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LIN5003 Syllabus Design and Materials Writing

Semester 2, 2011 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education

Contents on this page


Examiner: Warren Midgley
Moderator: Jeong-Bae Son


The multi-faceted role of the second language teacher means that the teacher is often called upon to develop, implement and evaluate courses/syllabi. To do so effectively means that the language teacher needs to draw upon theoretical principles of course design and materials development, theories of language and language learning and an understanding of the social and personal contexts of learning.


This course introduces students to principles of course design and looks at a number of frameworks for development of language teaching/learning material. The course will look at the inter-relationships between theory of language, theory of learning, aims of syllabi, the social and personal contexts of student learning. It will also examine a number of different frameworks within which syllabus design is embedded and which determine the ways materials might be developed. Students will also be introduced to issues in language assessment as a way of evaluating the effectiveness of a course. Students will be asked to prepare a "course of work" based on principles encountered in the program, to teach the course to a group of learners and to evaluate the success of their course of work.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. By the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the inter-relationships between theory of language, general theory of learning, aims of a course, the context in which teaching and learning is taking place and the extent of the outcomes. Such understanding will be shown by discussing these relationships and the way they operate in particular concepts. (Assignment 1 and Assignment 2)
  2. critically discuss some of the language frameworks that have been used in language teaching and learning (including the Australian Language Levels Guidelines) and demonstrate the understanding of the rationales underpinning them. (Assignment 2)
  3. demonstrate an understanding of theory and practice by designing a unit of work based on one of the frameworks. ( Assignment 2)
  4. demonstrate an understanding of ways of going about evaluation and of current issues in language testing and evaluation by evaluating assessment instruments as well as producing an assessment instrument. (Assignment 2)
  5. demonstrate competence in scholarly writing including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing. (Assignment 1 and Assignment 2)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Usable theories - Towards a General Framework for Syllabus Design 15.00
2. Goals of language programs and their relationship to choice of particular syllabus designs. 15.00
3. Looking at some syllabus designs including communicative, structural, notional, procedural 30.00
4. Evaluation and issues in language testing 10.00
5. Devising a unit of work; a practical example 30.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Richards, J 2001, Curriculum development in language teaching, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Brown, J. D 1995, The elements of language curriculum: A systematic approach to program development, Heinle & Heinle, Boston.
  • McGrath, I 2002, Materials evaluation and design for language teaching, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
  • Nunan, D 1988, Syllabus design, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Vale, D., Scarino, A., & McKay Carlton, P 1991, Pocket all, Curriculum Corporation, Victoria.
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information // The gateway to education resources is here ... //

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 82.00
Independent Study 83.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 26 Aug 2011
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 28 Oct 2011

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available (or at least a grade of C-).

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The USQ library provides advice on how to format information sources using this system. //