ERIC Number: ED209959
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Notional-Functional Syllabus: From Theory to Classroom Applications.
Knop, Constance K.
A notional-functional syllabus is a set of materials to be learned by students of a second language. While learning to perform communicative activities, students practice language structures that refer to certain situations and ideas (notions). The language structures are organized to express different interactions (functions) that are possible for different effects. These functions might be expressing sympathy, disagreement, or concern. Structures are organized in a gradation to reflect different levels of interactions (registers), from polite to less polite, for example. In Europe, notional-functional syllabi have been created to meet the specific language training needs of certain specialists, as well as to establish a threshold level of second language proficiency. Harlow, Guntermann, and Valdman have dealt with applications of this approach to the educational situation in the United States. A workshop was conducted to help language teachers identify students' communicative needs as a guide for choosing language structures. This involves an inventory of students' roles as communicators within and outside the classroom. The traditional accouterments of second language instruction (textbook materials, question answering) can be brought into a context of communicative function. In short, it is not necessary to wait for full-blown syllabus development for American teachers to begin to take advantage of notional-functional concepts. (JB)
Descriptors: Communicative Competence (Languages), Notional Functional Syllabi, Second Language Instruction, Teaching Methods
Not available separately; see FL 012 676.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (Omaha, NE, April 9-11, 1981).