Insights into Language Curriculum Development

Christopher W. Storey*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This paper presents results from an exploratory case study of curriculum development processes at three Japanese universities. It considers the possible influence of “The Action Plan to develop ‘Japanese with English abilities’” (Ministry of Education, 2003), reviews models of curriculum development from theory and compares those to data collected from informants working at the three institutions. Analysis focuses on how the processes undertaken by the universities over the last five years show similarities to those predicted by theory, but also highlights how activities in the institutions have differed. Results indicate that the national university in the study undertook curriculum development in the most systematic way, one key being the development of a university wide English language education policy, which was supported by the majority of teachers and administrators. The municipal university (only one faculty in this study) had carried out development activities at its formation (2000), but had not continued the processes, particularly in the areas of needs and situation analysis plus evaluation. Curriculum development processes in the prefectural university were centered around an individual teacher, with little input from the rest of the organization. The most significant insights from the study are formulated into guidelines for curriculum developers. Finally, the Action Plan was found to have had little influence on language curriculum development processes at the three universities in the study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-107
Number of pages22
JournalElectronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching
Volume4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

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