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Contents of a Text-Based Syllabus

Contents of a text-based syllabus


As its name implies, the core units of planning in TBI are text types. These are identified through needs analysis and through the analysis of language as it is used in different settings. (Text based teaching thus has much in common with an ESP approach to language teaching, discussed above). However the syllabus also usually specifies other components of texts, such as grammar, vocabulary, topics and functions, hence it is a type of mixed syllabus, one which integrates reading, writing and oral communication and which teaches grammar through the mastery of texts rather than in isolation. The following text-types are included in the Certificates in Spoken and Written English, which are widely taught language qualifications in Australia.

  • Exchanges Simple exchanges relating to information and goods and services;
    Complex or problematic exchanges; Casual conversation
  • Forms Simple formatted texts; Complex formatted texts
  • Procedures Instructions; Procedures; Protocols
  • Information texts Descriptions; Explanations; Reports; Directives; Texts which combine one or more of these text types
  • Story texts Recounts; Narratives
  • Persuasive texts Opinion texts; Expositions; Discussions

 A text-based approach has been adopted in Singapore and forms the framework for the 2002 syllabus for primary

and secondary schools. In the Singapore context the text types that are identified can be understood as forming the communicative building blocks Singapore children need in order to perform in an English-medium school setting. The text types in the syllabus are:

  • Procedures e.g. procedures used in carrying out a task
  • Explanations e.g. explaining how and why things happen
  • Expositions e.g. reviews, arguments, debates
  • Factual recounts e.g. magazine articles
  • Personal recounts e.g. anecdotes, diary/journal entries, biographies, autobiographies
  • Information reports e.g. fact sheets
  • Narratives e.g. stories, fables
  • Conversations and Short functional texts e.g. dialogs, formal/informal letters, postcards, e-mail, notices


Discussion: (Please post your comments)

How many of the text types above are relevant to your learners needs?

April 29, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. so a text based syllabus or mix syllabus is built up based on a text or a chapter has texts??

    Comment by dian | July 8, 2010 | Reply

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