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Presented by

Aman Shahni
Ph.D. (ELE) Participant
Regd. No. 07/SH/Ph.D.(ELE)/2014-2017/037

Dr. Arzuman Ara
Assistant Professor
Department of English Language Education

Prof. A.K. Mishra
Director I/c

The English and Foreign Languages University

4, April 2019
Content Analysis of the
Undergraduate English Syllabus
of Manipur University: Towards
Developing a Model for English
Language Proficiency
Background and Rational
 The content of the General English syllabus offered to the
undergraduate learners of Manipur university is analysed
 Manipur university is a central university since 2008 and
have developed their own syllabus by forming committees
 An effort is made to investigate the syllabus and its content
and check if the present syllabus fulfills the language needs
of the learners
 An effort is made to check if constructing a supplementary
material would help the learners improve their English
language skills
 The present study is conducted to examine the general
English paper across the science, arts and commerce
study in-order to examine:
 i. If the syllabus is fulfilling the needs of the syllabus
 ii. Whether the materials are culturally relevant or not
 iii. Whether the materials used grammar items to help
the learners write, speak, read to improve their English
skills and improve their listening skills
 iv. Whether the syllabus and the content of the
syllabus help the learners improve their vocabulary
and comprehension skills
Objectives of the Study
 The central objectives of the current study are as follows:
 i. To analyze the syllabus and the content of the syllabus
of the undergraduate English course of Manipur
 ii. To check the English proficiency level of the
undergraduate learners vis-à-vis their academic success;
 iii. To find out if there is any inadequacy in the syllabus
and its content and find out how to develop the language
skills of the learners in order to have a better academic
performance and communicative performance in English;
 iv. To find out if there is any need to develop any
supplementary/support study materials at par with the
existing syllabus and how the supplementary materials can
be incorporated in the existing contents of the syllabus.
 The present study aims to be an analytical research through
quantitative and qualitative approach. Given below are
some of the hypothesis which will be investigated:
a. There is a need to analyze the syllabus and its content
from the view point of English language teaching/learning;
b. The literary texts used in the English language course
of the undergraduate learners of Manipur University are not
adequate to develop the English language proficiency of the
c. Support/supplementary materials developed for the
current syllabus would help the learners to learn and improve
Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing (LSRW) skills;
Vocabulary and Grammar of English language.
Research Question
 The present research study aims to find answers to the
following questions:
1. What is the nature of the undergraduate English
syllabus of Manipur University? What are its merits and
2. What are the problems faced by learners and teachers
in implementing the syllabus in the classroom?
3. Does the present syllabus fulfill the language needs of
the undergraduate learners?
4. Do the English syllabus and its contents of the
undergraduate course of Manipur University include English
language activities to increase English language proficiency?
5. What aspects of the present syllabus and its contents
 The following is the chapterisation of the

 Chapter I Introduction
 Chapter II Review of Related Literature
 Chapter III Research Design and Methodology
 Chapter IV Data Analysis, Interpretations
and Findings
 Chapter V Conclusion
Literature Review
 English Language Curriculum
 Richards (2013) in ‘Curriculum Approaches in Language Teaching: Forward, Central, and Backward Design’ (RELCJ, 2013)
 the implications of methodology in the field of teaching and learning,
 the different aspects of language teaching and the aims of the target learning groups.
 Richards (2013) states that, any language teaching curriculum would contain the three elements:
 content,
 process,
 output and
 that the relationship between them is how one decides to prioritize the three different processes and adapts the processes in
their respective curriculum design.
 English Language Syllabus
 Janice Yalden (1989) in ‘Syllabus Design in General Education: Options for ELT’ has explained the steps to consider while
developing a syllabus for English language teaching.
 According to her syllabus should be created in-order to act as a guide for the teachers as well as the learners.
 Syllabus designers should consider the different approaches and methods which would be appropriate for the learners and the
 Content Analysis
 Reinildis Atjna Cyntia Rynanta and Suharmanto Ruslan (2010) in ‘Content Analysis on the English Textbook Entitled English in Mind
Starter (Student’s book)’ have analyzed the English textbook “English in Mind Starter (Student’s Book)”.
 The authors of this paper have considered eight factors to analyze the textbook. The factors are:
 i. The availability of materials based on Standard of Content 2006;
 ii. Methodology;
 iii. Language skills;
 iv. Topics;
 v. Design and layout;
 vi. Organization;
 vii. Language appropriacy, and
 viii. Cultural aspect.

