals support a accomplishments course of study, similar to, but traveling beyond the earlier efforts of Munby ( 1978 ) and Wilkins ( 1976 ) to stipulate the units of communicative course of study design.

In kernel, Johnson proposes a four-tier theoretical account of syllabus design. Busying the first grade are what Johnson, following Munby, calls linguistic communication specific accomplishments, such as Oidentifying the present perfect, O or right contrasting /i/ and /i: / : “ In our efforts to interrupt linguistic communication behaviour down into subskills, the general countries of phonetics/phonology and sentence structure would, so, follow traditional lines and would non present any new troubles for course of study interior decorators ” ( 1996, p.164 ) . But the old troubles are surely troubles plenty. Are separate subskills to be identified for each phonic contrast, for illustration? And how does ‘learning trouble ‘ affect determinations about selecting and sequencing subskills? Another grade would incorporate semantic classs, such as impressions and maps, “ but merely those about which didactically accessible generalisations can be made ” ( Johnson, 1996, p.165 ) , that is, impressions and maps which can be generalized to many contexts. An illustration given is ask foring versus being polite. Johnson claims ask foring need non be taught, and so necessitate non be portion of the course of study, since it is mostly phrasal and state of affairs particular, whereas in being polite “ utile generalisations… can be made about such things as ‘being circumspect and indirect in attack ‘ ” ( Johnson, 1996, pp. 165-166 ) . A 3rd grade would affect accomplishments frequently referred to in ‘process ‘ attacks to learning composing accomplishments, such as bring forthing new thoughts, outlining essays, structuring and measuring them. It seems so that accomplishment is being used as a term to cover three different types of unit: linguistic communication point, semantic class, and composing scheme. This is because Johnson is concerned with the passage from cognition province — procedural to declarative and frailty versa — that larning all these units has in common. The 4th and concluding grade of Johnson ‘s accomplishments syllabus concerns treating demands ; the degree of complexness of the schoolroom undertaking should besides be specified and enter into sequencing determinations. In drumhead, Johnson besides favors a man-made course of study, prospectively organized, based on subskills at a figure of degrees: lingual, semantic and matter-of-fact, and strategic. The dashing occupation for the course of study interior decorator is to take stock the subskills at each of these degrees ( as Munby 1978 attempted to make ) so sequence them, and weave them together in a principled manner.

4. The task-based course of study

In many treatments of undertakings, and illustrations of what claim to be task-based stuffs, undertakings are used to coerce attending to, or to pattern a peculiar construction, map or subskill. Skehan ( in imperativeness ) refers to these as ‘structure-trapping ‘ undertakings. These include the undertakings advocated by Ellis ( 1997 ) , and Loschky and Bley-Vroman ( 1993 ) , where the usage of undertakings to direct attending to grammatical signifier is theoretically motivated and an expressed portion of the principle for their usage, every bit good as those in commercially available task-based classs, such as Richards, Gorden and Harper ( 1995 ) , and Nunan ( 1996 ) . In these latter instances, what were typically called exercisings or activities in older coursebooks are now called undertakings, but there is no difference between them. The organizing rule of these coursebooks, apparent from the syllabus descriptions at the forepart, are grammatical constructions, listening microskills, maps, subjects, and frequently more. In contrast to structure-trapping undertakings, and in contrast to coursebooks utilizing undertaking as a equivalent word for linguistic communication exercising, Skehan and Long position undertakings as strictly meaningful activities. Undertakings do non implement a covert grammatical or lexical course of study, undertakings entirely are the units of syllabus design.

Long ( 1997 ; Long & A ; Crookes, 1993 ; Long & A ; Robinson, 1998 ) and Skehan ( 1996b, 1998 ) are in wide understanding about the SLA motive for analytic course of studies, and task-based course of studies in peculiar, mentioning research screening: a ) small resemblance between acquisitional sequences and instructional sequences based on lingual signifiers ( e.g. , Ellis, 1989 ; Lightbown, 1983 ) ; B ) grounds that larning is non-linear and cumulative, instead than additive and linear as man-made linguistic communication course of studies imply ( see Selinker & A ; Lakshmanan, 1992 on lapse ; see Kellerman, 1985, on U-shaped behavior ) ; and c ) research demoing the influence of learnability on the order in which points can be learned ( e.g. , Mackey, 1995 ; Pienemann, 1989 ) . Even if a structural course of study could be sequenced based on what is known of learnability and linguistic communication development it would be impossible to accurately clip and aim direction at the phase scholars are ready to come on to, since there is fluctuation in rate of acquisition, intending groups of scholars do non come on in lockstep, homogeneously through acquisition sequences ( see Long, 1988, 1997 ; Long & A ; Crookes, 1992 ; Long & A ; Robinson, 1998 ; Robinson, 1994 ; Rutherford, 1988 ; Skehan, 1996a, 1996b, 1998 ) . Additionally, as Long ( 1997 ) points out, lingual scaling, as required by many man-made structural attacks, at least in the early phases, consequences in schoolroom linguistic communication and texts which are unreal, and functionally and linguistically impoverished, forbiding exposure to linguistic communication scholars may be ready to larn. Give their wide understanding over the motive for pick of task-based course of studies, there are some differences of range and concentrate in their proposals.

