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Learning programme design

Planning programmes

Learning languages is about designing learning experiences that contribute to the learners’ development of intercultural communicative competence.

Programme design decisions must align to The New Zealand Curriculum. The learning languages learning area statement, proficiency descriptors, and achievement objectives form the basis for designing language learning programmes.

Schools can be flexible in what they offer as there is no prescribed curriculum at any year level and NCEA supports a flexible approach to language learning programme design.

Knowing the key concepts will help teachers to make links to the key competencies, principles, and values of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Teachers also need to consider how they can incorporate the values embedded in the target language and culture into their students’ learning experiences so that the students “are challenged to consider their own identities and assumptions” (The New Zealand Curriculum, page 24).

In designing learning experiences, pedagogy, and assessment decisions, teachers should consider the needs, interests, experiences, and prior learning of all their students, and be inclusive of their languages and cultures.

Enabling Māori and Pasifika students to achieve success is a priority.

The shift to iCLT: Some considerations

For many years, teachers have had a clear focus on their learners’ communicative competence. Teachers have built a repertoire of tasks with defined time limits and clear objectives that stimulate social interaction – such as jigsaw, information-gap, or decision-making tasks – where students are encouraged to clarify their utterances and make demands on their listeners.

The shift to iCLT requires teachers to rethink their actions in the classroom and review the learning experiences they design for their students.

“The struggle between the desire of students to appropriate the foreign language for their own purposes, and the responsibility of the teacher for socialising them into a linguistically and socio-culturally appropriate behaviour lie at the core of the educational enterprise. Both are necessary for pleasurable and effective language learning.”

Claire Kramsch (1993). Context and Culture in Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Research into effective pedagogy for intercultural communicative language teaching (iCLT) identifies principles that need to underpin teacher thought and action at each phase of the teaching and learning cycle.

The following sections describe the six principles in action through classroom-based examples.

Last updated March 26, 2013