Parameters for Drafting Teaching Units
I. Choice of Types of Objectives :
Communicative Objectives: Communicative objectives focus on the development of communication skills (oral and written comprehension and production, and negotiation).
Experiential Objectives: Experiential objectives focus on enriching the learner's experience (knowledge, attitudes and behaviors).
Cultural Objectives: Cultural objectives are aimed at expanding the learner's cultural horizons. Specifically, they are aimed at making the learner aware of francophone culture and other cultural perspectives in the world.
General Language Education Objectives: General language education objectives include analyzing and coming to certain realizations about language, culture and strategies for learning, communicating and strategies for socializing.
Language Objectives: Language objectives are minimum expectations in terms of discourse and grammar (vocabulary structures, pronunciation, etc.)
II. Steps to Follow :
1. Each step should be numbered and highlighted. This should be followed by an explanation of the activities that go with the step (the teaching process).
2. During the first steps of the unit, it is always necessary to personalize the unit; agree on the experiential goal; identify and verify the steps to achieve the goal; and pool the experiences of teacher and learners.
3. The next to last step should always be the achievement of the experiential goal.
4. The last step should be a reflection on the unit. The learners should reflect on what they experienced in the unit, and on new knowledge, attitudes and strategies that they developed. They should also reflect on how the unit could be improved for the next group.
III. Principles to be Respected while Developing an Experiential Unit
1. Experiential Goal:
- is always production-related (either oral or written, or both, if possible);
- should be flexible enough to be within the reach of all learners;
- should clearly indicate what the learner has to do during the unit and produce at the end;
- should incorporate all the steps to be followed, each being linked to the next in a logical progression leading to the experiential goal.
Personalization should be an integral part of the unit.
3. Communication Skills:
- Oral and written comprehension, production, and negotiation should all be integrated into the unit.
- The percentage allotted to oral and written activities should adhere as closely as possible to the time allotment indicated in the curriculum.
Culture should be an integral part of the unit. The primary focus should be on present day culture. The learner should reflect on his/her own culture and identify similarities and differences among cultures.
Language, including grammar and discourse, should be integrated into the unit for the purposes of communication and should be taught in context. The language taught is that which learners need to carry out their tasks. The learner should be encouraged to reflect on his/her knowledge of language and to pick out the similarities and differences among languages.
6. General Language Education:
Learners should be provided opportunities to develop a conscious awareness of language, culture and strategies for learning, communicating and socializing. They should reflect on the language learning process and the experiences they have had in their mother tongue that might help them acquire a second language.
7. Authentic Texts:
Each unit should give learners an opportunity to use authentic oral and written texts.
8. Teaching Strategies:
Various strategies should be incorporated in the unit, including individual work, work in pairs and small groups, and cooperative group learning.
Evaluation should be an integral component of the unit, and include formative and summative evaluations. The summative evaluation should relate directly to the unit's objective; i.e., there should be communicative (oral and written), cultural, linguistic and language learning components. Various evaluation techniques such as self-evaluation and peer evaluation should also be integrated into the unit. Assessment grids should be provided to the teachers.