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Language curriculum design in Nation, I.S.P. Macalister, J. (2010) book, explains how to

design a curriculum. This book describes in an easier way the steps to develop and design

curriculum. In my belief, I think it is important to elaborate a curriculum since it gives more

opportunities to reflect, think and create better teaching practices for the students’ benefit.

Through this paper, it is going to be described as the principal aspects of the process of creating a

curriculum according to the mentioned book.

One of the principal chapters of the book talks about principles. The chapter considers

three principal aspects of language teaching: content and sequencing, format and presentation,

and monitoring and assessment. All these aspects are important in developing curriculum since it

helps teachers to become reflective and observe and determine the students’ needs and how to

improve the quality of their language use. According to Richards (2005, p. 6) “In planning a

language course, decisions about the content, what vocabulary and grammar to teach at the

beginning, intermediate and advanced levels and which skills and micros kills to teach and in

what sequence, belong to the field of syllabus design or course design”.

Another valuable aspect described in this book is the goals, content, and sequencing of

the curriculum design because it is important to establish an order to teach the language in a

meaningful way. In Hutchinson & Waters (1993) words, to establish English competencies

needed in a workplace, a course designer can start from target needs by analyzing

responsibilities/duties/tasks of professional workers in the target situation where the language is

going to be used. It is important to recognize the students’ needs, to develop the correct order of

the topics, functions, grammar, and vocabulary in order to create the best choices and practices to

encourage learning through the course. If the curriculum is well-developed and highly structured,

it gives the educators a solid framework to rely on and it is easy to monitor the learners’


Monitoring and assessment are also important factors to consider about designing

curriculum which is mentioned in the book. The aims of this part of the curriculum design

process are to decide what to test and how to test it. There are some types of monitoring and

assessment that can occur as part of a course. They are placement assessment, observation of

learning, short-term achievement assessment, diagnostic assessment, achievement assessment,

and proficiency assessment. All assessment needs to be checked to see that it is doing its job

properly and that is not causing unnecessary work. A good assessment has considered three

criteria: reliability, validity, and practicality.

All in all, designing a curriculum offers multiple opportunities to increase transparency,

collaboration, and communication about curriculum goals. It provides opportunities for constant

growth and revision, particularly if they include reflective components about what really happens

in classrooms and the needs analysis for creating better courses. These opportunities build

student learning and develop our professional learning communities.

493 words

Altasan, Ahmad. (2017). Curriculum Development. 10.13140/RG.2.2.35643.52008.

Hutchinson and Walters. (1993). English for Specific Purpose. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press.

Nation, I.S.P. Macalister, J. (2010). Language Curriculum Design. New York, NY: Routledge.

Richards, J. C. (2005). Communicative language teaching today. Singapore: RELC,1-44.