Title: Curriculum Approaches in Language Teaching: Forward, Central, and Backward Design
Writer: Jack C. Richards
Saeed Mojarradi Ph.D. Candidate Thursday, April 12, 2018
Language teaching has reflected a seemingly bewildering array of influences and directions in its recent history, some focusing on syllabus issues. (e.g. corpus research), some reflecting new trends or proposals in methodology (e.g. task-based instruction), and some with a focus on learning targets (e.g. the Common European Framework).
What is it that links diverse aspects of language teaching such as these and which similarly establishes connections between such aspects of teaching and learning as notional syllabuses, Content and Language Integrated Learning and the standards movement?
This paper seeks to answer these questions by examining the assumptions and practices underlying three different curriculum design strategies that I will refer to as forward design, central design, and backward design. An understanding of the nature and implications of these design approaches is helpful in arriving at a ‘big picture’ understanding of some past and present trends in language teaching.