A Study of the Syllabus of Unity Private Language School In Relation to The Need of the Learners

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Addis Ababa University


The aim o f this research was t o study the English syllabus of Unity Privet Language School in relation to the needs of the learners . Prior to the actual study on the syllabus of this school however a general survey study was conducted on all private language schools in Addis Ababa. The learners' target and learning needs were analysed first in order to describe and assess the syllabus. The target needs were specified in terms of the four macro-skills and the most common language activities under each macroskill. The learning needs were also specified in terms of the modes of classroom organization, the physical learning environment, the teaching techniques and methods, teaching aids and teaching materials, attitude, motivation, and interest. Data were then gathered on these variables using questionnaires (for the teachers and the students), interviews (for the teachers and the students), and c lassroom observation. The c lassroom observation was particularly important in order to describe the learning situation of the school. The findings from the analysed data reveal that the ;:tudents ' pur pose of studying English i.1l Unity Private i Language School is academic or educational. The findings placed the importance of the four macro-skills in the order of priority: speaking, listening , writing, and reading. The students' high interest in pair and group work has also been found out from the study. But the findings indicate that the most emphasized item in the classroom lesson is grammar. And the most frequently used mode of classroom organization is the whole class. Viewed vis-a-vis these and other several findings on the target needs and the learning situations, the syllabus of the school (the textbook and the supplementary handouts) fails largely to meet the students' needs. The findings indicate the students' need to learn the four macro-skills with varied emphasis. But the syllabus is essentially grammatical. The students showed interest and motivation in communicative activities. approach. But the syllabus is basically structural in An academic English syllabus, integrating all skills with variable emphasis , is therefore recommended. This kind of skills-based syllabus is believed to best suit the target and the learning situation of the target group. It is also noted that this syllabus s hould address the question of methodology. It should create conducive conditions to use pair and group work, role plays and dramas in the classrooms .