Procedural Syllabus, a Follow-up or an Alternative

Javad Zare'


Since its appearance in the 1970s Communicative Language Teaching has employed different types of syllabuses from Wilkins’ Notional-Functional syllabus to Prabhu’s Procedural, Breen’s Process, and later task-based syllabuses. In the late 1970s Wilkins’ syllabus was criticized, for it merely replaced a list of grammatical structures used in conventional syllabuses with a list of notions and functions. In the meantime, Prabhu developed a brand new syllabus which revolutionized the field of syllabus design and materials development. Procedural syllabus, as it was termed, was constructed around some problems, reflected in many a task, which required the learners to complete them in two different but consecutive stages, namely Pre-task and Task stages. Procedural syllabus was used in a project named the Bangalore after Bangalore, one of the institutes in which the study took place. The project involved a newly arrived approach to language teaching, the Communicational Teaching or CTP, which was based on the premise that language form can best be learnt when learner’s attention is focused on meaning. Procedural syllabus was considered peculiar in that tasks (meaning-focused activities) constituted the syllabus. Information-gap, Reasoning-gap, and Opinion-gap activities were three categories into which these tasks were categorized.

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