LEARNER-CENTERED CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT: ENGLISH FOR RESEARCH PROFESSIONALS
Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LATVIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Creating a new curriculum has been considered by EAP educators as a useful means of improving a certain course of study and an effective way to influence student learning to meet new demands of the ever-changing world. The aim of the present article is to describe a process of curriculum development for doctoral students who study English for Research Professionals at university. The updated curriculum was necessary for the online study course in the e-studies environment. Constructivist perspective on curriculum development has been used to improve a traditionally designed curriculum. Constructivist theory implies that learning is an active process in which students build new ideas based on their prior knowledge, collaborating, solving a problem, performing a common project and engaging in reflection. Since students’ previous knowledge and insights are vital foundations for their learning, a learner-centred methodology has been applied in making decisions about the course design: specific needs, goals and abilities of research professionals have been thoroughly assessed and considered. The survey and needs analyses were carried out among doctoral students of Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies regarding their opinion on what content, skills, knowledge and competences should the curriculum focus on. Several phases of curriculum development process are discussed in the present paper such as planning the course, selecting its content and methods, implementation, and evaluating learning experiences. Conclusions of the findings are presented in the end of the article. The results of the data obtained can provide a basis for the ESP course developers.
Keywords: English for academic purposes (EAP), constructivism, curriculum development, learner-centred course design.