School of arts and sciences foreign language department undergraduate research




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UNIVERSITY OF EL SALVADOR

SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

FOREIGN LANGUAGE DEPARTMENT

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH:



eNGLISH SYLLABUS PROPOSALS IN THE SERVICE AREA FOR ARTS AND BIOLOGY SCHOOLS
IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE DEGREE OF:

LICENCIATURA EN IDIOMA INGLÉS OPCIÓN ENSEÑANZA
PRESENTED BY:

GUSTAVO ADOLFO FUNES RIVERA FR05007

ADA ESTELI MENDOZA VILLALOBOS MV02010

ANA SILVIA ORELLANA DE CRUZ OL02001

ROXANA MARISOL PÉREZ RAMÍREZ PR04033





ADVISOR:

MTI PEDRO ANTONIO SALAZAR MURCIA

San salvador, el salvador, central america, octoBER 2012.

AUTHORITIES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF EL SALVADOR


ING. MARIO ROBERTO NIETO LOVO

RECTOR
MTRA. ANA MARIA GLOWER DE ALVARADO

ACADEMIC VICE RECTOR
IN PROCESS TO BE ELECTED

ADMISTRATIVE VICE RECTOR


DRA. ANA LETICIA ZAVALETA DE AMAYA

SECRETARY GENERAL


AUTHORITIES OF SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
LIC. JOSE RAYMUNDO CALDERON MORAN

DEAN
MTRA. NORMA CECILIA BLANDON DE CASTRO

VICE-DEAN
MTRO. ALFONSO MEJÍA ROSALES

SECRETARY


AUTHORITIES OF THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE DEPARTMENT
MTRO. JOSE RICARDO GAMERO ORTIZ

HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT


RICARDO GARAY SALINAS, M Ed.

GENERAL COORDINATOR OF

THE DEGREE PROCESSES
MTI PEDRO ANTONIO SALAZAR MURCIA

ADVISOR


CONTENTS


Contents

Page

Introduction………………………………………………………………………

iii

CHAPTER 1: THE PROBLEM






    1. Statement of the Problem…………………………………..…………

4

    1. Formulation of the Problem………………………………..…………

9

    1. Objectives………………………………………………….…………..

10

    1. Rationale for the Study……………………………………..….………

11

    1. Limitations …………………………………………………..………….

12







CHAPTER 2: theoretical framework




2.1. Research Background ……………………………………………….

13

2.2. Theoretical basis …………….……………………….……………….

16

2.3. Definitions……………………………………………………………..

18







CHAPTER 3: methodology




3.1. Study...................……………………………………….……………..

25

3.2. Method…………..……………………………………….……………..

26







CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND ANALYSIS OF RESULTS




4.1. Sampling……………..…………………………………………………

29

4.2. Instruments…………………………………………………………….

30

4.3. Data Analysis and findings ………………………………………….

31







CHAPTER 5: MANAGING ASPECTS

5.1 Resources…………………………………………………………………….

5.2 Budget…………………………..…………………………………………….

5.3 Chronogram…………………………………………………………………



53

55

56


6. CONCLUSIONS………………………………………………………………….

57

7. recommendations………………………………………………………….


8. BIBLIOGRAPHY………….………………………………………………………
9. ATTACHMENTS……………………………………………………….…………

9.1 diagnosis

9.2 syllabus proposal for biology major

9.3 syllabus proposal for art major

9.4 analysis of syllabi



59
62
64








INTRODUCTION

The main purpose of this project is to propose a new syllabus proposal for the English Service Area in the majors of Arts and Biology by identifying the main students’ needs according to each academic profile during the second term 2011 of the “Licenciaturas en Artes Plásticas y Biología de la Universidad de El Salvador”

This research project was possible with the coordination of both, the research team and tutor advisor. The research team just worked coordinately with the Professor M.T.I. Pedro Antonio Salazar Murcia who was the research team`s advisor in this investigation.

The research team took into consideration the analysis of syllabi from 2006 to 2011 of the English Service Area; also, the biology and arts students, the authorities of “Facultad de Ciencias Naturales” and “Escuela de Artes” interviews, for proposing a new syllabus for both majors.

Summing up, it is important to make a deep and conscientious study of the real students’ necessities and apply them into the syllabus design; that is why the significance of this project.

