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ENGLISH CURRICULUM

Situation Analysis
A. Introduction
This chapter discusses the impacts of some situational factors toward the curriculum
development. Curriculum is changing in line with the challenging of contemporary era.
Curriculum as a set of education which should be prepared by considering some factors that
influence the curriculum itself. Nowadays, school-based curriculum (KTSP) has been
implemented by state schools in Indonesia. KTSP is an overflow of responsibility for schools
(teachers) to plan, to develop, to implement, to evaluate, and to redevelop curriculum which
they use. As what have been mentioned above, there are some situational factors that
influence curriculum development, thus considering these situational factors, it is vital for the
schools or teachers, particularly, as what becomes the interest of the writer, for the English
teachers who are involved in the process of curriculum development, to pay close and
thorough attention on the betterment of English subject curriculum. Related to KTSP, this
topic is relatively crucial because teachers or curriculum developers need to know factors that
influence their product, namely, in this case is curriculum. Those factors are societal factors,
project factors, institutional factors, teacher factors, learner factors, and implementation
factors. By referring to related references, this article provides comprehensible outlook on the
issues of situational factors related to curriculum.

B. Situation Analysis
Situation analysis is an analysis of factors in the context of a planned or present
curriculum project that is made in order to assess their potential impact on the project. The
goal of need analysis is to collect information that can be used to develop a profil of the
language needs of a group of learners in order to be able to make decisions about the goals
and content of a language course. A language curriculum is a function of the
interrelationships that hold between subject-specific concerns and other broader factors
embracing socio-political and philosophical matters education value systems, theory, and
practice in curriculum design, teacher experiential wisdom and learner motivation.
There are some situational factors that influence curriculum development:
1. Societal factors
Since English becomes international language, English learning has been part of
education curriculum in every country in the world. English in some countries has status as
second language and some as foreign language. Such status makes those countries treat
English learning differently in terms of the curriculum. Regardless of this distinguishable
status of English as second or foreign language, in terms of the English learning curriculum,
societal factors which affect the curriculum need to be put into account.
Countries are different in terms of the role of foreign languages in the community,
their status in the curriculum, educational traditions and experience in language teaching, and
the expectations that members of the community have for language and learning.
Some of societal factors that affect curriculum development are:
· policy makers in government
· educational and other government officials
· employers
· the business community
· politicians
· tertiary education specialists
· educational organizations
· parents
· citizens
· students
In the case of projects of community or national scope, questions such as the following may
be relevant:
1. What current language teaching process exist and now are they viewed?
2. What are the underlying reasons for the project and who supports it?
3. What impact will it have on different sectors of society?
4. What language teaching experience and traditions exist in the country?
5. How do members of the public view second languages and second language teaching?
6. What are the views of relevant professional organizations such as academic and teachers
trainer?
7. What do professional organizations such as teachers’ unions think of the project?
8. What are the views of parents and students?
9. What are the views of employers and the business community?
10. What community resources are available to support the innovations, such a radio,
television, and the media?
2. Project factors
Curriculum project are typically produced by a team of people . project are
completed under different constraints of time, resources, and personal, and each of these
variables can have a significant impact on a project. There should be sufficient members in
the project team to do the job and they should represent a balance of skills and expertise. If
the team members are highly committed to the project and share a common vision. It is likely
to encounter fewer difficulties than one where the project team experiences internal feuds and
power struggles.
The following project factors need to be considered:
1. Who constitutes the project group and how are they selected?
2. What are the management and other responsibilities of the team?
3. How are goals and procedures determined?
4. Who reviews the progress of the project and the performance of its members?
5. What experience do members of the team have?
6. How do members of the team regard each other?
7. What resources do they have available and what budget to acquire needs resources?
8. What is the time frame of the project? It is realistic, or is more or less time needed?
3. Institutional factors
A language teaching program is typically delivered in an institution such as a university,
school, or language institute. Different types of institutions create their own “culture,” that is,
setting where people interact and where patterns emerge for communication, decision
making, role relations, and conduct. Morris (1994, 109) observe:
Schools are organizations and they develop a culture, ethos or environment which might be
favorable or unfavorable to encouraging change and the implementation of innovations.
A teaching institution is a collection of teachers, groups, and departments, something
functioning in unison, or sometimes with different components functioning independently, or
sometimes with components in a confrontational relationship.
In addition to the human side of institution, the physical aspects need to be considered.
Institution factor thus relate to the following kinds of questions:
1. What leadership is available within the school to support change and to help teachers
cope with change?
2. What are the school’s physical resources, including classroom facilities, media and other
technological resources, and library resources?
3. What is the role of textbooks and other instructional materials?
4. What is staff morale like among English teachers?
5. What problems do teachers face and what is being done about them?
6. What administrative support is available, within the school and what is communication
like between teachers and the administration?
7. What kind of reputation does the institutions have for delivering successful language
programs?
8. How committed is the institution to attaining excellent?
4. Teacher factors
Other factor which affects the curriculum development is teachers in which the
curriculum will depend on. Institution or school consists of administrator and teachers. In a
school, there are teachers having different characteristics, language proficiency, teaching
experience, skill and expertise, morale and motivation, teaching style, beliefs and principle.
Some teachers perhaps do not object to the change of curriculum because they are well
trained before or rich of experience, but there is uncertainty for some untrained teachers.
Some teachers who have time for teaching will not object when they get additional class but
some busy teachers perhaps object because it will be heavy loads for them.
The following questions help us to identify teachers’ factors which affect the curriculum
development process:
1. What kinds of teachers currently teach in the target school or institution? What is their
typical background, training, experience, and motivation?