 Materials/Content Development
 Dario Luis Banegas (2012) in ‘Teacher-developed materials for the integration of
content and language: An action research project in Argentina’ has tried to explore
the principles that teachers use or follow while developing their own teaching
 According to the researcher while preparing to construct a language based materials
with constructive inputs from teachers:
 “a. there is insufficient analysis of students’ needs to understand what drives them
to learn;
 b. there is a conflict between students’ motivation and interests;
 c. topic selection is a more important aspect of materials development that source
 d. the discussion about context-responsive materials should be refined; and
 e. there is a need for activities which cater for language awareness.”
 Communicative Language Teaching Approach
 O. S. Nyinondi, A. S. Mhandeni and H. I. Mohamed (2016) in ‘The use of
communicative language teaching approach in the teaching of communication
skills courses in Tanzanian university’ have tried to analyze and investigate how the
Universities in Tanzania have tried to implement the Communicative Language
Teaching(CLT) approach for the purpose of teaching English language teaching
communication course.
 The researchers have suggested that for the Communicative course to work in the
Tanzania Universities some major steps should be considered:
 i. objectives of the course should be specified;
 ii. learners’ diversity and language background should be considered while
framing the course;
 iii. the language instructors should be responsible to teach English, and
 iv. the English language classroom should be learner centered and
 What are the principles behind a language based
 Language Curriculum Design has eight components:
 considering the environment,
 discovering the need,
 following the principles,
 Setting the goals,
 Organizing content and sequencing content of the
 Presentation of the material,
 Monitoring and assessing, and
 Evaluation. (Nation and Macalister, 2010)
Different Types of Syllabus
 Grammatical or Structural syllabus
 Lexical syllabus
 Grammatical-Lexical syllabus
 Competence-based syllabus
 Notional syllabus
 Notional-functional syllabus
 Situational syllabus
 Topic-based syllabus
 Task-based syllabus
 Literature based syllabus
 An integrated/communicative syllabus
 Process syllabus
 Product syllabus
 Spiral syllabus
 Graded syllabus
 Emergent syllabus
Selecting content of General English
syllabus for English Language Teaching

 According to Nunan (1988:85-95) and White (1988:46), a

language content is structured according to content, skill
or method of teaching and learning in the classroom.
 White (1988:46) further divides content according to
 language form, which focuses on the structure of the
 Topic, which focuses on information;
 Situation, which focuses on the context and function,
Content and Materials
 According to Tomlinson (2012:144), “Materials
development refers to all the processes made use of by
practitioners who produce and/or use materials for
language learning, including materials evaluation,
their adaptation, design, production, exploitation and
research” which means that all these processes should
be considered when one is constructing an ideal
language learning material.
Designing a Supplementary
 Shamim (2004) has stated four contextual questions that one should
consider while framing supplementary materials. They are:
 i. “How do teachers select the right content?
 ii. How can they fully engage and support learners to develop the
intended course competence?
 iii. Creating learning opportunities is more than including discrete
methods and learning activities. It is about building an integrated
learning pathway that links resources, mediates content, learning
activities and assessment activities, and provides constructive feedback
in a stimulating and supportive way.
 iv. What kind of learning methods and techniques, and learning
and assessment activities can you use in the materials to support
Principles of Second Language Acquisition in
relation with Syllabus Design and Materials
 Cook (1998) considers the issue of individual differences and their
effects on SLA and their implications for materials development.
 According to Cook (1998), individual differences affect language
learners’ ability to become bilingual because learners deal with aspects
of L2 learning differently as there are differences between L2 learners.
 Cook (1988) states that curriculum and materials not only must be
adapted to the average characteristics of a certain group in terms of
motivation, age, sex and so on, but also should attend to the traits
varying between individuals, such as cognitive styles and personality
 Ellis (1993, 1994) draws extensively on SLA research and theory to
motivate his arguments for a role for a structural syllabus.
 Ellis’s research on SLA with regard to notions of explicit conscious
knowledge and implicit tacit knowledge on one side and declarative
knowledge of facts and procedural knowledge of how to do thing on
the other, it seems that classroom activities and in effect course book
Additional Literature Review
 Analysing government records and data and Policy documents- UGC’s
CDC report 2001
 Mathew Peacock’s Choosing the Right Book for Your Class.
 Bulent Inal’s Coursebook Selection Process and Some of the Most
Important Criteria to be Taken into Consideration in Foreign Language
 Jo McDonough & Christopher Shaw’s Materials and Methods in ELT.
 Checklist created by Kalyan Chattopadhyay: Analyzing the text books,
ELTAI Workshop (add in literature review )
 David Nunan’s Syllabus Design
 I.S.P. Nation & J. Macalister Language Curriculum Design (2010)
Research Methodology
 A mixed approach is applied depending on the
requirement in each stage of the research.
 The data was collected from both the primary and
secondary sources, the primary source being the
questionnaires and the observation of the General
English classroom while the secondary source being
the content of the syllabus and classroom observation.
Tools and Techniques used for the
 A variety of tools were used in the study to collect data from the
learners, teachers and syllabus designers to understand their
views on the present syllabus and the methods the teachers
adopt to teach the syllabus and the principles the syllabus
designers considered while framing the General English syllabus
of Manipur University
 Questionnaires – learners, teachers and syllabus designers
 Classroom Observation checklist- General English Class
 Checklist for Content analysing the syllabus – General
English Syllabus
 Feedback form – Learners
Population of the Study
Learner’s Profile Teacher’s Profile Syllabus Designer’s Profile