ENGLISH PROPOSAL FOR A SYLLABUS IN ARTS AND BIOLOGY SCHOOLS RESPECTIVELY

1. THE PROBLEM


    1. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The University of El Salvador offers different majors whose syllabi focus on developing students’ skills. These plans are addressed to forming a professional profile that has to deal with the majors they have chosen. Among the subjects of each study plan, English subject is a requirement to get a degree as an integral professional.

The Foreign Language Department is part of the School of Arts and Science, which began with the objective of teaching English courses to different schools such as Ciencias Naturales, Medicina, Química y Farmacia. This English service unit was established in 1960, which used to be a section called Areas Comunes (Common Areas).Therefore; students of all majors studied the same English courses because that was mandatory for fulfilling their curriculum. (Escobar, Guillermo, 2004) with the purpose of teaching students enrolled just to read comprehensive reading in English even if they learned nothing about the other skills. There was just a single syllabus for all majors in that time which was not covering the students’ real necessities.

The “FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS NATURALES” was created on Sep 5, 1992 and the Department of Biology was changed to Biology School, with the purpose of helping the biodiversity of different ecosystem in El Salvador. The students of these major have to take 35 subjects and among those are two English courses which are taught during the first year of the major, and it is divided into English I in the first semester and English II in the second one, both subjects are mandatory for Biology students.

Another school of the University of El Salvador is Arts and Science which offers “LICENCIATURA EN ARTES PLASTICAS” with sub-specializations in “Pintura, Escultura, Cerámica and Diseño Gráfico”. Students start the first three years of this major by taking thirty common subjects, but in the fourth and fifth years they have only courses on their specialization they have already chosen at the beginning of their major. In the last year of the major, students have two optional courses divided in the first and second semester, which is “Lengua Extranjera”, they are free to choose whatever language they like, it can be English, French or German, but the one taught is English, because is the language used worldwide to communicate but the problem is that these can be taken at any time the student decides to take it due to the flexibility of the study plan; this is because the courses are not a prerequisite, so students have the final resolution of which language area they want to learn and when.

As a concern for this study, English II aims up to comprehensive reading for both schools, and students are given basic notions about English grammar and general vocabulary. Both courses last 16 weeks for both schools and according to the course description, students are supposed to developing basic abilities regarding to English language, that help them to deal with daily situations. Therefore, students are expected to developing the four English macro skills.

The syllabus design does not fulfill current and real students’ needs. Both programs have not been revised since 10 years ago, according to the analysis on the syllabi and as required in the following law:


LEY DE EDUCACION SUPERIOR

DECRETO No. 468

LA UNIVERSIDAD DE EL SALVADOR,

CAPÍTULO III

DE LA INTEGRACIÓN, ESTRUCTURA ORGÁNICA Y GOBIERNO DE LA UNIVERSI­DAD DE EL SALVADOR

Sección Cuarta.

Del Consejo Superior Universitario
Art. 22. - Dentro de sus funciones administrati­va, docente, técnica y disciplinaria, el Consejo Superior Universitario tendrá las siguientes atribuciones y deberes:

g) Establecer normas generales para la elabo­ración de los planes de estudio de las distintas Facultades;

h) Aprobar, revisar y reajustar planes y programas de estudio, ciclos de estudios profesionales o de perfeccionamiento y especialización, la organización de cursos y secciones paralelas, así como de las carreras con salidas laterales y el funcionamiento de cátedras libres; por iniciativa propia o a propuestas de las Juntas Directivas de Facultades.

Atribuciones y deberes del Vicerrector Académico
Art. 27. -El Vicerrector Académico sustituirá al Rector en los casos establecidos legalmente y previo acuerdo del Consejo Superior Universitario. Sin perjuicio de lo anterior, deberá cumplir las atribuciones y deberes siguientes:


  1. Coordinar y supervisar las funciones académicas, en conjunto con las autoridades de las Facultades; 

  2. Analizar y supervisar el desarrollo de los planes de estudio de la Universidad con el propósito de que sean adecuados a las necesidades de la sociedad

Both syllabi lack an analysis of the real students´ needs and the teachers of these courses as observed the contents as designed in the syllabus, most of their classes are only addressed to grammar patterns and most of the students do not understand what they listen to since class is spoken in English.