Long ( 1985, 1997 ; Long & A ; Crookes, 1992 ) describes a figure of stairss to be taken in implementing task-based linguistic communication instruction. First conduct a needs analysis to place the mark, existent universe undertakings scholars need to execute in the 2nd linguistic communication, so sort the mark undertakings into types or superordinate classs such as ‘making/changing reserves. ‘ From the mark undertakings derive pedagogic undertakings: “ Adjusted to such factors as scholars ‘ age and proficiency degree, these are a series of ab initio simple, increasingly more complex estimates to the mark undertaking ” ( Long, 1997, p.10 ) . These undertakings are so sequenced to organize a course of study, and the plan is implemented with appropriate methodological analysis and teaching method. One methodological rule Long advocates is ‘focus on signifier. ‘ That is, where persons or groups of scholars are heard repeatedly bring forthing non-target-like signifiers, teacher intercession to supply disciplinary feedback is recommended. This can take several signifiers, such as inexplicit negative feedback, or recasts of scholar signifiers, brief written illustration of the right signifier, brief regulation accounts, input sweetening of signifiers in aural and written texts used on undertaking, and a assortment of other techniques. For research on input sweetening see Jourdenais, Leeman, Arteagoitia, Fridman, & A ; Doughty ( 1995 ) ; and White, Spada, Lightbown & A ; Ranta ( 1991 ) . For research on disciplinary feedback see Carroll & A ; Swain ( 1993 ) ; Lightbown & A ; Spada ( 1990 ) ; and Mackey ( 1998 ) . For research into the usage of pedagogic regulations see DeKeyser ( 1995 ) ; and Robinson ( 1996a ) . For sum-ups see Doughty & A ; Williams ( 1998 ) ; and Long & A ; Robinson ( 1998 ) .

While Long topographic points great importance on the chances to concentrate on signifier in the context of meaningful interaction that undertaking work provides, in line with his ‘interactionist ‘ theory of L2 development ( Long, 1996 ; see besides Gass, 1997 ) , Skehan takes a more cognitive, information processing attack to task-based direction. These are non oppositional positions, of class, since there is a significant sum of cognitivist research into undertaking design and public presentation within Long ‘s model. However, Skehan has steadily pursued a research docket aimed at placing the effects of factors such as planning clip ( Crookes, 1989 ; Foster & A ; Skehan, 1996 ) on the complexness, truth and eloquence of scholar production, every bit good as the influence of scholar variables such as aptitude on linguistic communication processing ( Skehan, 1996a, 1996b, 1998, in imperativeness ; Skehan & A ; Foster, 1997, 1998 ) . Like Long, Skehan rejects lingual scaling as a standard for undertaking and course of study design, specifying a undertaking as an activity in which, “ Meaning is primary ; There is a end which needs to be worked on ; the activity is outcome-evaluated ; There is a existent universe relationship ” ( Skehan, in imperativeness ) . Skehan concludes that this definition regulations out “ an activity that focuses on linguistic communication itself ” such as a transmutation drill, or the consciousness-raising undertakings described by Ellis ( 1997 ) , and many of the undertakings in Nunan ( 1996 ) .

Drumhead: Unit of measurements and sequencing in recent attacks to syllabus design

Each of the attacks to syllabus design I have described chooses different units of analysis. How are these sequenced? A brief sum-up of this complex issue is given here.

1. The structural course of study.

Ellis acknowledges that the issue of how to sequence units of grammatical direction is debatable, and suggests utilizing traditional standards, such as the intuitively judged comparative trouble, and the comparative frequence of grammar points. In add-on he suggests marked characteristics should have expressed direction, since ‘unmarked characteristics may be learned by most scholars of course, and hence do non necessitate expressed attending ‘ ( 1993, p.106 ) , a suggestion which begs at least two questions-which definition of markedness is to be adopted, and is it true that unmarked characteristics are learned of course, without being explicitly attended? If Ellis means scholars can larn them without paying focal attending to them in the input Schmidt would reply no to the last inquiry, since he argues all learning requires focal attending accompanied by consciousness of the signifier of input ( Robinson, 1995b ; Schmidt, 1990, 1995 ) . Finally Ellis suggests scholar ‘s mistakes should be targeted as the signifiers for direction, proposing a demand for online alteration of the course of study, as these mistakes occur. Take together, these are weak, and potentially non-complementary sequencing standards.