Two hundred and twenty Fifty English teachers were Six Syllabus designers were
learners were selected with the selected wit h the process of selected for the purpose of this
process of random sampling random sampling study
The samples for the study are The samples for the study are The samples of the study are
learners of General English teachers who teach English and syllabus designers of the
course of Manipur University. General English course to General English course.
learners of Manipur University.
The learners belong to first, Majority of the teachers have The Committee of the General
second, third and fifth been teaching the General English syllabus consist of six
semesters of the General course since the time it was members and all of them are
English course. implemented in the year 2010. professors of Manipur

Their age group ranged from 18 All the six syllabus designers are
years to 24 years. English teachers and have been
working in their respective
fields for over thirty years.

learners belong to urban and The teachers have all done their All the six syllabus designers are
rural areas and more than 60% Masters degree and have Ph.D. holders and have had
English Medium Schools rest cleared National Eligibility twenty years of experience in
40% Regional medium schools Test/State Level Eligibility Test teaching and framing English
(NET/SLET) and some of them syllabus.
have M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees
Design of the Research
i. The first step is Content Analysis- here the content of the General English
syllabus of Manipur University was analyzed along with the UGC’s CDC
(Curriculum Development Committee) report 2001 to verify if the
guidelines prescribed by the CDC report is followed by Manipur University.
The English language needs of the learners was one of the major reasons for
content analysis of the syllabus.
ii. The second step was framing a questionnaire for the teachers, learners and
the syllabus designers and administering it. The rationale behind framing
the questionnaire is to gather information from the teachers, learners and
the syllabus designers about the current General English syllabus. The
learners’ questionnaire also included questions about their English language
needs, hence conducting a needs analysis for the learners.
iii. The third step is framing the classroom observation checklist for the
General English classroom of Manipur University to check the pedagogical
process that occurs in the class.
iv. The fourth step is developing skills based supplementary
materials for the General English classroom by adopting the
content and including English language skills and activities to help
the learners not only concentrate on the content of the syllabus,
but also the usage of the language items to improve their
communication skills.
v. The fifth step is the implementation of the supplementary
materials in the General English classroom and involving the
learners to practice English language skills and improve their
vocabulary and grammar.
vi. The sixth and the final step is to evaluate the outcome of the
implementation of the supplementary materials and to check if the
supplementary materials helped the General English learners to
improve their communication skills, vocabulary and grammar.
 The checklist consists of 196 questions about the syllabus
and the content of the syllabus
 The checklist is categorized into sections:
 Layout and design
 Visuals
 Appropriateness
 Teaching Aids
 Teaching Methods
 Learning- Teaching Content
 Exercises
 Social and Cultural Contexts
 Language Skills
 Motivation and Learners
 Pedagogical Analysis
Supplementary Materials
production and
 The underlining principle which was adopted to construct
and develop the supplementary material was
Communicative Language Teaching Approach (CLT)
 100 learners were selected with the help of the process of
random sampling for the implementation of the
supplementary material.
 The supplementary materials used a variety of grammar,
and language skill based activities to improve and enhance
the English language and communicative skills of the
 The activities were carefully chosen considering the age
group, language competency of the learners and their
 The researcher adapted the central theme of each reading
item and constructed activities related to the theme as well
as included grammar, vocabulary and LSRW skills activities
to help improve the learners’ English language skills.
 The supplementary material was created considering the English
language needs of the learners and activities they needed to improve
their language skills.
 There were three sections in the supplementary material; each section
had the central theme of the story, poem or the play.
 Each section consisted of four activities; each activity included LSRW
activities, vocabulary, and grammar.
 The researcher has made sure that all the activities that are included
are from the Unit I: Grammar and Unit II: Unseen part.
 The supplementary material was implemented among the 3rd and the
5th semester learners who have already studies the General English
 The rational behind this was to check if they have retained the
knowledge received in the first and second semester and practically
apply it in preceding semesters.
 Here the learners were evaluated on the basic of how well they responded to the activities
and exercises
 The learners were evaluated on the basis of pronunciation, coherence, vocabulary,
grammar, interaction, sentence structure, inference of the text, sub-skills of listening,
reading, speaking, fluency and spellings.
 Marks were allotted to each section of the supplementary material
 The motivation and eagerness to respond showed the interest the learners had for the
activities and tasks
 Demonstration of understanding of overall meaning of texts
 Identification and/or description of key elements in texts
 Establishment of connections between text and own experience
 Expression of appreciation of texts
 Sharing of understanding of texts with peers and the instructor
 Excitement about the listening activities
 Singing the songs or poems along with the videos used to teach them listening skills
 Answering questions and responding to the instructor
Findings of Content and Materials
The content and the materials were analysed with the help of a checklist created by the researcher