According to both syllabi descriptions, the English courses must develop on students enrolled a basic knowledge about comprehensive reading, but the only thing they receive is a basic notion about grammar. As in the 70´s, and the 80´s, at present, students of both majors have not been well addressed to their real necessities. Students have been given grammar structure that is really low and it does not fit what they really need, and does not help them get a high English development on their necessities.

In the Foreign Language Department the English taught for the service area is mostly covered by free- lance teachers which worsens the situation due to there are not well designed teaching techniques that help students to improve what they need, this is a great evidence that the University is lacking sufficient budget and knowledgeable teacher staff to fulfill its need. Henceforth, the problems concerning to the management of the English groups in the different majors have become an increasing problem for the several schools in the University of El Salvador, and the low budget given for the Departments is not enough, that is why the schools hire teachers with low cost and avoiding great sum of money monthly. On the other hand, the teachers in charge of these courses emphasize mostly on grammar structures of the language rather than technical one.

English Service Area has been having problems with the syllabi design since its very beginning, because of the lack of evaluation of the specialization of the academic fields and students´ needs. It is essential to identify the academic needs of each major before designing the English syllabus; it is clear that without a well-designed syllabus plan to fulfill students´ real needs oriented to their fields will be hard; for this reason it raises a question as follows:


    1. How do the contents of the current English Syllabi applied to Service Area fit Arts and Biology students’ needs at the University of El Salvador?



    1. OBJECTIVES



  • General objective:

To propose a new English syllabus for Service Area adjusted to the Bachelor degree in Arts and Biology profile respectively.

  • Specific objectives:

To diagnose the English service area contents syllabi in the school of Arts and Biology.

To modify the current English syllabus of the Arts and Biology major based on students’ needs.



1.4 RATIONALE

The English language is useful to study contents from different fields worldwide because English is necessary to get different perspectives and wide angles of knowledge. Nowadays, the working areas are very competitive and the better prepared a person is the greater opportunities can be opened to them.

The University of El Salvador offers majors in various fields. Some of these majors have English course as a requirement and some of them as an option. In the University of El Salvador, there are some majors that have in their study plan one or two English courses as a plus or as a choice, such as Biology and Arts majors.

This research is aimed at finding the real necessities that the schools of Biology and Arts have in the English Area given by Language Department of the University of El Salvador, since these students have different necessities related to their major; in order to satisfy their needs.

The current research pretends to present a new English syllabus proposal for Arts and Biology school in order to fulfill students’ necessities. Besides that, the investigation will contribute to the improvement of the English Service Area in the Language Department.

1.5 LIMITATION

During the development of the present research some of the limitations that could be mentioned are:

- Lack of access to old syllabi related to English Service Area

- Difficulties to find the information related to syllabus from other universities.

- Lack of bibliographical information related to the research topic.

- Its scope will get up to proposing new syllabi for both major: Arts and Biology schools.



2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

2.1 RESEARCH BACKGROUND

The Foreign Language Department was born as an academy in order to give service in the English area to the other schools of the University of El Salvador. In 1956 the Foreign Language Department was certified as a Department and began with the administration of the major in Technician in Translation in English and Spanish which lasted 12 years. In 1973, the Consejo Superior Universitario approved the study plan for Profesorado en Educación Media para la enseñanza del Idioma Inglés and Licenciatura en Idioma Inglés, the ones that were certified in 1977 and modified in 1993. (Memoria histórica M.T.I Pedro Antonio Salazar Murcia, 2012) According to Lic. Nicolas Ayala, the English Service Area was somehow an interchange between Foreign Language Department and the other school in which English was being taught. This service was offered first to Science of Nature, Medicine, Chemistry and Pharmacy and Engineering.

The Foreign Language Department was in charge of teaching English courses to different majors during the 70’s and 80’s. However, the agreement between, the Foreign Language Department with the other schools has been changing constantly for different reasons; thus the dissolution of the cooperation with the schools and the Foreign Language Department has made that the exchanging of teachers stopped; an evident example of this is the decision of the Department of Education to hire his own teacher staff.

Every university major is composed of different subjects that are guided by a syllabus, within its information there are several topics applied to a specific learning area. This important document has to be the first information that a student must have about each course. Students need to know what a syllabus contains, how important the information is for students, and the purpose of a syllabus and why students must have it.

As an introduction of this word, Syllabus from Latin means “List”, but from Greek is “Parchment label” or “Table of content”. In 1656 the word syllabus was used as a reference of “Table of Content”, According to Oxford English Dictionary.

