February 16, 2009
“English Expressways” Syllabus Critic
The syllabus is based on the book “English Expressways II (2007)” which is used for Second Year High School students. Through this book, the authors aim to equip Second Year High School students with skills necessary to meet the ever-growing demands of the 21st century. This course is designed to answer the academic needs of Second Year High School students and at the same time prepare them for the demands of education in the new millennium. It is focused on the goals and objectives of the 2002 Basic Education Curriculum for Secondary Level and highlights the development of every Second Year High School student as a well-rounded individual. However, the course is highly focused on the four macro skills（listening, reading, speaking, and writing） while neglect the higher order thinking skills, reasoning skill, and observing.
The English language curriculum provides for the development of language and language-related skills in a meaningful purposeful and interesting manner. This is attained through the adoption of an integrated approach in the teaching of language. The syllabus formulated has plenty of activities involved listening, reading, speaking, writing and literary skills; different genres of literary pieces such as poem, short story, drama, essay etc. Nevertheless, the activities are more on the communicative way of teaching. High school students are in the stage of making choices or decision making, the teachers should guide them to make choice of their interests, careers and goals. Thus, the activities might be better with the association of the principles, concepts, and issues in teaching language. Such as, multiple intelligences, metacognitive instruction to enhance students’ autonomous learning and so on.
The formulated syllabus also aims to develop students’ competencies in the affective domain: to strengthen the students’ commitment to develop themselves by...