It was found that:

The aims and objectives of the lessons or the content are not mentioned in the syllabus

No instructions of the teachers or the learners are provided neither in the syllabus, content or the

There are no questions, tasks or activities provided in the recommended books

There are no special focus given on vocabulary building, grammar or LSRW skills mentioned in the
textbooks or the content of the syllabus
No guidelines or instructions are mentioned for the teachers in the recommended books or the content of
the syllabus

No testing or evaluation criteria are mentioned in the syllabus

The General syllabus is largely a language based syllabus with two sectioned dedicated to grammar and
language and three sections dedicated to literature with 2:3 ratio
Majority of the text in the syllabus are of western writers with western themes which makes the texts
culturally unfamiliar for the learners
Findings of the Questionnaires
Three types of questionnaires were constructed:

Learner’s questionnaire

(Needs Analysis and opinions about the course and teaching methods)

Teacher’s questionnaire

(Needs of the learners and opinions about the course/syllabus and teaching

Syllabus designer’s questionnaire

(Needs of the learners, opinions about the course/syllabus and principles of

syllabus design)
Final findings of the learners’
Most of the learners have stated that they have taken up the General English course because they wanted to
improve their English language skills and speak and communicate better in English, but the syllabus has limited
their grammar section to first semester and have not provided any worksheets or textbooks to practice grammar.

The learners have mentioned that they feel scared and not confident to speak in English because they are afraid
that they would make a mistake.

The language exposure that they get when they are in class is not enough for them to practice speaking or writing
the language and that the syllabus does not help them to do so.

The teachers teach in a teacher centric environment where they mostly use lecture method and hardly introduce
any group activity.

Most of the learners are of the opinion that the teachers either talk too fast for them to understand or too softly to
them to hear.

The learners have indicated that they would learn better if LSRW activities would be introduced in the class and
that they would like to make some changes to the syllabus and would what more practical use of English language
rather than just reading stories and poems which does not help them improve the language.

Most of the learners have clearly indicated that their needs and expectations are not fulfilled by the present
General English syllabus hence, changes need to be made in order to make the syllabus more accessible and
learner centered and learner friendly.
Final findings of the Teachers’
Final Findings of the Syllabus
Designer’s Questionnaire
Design of the Classroom
Observation Checklist
 A classroom observation checklist was adapted and restructured to suit the
purpose of this study
 Weimer, M., Parrett, J., &Kerns,M. (2002) How Am I Teaching?: Forms &
Activities for Acquiring
 The General English classroom was observed for ten days for the duration of
forty-five minutes each.
 The questions for the observation were twenty two in number;
 The observation was conducted in first and second semesters and five classes
for each semester.
 Four hundred and fifty hours of classroom observation was dedicates.
 The observation was conducted in Dhanamunjuri college of Arts and
Commerce, Imphal College and Oriental College.
 During the classroom observation, the observer or the researcher sat among
the learners and observed the teaching of the General English teachers and the
responses of learners.
 Both the teachers and the learners were informed about the observation of the
classroom and were asked to continue the teaching and learning in a usual
manner as they generally do.
Findings of the Classroom
Observation Checklist
It was found that the teachers of the General English course did not use a lesson plan in the

