Another new year, another round of students, and another flurry of needs analysis. This year however I can save myself loads of work by nicking Lynch’s ESL Route to fluency.
For some time now, I’ve been looking at the result of my needs analysis and starting to think it was all a bit abstract. As I go through the usual list of student needs – speaking by telephone, e-mail english, fluency building, quarterly evaluations – I can’t help but think it’s bitty. There is really only one student need, and that should be the focus of the needs analysis and the ESL curriculum: to learn English. As I mull over this list of disjointed tasks which they recieve year in and year out I’m convinced that it doesn’t give them a concrete idea of where they’re going.
That’s why my ESL course plan for this year, as well as the needs analysis, is going to include a copy of Lynch’s Route to fluency. On one sheet of A4 paper it proposes a complete breakdown from level zero to fluency. As he says in his book, it is not a perfect route, and the TEFL nerds will spend a long time arguing over the details, but it makes students and teachers think about the bigger picture. I’ve had positive feedback from the students on this handout and find it gets everyone on the same page. The aim of an ESL curriculum shhould be to make students fluent in the English Language, not pass through a series of disjointed and abstract activities.
Download the Road Map to Fluency here Lynch’s route to fluency