2. How proficient are they in English?
3. What kinds of beliefs do the teachers typically hold concerning key issues in teaching?
4. What teaching loads do teachers have and what resources do they make use of?
5. What are the typical teaching methods teachers use and believe in?
6. To what extent are teachers open to change?
7. What opportunities do they have for retraining through in-service or other kinds of
opportunities?
8. What benefits are the proposed new syllabus, curriculum, or materials likely to offer
teachers?
Some institutions which disregard teachers who play the important role in the curriculum
practice often develop a curriculum without involving teachers. They also do not respect the
teachers factors that have impact to the curriculum. After curriculum is developed or
changed, the teachers are given the new curriculum. It is possible that the curriculum is ready,
but the teachers are not. Some experienced teachers can make adaptation soon, but untrained
or inexperienced teachers may need longer time. They perhaps do not master the materials or
textbooks used in the curriculum. Some teachers may complain because they do not have
more time and lesson loads which are very heavy for them (if the curriculum also changes the
lesson load). The students or learners may ignore these problems without realizing that they
are “sacrificed”. However, this cannot be happened, because the institution or school must be
responsible on the students or learners future.
5. Learner Factors
Learners are the key participants in curriculum development projects and it is essential to
collect as much information as possible about them before the project begins. Here the focus
is on other potentially relevant factors such as the learner’s backgrounds, expectations,
beliefs, and preferred learning styles. The project designers may be operating from a set of
assumptions about education, schools, teachers, and students that is culturally bound and at
odds with the beliefs and assumptions of the learners.
Learners may affect the outcomes of a project in unexpected ways. For example: a textbook
or set of materials may be engaging. At a suitable level and provide a lot of useful practice
but not be appreciated by students because they fail to see any links between the book and an
examination they are working toward. A program in business English for company
employees sensibly predicated on the assumptions that the students really want to be able to
discuss business topics English may turn out to be off target because what the employees
really want is an hour’s escape from the pressures of their jobs and the chance to practice
social and conversational English.
These questions will give us a view about the learner or student factors:
a. What are the learners’ past language learning experiences?
b. How motivated are the learners to learn English?
c. Are they homogeneous or heterogeneous group?
d. What type of learning approach do they favor ?
e. How much time can they be expected to put into the program?
f. What learning resources will they typically have access to?
6. Adopting factors
Adoption factors are factors which exist when the curriculum is adopted by teachers. It is
closely related to the teachers factors explained above. When the curriculum is offered to the
teachers, by considering the changes in the curriculum, some teachers may be ready to accept
the changes while others might resist it, because the changes in the curriculum perhaps affect
the teachers’ beliefs and their principles in teaching students.
Some following questions should be considered:
1. What advantages does the curriculum change offer? Is the innovation perceived to be
more advantageous than current practices?
2. How compatible is it? Is the use of the innovation consistent with the existing beliefs,
attitudes, organization, and practices within a classroom or school?
3. Is the innovation very complicated and difficult to understand?
4. Has it been used and tested out in some schools before all schools are expected to use it?
5. Have the features and benefits of the innovation been clearly communicated to teachers
and institution?
6. How clear and practical is it? Are the expectations of the innovation stated in ways which
clearly show how it can be used in the classroom?
Although curriculum planners might provide many compelling reasons for adopting a
communicative teaching methodology, teachers might feel that it makes testing more difficult
compared with a more traditional grammar-based approach. Hence it is perceived as offering
few relative advantages for teachers. A language teaching approach that requires teachers to
adopt new roles in the classroom, such as needs analyst, resource person, and language tutor,
might not be compatible with learners’ expectations for the role of teachers. The complexity
and clarity of a curriculum change might also be crucial in its successful adoption.
Compare the following pairs of items, for example, and consider which would be easier to
explain to the group of teachers:
· computer-based learning versus cooperative learning
· communicative pair work versus consciousness-raising activities
· a functional syllabus versus a task-based syllabus
· a product syllabus versus a process syllabus
· a content-based curriculum versus a negotiated curriculum
· audiolingualism versus the Natural Approach
· the Structural Approach versus Communicative Language Teaching
Practically is also a significant issue. A methodology that can readily be turned into teaching
materials and textbooks will generally be easier to adopt than one that exist only as a set of
guidelines. For this reason Communicative Language Teaching is much more widely adopted
as a teaching approach than the Natural Approach. The support networks available in
promoting or explaining an innovation may also be crucial.
C. Profiling the factors identified in the situation analysis
The goal of situation analysis is to identify key factors that might positively or negatively
affect the implementation of a curriculum plan. The factors are sometimes known
as SWOT analysis; S=Strengths (the factors have positive impact to the curriculum),
W=Weakness (the factors have negative impact to the curriculum), O=Opportunities (the
factors give opportunities for improvement), and T=Threats (the factors should be reduced).
These can be summarized in the form of a list and the profile developed for discussion within
the project team, ministry, funding body, or institute (see Appendix 1). Rodgets (1984)
describes elaborate matrix that can also be used for estimating the difficulty of implementing
new programs (see Appendix 2).
Way of addressing the negative factors that were identified can then be considered.
Alternatively, the goals of a project might need to be modified to reflect the realities of the
situation in which the curriculum will be implemented. Situation analysis thus serves to help
identify potential obstacles to implementing a curriculum project and factors that need to be
considered when planning the parameters of a project. The next step in curriculum during
needs analysis and situation analysis as the basis for developing program goals and
objectives.