It was observed that the teachers did not specify the aims and objectives of the lesson

It was observed that the teachers used English as well as Meitei to speak to the learners

It was observed that the learners hesitated to speak in English because of the fear of making

It was observed that the teachers did not encourage the learners to contribute to class

It was observed that the teachers did not conduct any language activities in the General
English classroom

It was observed that the learners do not volunteer to answer any questions in the classroom

It was observed that the learners lack confidence and are afraid to make mistakes while speaking
in English
Findings of the Supplementary
The learners were able to successfully do the vocabulary activities

The learners were able to successfully change the active voice sentences into passive
voice sentences and vice-versa
The learners were able to successfully understand the comprehension questions and
answer the questions that followed
The learners were able to understand and comprehend the poems and fill in the gaps
while listening to the poem

The learners were able to successfully identify the different parts of speech

The learners were able to successfully understand the audio and answer the questions
that followed

The learners were able to speak when asked to talk about their personal experiences
Observation of the Supplementary
Materials teaching classroom
It was observed that the learners were motivated and excited
to do something new and interactive in the classroom

It was observed that the learners were keen on speaking

It was observed that the learners had less inhibitions and

asked questions when something was confusing them

It was observed that the learners enjoyed the listening

activities because media was used to teach in the classroom

It was observed that the learners made an effort to only

speak in English in the classroom

It was observed that the learners enjoyed the activities and

tasks taught with the help of the supplementary materials
Feedback Form of the
Supplementary Material
 The feedback form was constructed to perceive the
opinion of the learners about the supplementary
materials that was constructed using the existing
materials from the General English Syllabus.
 The Feedback form had forty questions for the
learners to answer after they had completed working
on the supplementary materials.
Discussion and finding of the
Feedback form
Most of the learners gave a positive response
to the activities;
They enjoyed the listening activities and
speaking activities.
They did struggle with the writing activities because of
lack of writing practice from their previous classes. From
the data we can conclude that creative methods and
activities could encourage the learners to learner better
and improve their LSRW skills, vocabulary and grammar

Using Communicative Language Teaching approach

can help the learners improve their four skills and
communicate better in English
 On the bases of the analysis and findings of the study, the
following major conclusions are drawn in support of the of the
research questions:
 The General English Syllabus of MU needs to be restructured
and made according to the English language needs of the
 The shortcomings of the syllabus is that it is 2:3 section of the
General English syllabus is a literature based syllabus
 The syllabus is inclusive of culturally relevant materials but
western literature is given more importance
 English language skills are not taught to the learners
 The syllabus does not provide activities and exercises for the learners to
 The syllabus does not provide aims and objectives of the course
 No books are prescribed for the teachers or the learners
 Teaching methodology is not specified in the syllabus or any other
 The syllabus needs to be more explicit and should specify what
grammar items to be taught
 The learners of General English have said that they need English for
further studies and for better job opportunities
 Teachers lack proper skills to teach English as a language and need
training to improve their English language teaching skills
 English language skills, new vocabulary and grammar need to be
taught to improve and enhance the English language skills of the
 Based on the findings of the study, the following few suggestions are made:
 The syllabus designers should conduct language needs analysis of the learners
 The syllabus should be restructured every 3 to 4 years as per the UGC rules
 The university should train the teachers of English
 The syllabus should include more language based activities and exercises
 The university should construct a supplementary material for the General English course
and should include language based activities
 The classroom should be more learner-centred and should encourage learners to
communicate in English
 The teachers should encourage and motivate the learners to speak in English
Limitations of the Study
 Due to insufficient time the research could not be
intensively conducted
 All the learners of MU were not taken as the sample
for the study
 Hence, the data and the result may vary with an
increased number of population
Scope for Further Studies
 Detail study could be carried out to study the effect of
various task and activities in the English classroom
 Role of teachers as syllabus designers and bridging the
gap between the theory taught and practices that take
place in the actual classroom could be researched
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