Syllabus Design for Pre-service English Language Teachers in Spain


This paper describes the steps involved in designing educational programs for pre-service English language teachers in Secondary education within the Spanish context, following the current educational law (LOMCE).  Considering the century-long search for the best method within TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), and the continuous reforms of educational laws in Spain, pre-service teachers must learn the competences and skills essential for designing of their own teaching program. The series of steps described here will enable teachers to show accountability to educational authorities and increase their self-confidence, subsequently improving their craft in the language classroom.


postmethod era; syllabus design; educational program; English teaching; Spain


Ahmadian, M., and Rad, S.E. (2014). Postmethod era and glocalized language curriculum development: A fresh burden on language teachers. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 5(3),  592-598.

Bachman, L. F. (1990) Fundamental considerations in language testing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bolívar, A., and Domingo, J. (2006). The professional identity of secondary school teachers in Spain crisis and reconstruction. Theory and Research in Education, 4(3), 339-355.

Brumfit, C. J. (1984). Function and structure of a state school syllabus for learners of second or foreign language with heterogeneous needs. In C.J. Brumfit (ed.). General English syllabus design. Oxford: Pergamon Press, pp. 75-82.

Can, N. (2012). Post-method pedagogy: Teacher growth behind walls. Proceedings of the 10th METU ELT Convention. Available at: (Accessed: 8/10/2014)

Canale, M. (1983). From communicative competence to communicative language pedagogy’. Language and Communication, 1, 1-47.

Chomsky, N. (1965) Aspects of the theory of syntax. Special technical report. Research laboratory of electronics. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (11).

Council of Europe (2001) Common European framework of reference for language learning, teaching and assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cummins, J. (1979). Linguistic interdependence and the educational development of bilingual children. Review of Educational Research, 49(2), 222-251.

Ehrman, M. E., Leaver, B.L. and Oxford, R. (2003). A brief overview of individual differences in second language learning. System, 31(3), 313-330.

Farrell, C. (2002). Lesson planning. In J.C. Richards and W.A. Renandya (eds.) Methodology in language teaching: An anthology of current practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 30-39.

Fullan, M. (2007) The new meaning of educational change. New York: Routledge.

Graves, K. (2016). Language curriculum design: possibilities and realities. In G. Hall (Ed.). The Routledge handbook of English language teaching. London & New York: Routledge, pp 79-94.

Hadley, G. (1998) Examining the underlying principles of EFL syllabus design. 敬和学園大学研究紀要, 7, 211-228.

Hall, G. (2016). Method, methods and methodology: historical trends and current debates. In G. Hall (ed.). The Routledge handbook of English language teaching. London & New York: Routledge, pp. 209-223.

Hashemi, S. M. R. (2011). (Post)-Methodism: Possibility of the Impossible?’. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 2(1), 137-145.

Hymes, D. (1967). Models of the interaction of language and social setting. Journal of Social Issues, 23(2), 8-28.

Kearsley, G. and Lynch, W. (1996). Structural issues in distance education. Journal of Education for Business, 71(4), 191-6.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2001). Toward a postmethod pedagogy. TESOL quarterly, 35(4), 537-560.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2002). Beyond Methods: Macrostrategies for language teaching. Yale: Yale University Press.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006). TESOL methods: Changing tracks, challenging trends. TESOL Quarterly, 40(1), 59-81.

Luque, G. (2017). Syllabus design for pre-service English language teachers in the shifting arena of the continuous Spanish educational reforms. XXXV AESLA Conference. Languages at the crossroads: training, accreditation and context of use. Jaén, May, 4-6.

Nation, P. and Macallister, J. (2009). Language curriculum design. New York: Routledge.

Nunan, D. (1988). Syllabus design. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ramos, M.M. and Luque, G. (2010). A competence-based constructivist tool for evaluation. Cultura y Educación, 22(3), 329-344.

Richards, J.C. (2013). Curriculum approaches in language teaching: Forward, central and backward design. RELC Journal, 44(1), 5-33.

Richards, J.C., and Rodgers, T.S. (2014). Approaches and methods in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Skehan, P. (1996). Second language acquisition research and task-based instruction. In J. Willis and D. Willis (eds.) Challenge and change in language teaching. Oxford: Heinemann, pp. 17-30.

Smriti, K. and Jha, S.K. (2015). An overview of ELT syllabi. International Journal of Innovations in TESOL and Applied Linguistics, 1, 1-6.

Tejada, G., Perez, M.L. and Luque, G. (2006). Current approaches and teaching methods. In N. McLaren and D. Madrid (eds.). TEFL in secondary education. Granada: Servicio de publicaciones, pp. 155-209.

Tiana, A., Moya, J. and Luengo, F. (2011). Implementing key competences in basic education: reflections on curriculum design and development in Spain. European Journal of Education, 46(3), 307-322.

Wang, V. and Stelson, U. (2017). Fundamentals in program development.  In V. Wang (ed.) Handbook of Research on Program Development and Assessment Methodologies in K-20 Education. Hershey: IGI Global, pp. 24-48.

White, R. (1988) The ELT curriculum: Design, innovation and management. Oxford: Blackwell.

Widdowson, H.G. (1990) Aspects of language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Willis, D., and Willis, J. (2008) Doing task-based teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Winke, P. M. (2007). The psychology of the language learner: Individual differences in second language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 29(1), 143-144.

Yalden, J. (1983) The communicative syllabus: Evolution, design and implementation. Oxford: Pergamon.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

The texts published in this journal, unless otherwise indicated, are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivativeWorks 3.0.Spain licence. They may be copied, distributed and broadcast provided that the author and the journal that publishes them, @tic. revista d'innovació educativa, are cited. Commercial use and derivative works are not permitted. The full licence can be consulted on Creative Commons

Editor: Servei de Formació Permanent i Innovació Educativa. Tel. 0034 961625030 | Fax. 0034 961625032 | Valencia. España

ISSN: 1989-3477 |  Depósito Legal: V5051-2008


Indexed in:


Consortial Journals