Syllabus is an outline or a document in which professors show how to talk about that subject or course and how to develop it. Syllabus is a summary about every course, also a paper addressed to students, which is made by the professor in charge of that subject, “Your Syllabus is the single most important document you offer your students”, (professor Michael Shafer). So, each professor is responsible to facilitate the syllabus to each student, “We presume that every college professor realizes the necessity of preparing a syllabus for each course taught, what is meant by a SYLLABUS”, (Jay Parkes and Mary B. Harris)

According to Jay Parkes and Mary B. Harris there are three main purposes of a syllabus: “the syllabus as a contract, the syllabus as a permanent record and the syllabus as a learning tool”. firstly, the syllabus as a contract, it states that the syllabus is an agreement between the teachers towards the students, where the teacher establishes what is expected during the semester and to guide both by delineating responsibilities of students and professors. Secondly, “the syllabus as permanent record”, this one is a record of what was taught in a course. This one provides detailed of what is going to be covered, what the students are expected to do, the results and performance are assessed. The syllabi are quite useful to evaluate for both the learners and instructor and also the entire program. Thirdly, “the syllabus as a learning tool” in this document, students learn by their own by looking for bibliographical resources from the syllabus, and they are able to discuss, analyze the contents that are stated in it.

2.2 THEORETICAL BASIS

Nowadays, learning English language has become an important necessity for studying and working. Arts students have to learn English just for special purposes; in this case their learning has to be focused on learning how to interpret comprehensive reading related to their major. They need to understand and develop vocabulary that helps them to solidify areas such as: critical thinking, class participation, extensive and intensive reading, etc.

At the moment of designing an English syllabus some features have to be taken into account, such as, the real necessities of students that have to be analyzed carefully, because the contents have to fulfill what students really need. According to Robbinson (1991) there are some important differences that have to list when doing a plan, first the designed program has to follow the ESP line which means English for specific purposes, which is goal-directed. It means students are not learning the English language for the sake of it, but because they need to use it by doing this students´ learning is going to be better and faster.

In the planning and execution of a syllabus applied to the English Service Courses some elements must be taken into account such as: the administrative personnel where the student is enrolled, teachers assigned to this course and also students of this course in order to select which contents are going to be worked during the class period of a particular learning area. By doing these, students will be capable of using English to critically analyze topics related to their fields.

In recent years, “Pat Cross has been advocating the use of what she calls: Classroom research” which means getting teachers involved in the formal study of teaching and learning. This means searching before choosing which contents are going to be included on a syllabus design. Here syllabus planners must list the content areas of the field, also has to specify the skills and knowledge needed by students.

According to Karl Krahnke, content means: “what is taught in the single aspect of syllabus design. Content is only one element of some actual teaching”. Content concerns involve both subject matter and linguistic. When beginning the content planning a question arises over here: What does interpret content mean? Conceptualizing or interpreting is a multifaceted process which involves: Thinking about what you want your students to learn in the course, also their needs, and the purpose of the course, deciding about what to include and emphasize and what to drop. (Graves Kathleen, Designing Language Course. A guide for teachers, 2000, Page. 37-38)



2.3 DEFINITIONS

Types of syllabi:

According to (Karl Kranhke) there are six types of syllabi in which the contents are based on and the university professors use them to guide themselves in the development of their courses. In addition, the syllabus design for a given course, some professors combine more than one which is usually dominated while the other syllabus content may be combined. Therefore, the characteristics and generalities are described as follows: (1) the structural syllabus is a collection of forms and structures usually grammatically. (2) The notional syllabus is the one whose contents are performed when the language is used, for instance, when apologizing or requesting things among others. Another we can mention is (3) the situational syllabus which the content teaching is a collection of real and imaginary situations in which language occurs or is used. (4) The skill-based syllabus emphasizes mostly in specific skills or competences independently the situation or stetting in which language use can occur. Moreover, other in which is addressed to carry out activities or complex tasks in order to develop a second language ability is (5) the Task-based syllabus and the last but not the least in importance is (6) the content-based- syllabus where the main purpose is to teach some contents with the target language (English) that students are learning, as an example of this one is when the teacher explains a topic like the difference between the mammal and the birds using the English as a mean of communication to transmit the instructions. Syllabus choice will depend on the characteristic of the course and the teacher and students’ need and purpose.


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