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A Situational Syllabus

Definition of Situational Syllabus

Situational Syllabus
offers the possibility of selecting and sequencing different real life situation rather than different grammatical items, vocabulary topics, life situation ( Hammer 2003:298) In other words, it is designed in such away to provide realistic situation based on broadly communicative view of language and experimental theory of learning.

The situation are presented to the students in form of dialog (usually at the beginning of the lesson, and it includes listening, memorization as well as provides the students models for student improvisation) and role plays (which are the students expected to create, supply or fill in much of the language that occurs in the situation) the content of situation can be created by materials writer or teachers or taken from real life.

The Type of Situational Syllabus

Alexander (in Krahnke, 1987: 41) differentiates three types of the situational syllabus based on type of information:

a. Limbo Situation
In this type, the information of the specific setting is considered little or nor important,
The setting: at the stadium
the topic: introduction
It can be said that the setting is considered irrelevant, i.e. unimportant, because the main important thing is the language focus.

b. Concrete Situation
The information is about the specific and concrete setting and the language associated with it.
The setting: at the restaurant
the topic: ordering meal

c. Mythical Situation
The information depends on fictional story line, frequently with a fictional cast characters in a fictional place

Characteristics of Situational Syllabus

a. Positive
Compared to other syllabus, it can read more directly to learner’s ability to communicate in specific setting
Situation provide context of discourse in which form and meaning coincide
the use of situations can provide some social and cultural information about the language and its users in non didactic way

b. Negative
- Too great use of predetermined and artificial situations can lead to lack of transfer - because students are led to prelearned routines and patterns of language use rather than - - creative and negotiated uses of language
- It’s difficult to create authentic language instructional purposes
- A reliance or situational setting do not want cultural values to accompany the language
- Like other syllabi, this syllabus also presents sequencing problem


  1. Do you have further references details? ie. what are "Hammer 2003:298" or "Alexander (in Krahnke, 1987: 41) "from?


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