NEGOTIATED SYLLABUS: A REALIZATION OF LEARNER AUTONOMY
Morteza Montazeri, Neda Fekri, Hadi Hamidi
Since the emergence of learner-centered approaches to language instruction attempts have been made to engage learners more in the process of learning. This has triggered the emergence of the concept of “learner autonomy”. In learner autonomy, the main purpose is to make learners responsible for their own process of learning and make teachers facilitators of this process. Needless to say, what are of paramount importance in every instruction are instructional materials. Teachers need to provide learners with appropriate materials to reach the instructional goals. However, learner autonomy as a new approach in language instruction has not been successful to offer a disciplined framework for the selection, sequencing, and implementation of instructional materials. It has only managed to develop some general principles for materials development. What can be suggested for the realization of learner autonomy is negotiated syllabus. Negotiated syllabus is, according to Richards and Schmidt (2010), an approach to development of language course in which learners’ needs and preferences are taken into consideration through the course, and the needs are discussed by language learners and teachers during the course, helping to generate ideas about the content of the course. This syllabus, like learner autonomy, harbors learner-centered approach to teaching. In this paper, a detailed illustration of the application of negotiated syllabus is provided.
syllabus design, learner-centered approach, learner autonomy, negotiated syllabus