2. The lexical course of study

As described above, the footing for sequencing points in the lexical course of study is frequence, and coverage. Those lexical points happening most often are presented foremost, in their most common sentence forms. However, this applies merely to the constitution of the principal at the 700 word, 1,500 word, and 2,500 word degree. Within each degree it is non clear on what standards points are chosen for inclusion in texts, or why undertakings doing usage of the texts are sequenced in the manner they are.

3. The accomplishment course of study

The accomplishment course of study is the least explicit of the four proposals about sequencing standards. Is one degree, e.g. , linguistic communication subskills, to be developed and sequenced before others, such as matter-of-fact and strategic subskills? Like earlier proposals for notional/functional course of studies, Johnson seems to hold that some impressions and maps are more nucleus than others, and should be taught foremost, but as with those earlier proposals he offers no psycholinguistic principle or SLA research grounds for what they are, and what sequence they should be taught in. As Paulston noted ( 1981 ) the notional/functional attack of Wilkins is Oatheoretical as respects larning theory, O a point which Johnson concedes ( see Johnson, 1996, p. 174 ) , and has attempted to turn to. Nonetheless, jobs remain.

4. The task-based course of study

Research into the standards finding undertaking sequencing has been increasing in recent old ages, and findings have emerged. One line of research has been to place cognitive dimensions of the trouble of undertakings, and to measure the effects of undertakings performed at easy and complex terminals of each dimension on steps of scholar linguistic communication ( Robinson, 1995a, 1997b, 1998a, 1998b ; Robinson, Ting & A ; Urwin, 1995 ) . A general determination is that easier undertakings tend to ensue in more fluid address, since cognitive and processing demands are low. More complex undertakings force scholars to go to to the linguistic communication used on undertaking, ensuing in less fluid but more complex and accurate production. Therefore undertakings can further eloquence and truth. Integrating these dimensions into undertaking design and execution provides a manner of easy increasing the trouble, and genuineness of the undertaking being practised. Some dimensions of the cognitive complexness that have been proposed and researched include: a ) planning clip ( undertakings with planning clip are easier than undertakings without be aftering clip ) ; B ) individual versus double undertaking ( undertakings doing merely one demand, such as depicting a path marked on a map to another individual, are easier than undertakings with two demands, such as believing up the path and depicting it at the same clip ) ; degree Celsius ) prior cognition ( undertakings in a sphere the scholar has prior knowledge of are easier than undertakings in a sphere the scholar has no anterior cognition of ) ; vitamin D ) figure of elements ( undertakings involve few elements are easier than undertakings affecting many elements ) . Using these dimensions, an illustration of the staged addition in the complexness of a undertaking ( giving waies to another individual utilizing maps ) is given in Figure 1. For other research into sequencing undertakings see Brown, Anderson, Shillcock & A ; Yule ( 1984 ) ; and Skehan ( 1996a, 1998 ) . For taxonomies of characteristics intuitively judged to act upon undertaking trouble see Brindley ( 1987 ) ; Nunan ( 1989 ) ; Prabhu ( 1987 ) ; and Long ( 1985 ) .

Versions Of Map Task



Dimensions of complexness






planning clip ( before speech production )


individual undertaking ( route marked )



prior cognition ( of familiar country )




few elements ( a little country )





( simplified data/map )

( reliable data/map )

( From Robinson, 1998b )

Figure 1: Five map undertakings at increasing degrees of complexness


Clearly, determinations about the units and sequence of schoolroom activity must suit what is known of larning procedures, since these are what they are seeking to ease. Of the proposals for syllabus design reviewed here, SLA research has had the strongest influence on task-based attacks. The structural, lexical and accomplishments syllabuses all show marks of theoretical, and research-driven development from earlier proposals, but in a figure of instances SLA research findings pose jobs or raise unreciprocated inquiries for them. Further development and rating of these proposals will affect a research docket in which SLA research plays a big function. I have been most optimistic about task-based course of study design, since it appears most in line with what we know of SLA procedures, and since it offers the chance of run intoing the ends of each of the man-made course of studies reviewed ( i.e. , the development of L2 structural, lexical and skill ability ) in the context of pattern on undertakings with existent universe relevancy and application. There are marks of convergence excessively, between the proposals reviewed, apparent in the common involvement in the usage of undertakings to implement each course of study, particularly the lexical course of study ( see Willis, 1996a, 1996b ) . For this ground information about undertaking complexness, critical for sequencing undertakings in the task-based course of study, will besides be of involvement to syllabus interior decorators following other units of analysis and is an country where farther SLA research will be of great value to pedagogy.