The Second Language Curriculum

Please note: this is archived course information from 2019 for LANGTCHG 301.


The subject of this course is the second language curriculum. “Curriculum” is a broad term that can include syllabus and materials selection, teaching strategies, assessment and evaluation. It can be examined at many levels: the national or societal curriculum, the curriculum that teachers plan, the one they implement, the curriculum that learners receive and the one that they take up and learn.

LANGTCHG 301 is divided into two main components. The first half of the course reviews the main types of second language curricula that have developed over the past 40 years, and focuses on the kinds of choices that teachers need to make. Included in this part of the course are product (“soft”) and process (“hard”) versions of communicative language approaches, and English for Specific/Academic Purposes courses.

In the second half of the course, we examine some of the planning tasks and decisions that the teacher needs to carry out before and during the course. These include considering the social and teaching context and learners’ needs, setting goals and planning units and lessons. The final sessions of the LANGTCHG 301 course look at monitoring by the teacher of how learners are receiving the curriculum and how learning can be assessed.

Each session of LANGTCHG 301 will include explicit instruction from the lecturer, analysis of curriculum documents and opportunities for small-group and whole-class tasks and discussions. You will be assessed through two major assignments and one test in the final week of the semester. The two assignments will require you to demonstrate your understanding of theoretical concepts from the course as you complete practice-oriented curriculum tasks. Four tutorials will take place at regular intervals throughout the course to help you to prepare for assessments. All notes, practice tasks and materials for LANGTCHG 301 are available in a course text. Powerpoint slides will be posted after each lecture. Course readings can be located through Talis.

Course outcomes

The course introduces a range of options for organising the content of the second language curriculum. It develops a practical understanding of key principles and processes used in planning and assessing courses of instruction.

By the end of the course, students will be able to

  • Select appropriate syllabus types and components for different types of courses and students
  • Plan a course for a particular group of students: from context analysis to assessment options
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of various types of course materials
  • Create formative and summative assessments of students’ learning


Coursework only

Availability 2019

Semester 1


Lecturer(s) Associate Professor Louisa Buckingham

Recommended Reading

No single key text (series of key articles/chapters from books).


Coursework only


LANGTCHG 301: 15 points


LANGTCHG 101 or 30 points passed at Stage II or above or approval of Academic Head or nominee