The aim of this part of the curriculum design process is to find the situational factors that will strongly affect the course.
Environment analysis (Tessmer, 1990) involves looking at the factors that will have a strong effect on decisions about the goals of the course, what to include in the course, and how to teach and assess it.
Environment analysis is also called “situation analysis” (Richards, 2001) or “constraints analysis”.
Why Environment Analysis is Important! Environment analysis is an important part of curriculum design because at its most basic level it ensures that the course will be usable.
Useful way of thinking about the wider environment that can have implications for language curriculum design, Dubin and Olshtain (1986)
The target language is recognized as one of a country’s official languages (the political and national context) * There are relatively few native speakers (the language setting) – There are relatively few opportunities to use the language outside the classroom (patterns of language use in society) * Majority-language speakers doubt the target language has contemporary relevance (group and individual attitudes) Understanding the Constraints In order to understand a constraint fully, it is usually necessary to examine the nature of the constraint in the environment you are working in, and to examine previous research on the constraint. The major constraints investigated by research and analysis include; The time available Cultural background The effect of the first language on language learning and special purposes Steps in Environment Analysis The steps in environment analysis can be as follows. 1 Brainstorm and then systematically consider the…