The first part of this document, “Curriculum Development,” discusses the necessary steps in the curriculum development process (see the outer circle in Figure 1):
• Determining needs
• Setting and assessing outcomes
• Sequencing tasks
• Selecting methods and materials
• Demonstrating accountability
The five integrated steps of curriculum development are represented in Figure 1 as a circular process. A needs analysis precedes decisions about learning outcomes, tasks, methods, and materials; learning outcomes and assessment tasks influence the selection and sequencing of learning tasks, methods, and materials; demonstrating accountability completes the process. However, demonstrating accountability occurs throughout the curriculum development process, not just as the final step. Demonstrating accountability can also act as a beginning step to further curriculum development. In other words, at a practical, localized level, the curriculum development process can be more integrated and organic than a circle may suggest. All five steps in curriculum development, however, are present.
The second part of the ATESL Curriculum Framework, “Curriculum Foundations,” looks at three core aspects, or foundations, of contemporary, relevant curriculum development (see the inner circle in Figure 1):
• Mindful learning
• Intercultural communicative competence
Given the current global times, it is likely that Alberta will continue to attract people from around the world; working, living, and studying effectively in English within increasing diversity (intercultural communicative competence) will become increasingly important. It is also likely that the need for life-long mindful learning skills and e-learning capabilities will continue to grow. The ATESL Curriculum Framework presents these three elements as essential aspects to be integrated into adult ESL curricula in Alberta.
Each of the sections in this document is numbered, with the five steps of curriculum development as sections 1 – 5, and the three curriculum foundations as sections 6 – 8. The section and section page number are indicated at the top of each page, along with a visual marker of your place within the eight sections. Attention to Canadian Language Benchmarks, Essential Skills, and ATESL’s (2009) Best Practices for Adult ESL and LINC Programming in Alberta is integrated where appropriate. To further reinforce the ways in which the ATESL Curriculum Framework is linked to and builds on existing resources, two icons are used throughout the document to denote external and internal connections and sources of additional information (see below). The references at the end of each section also provide valuable additional online and print resources.
This icon points you to other relevant sections within the ATESL Curriculum Framework.
This icon indicates a helpful external resource, such as: