TESOL II: Lineamientos Curriculares

Hello all,

This is going to be a task that prepares you for your first test. Your task is to evaluate the Colombian  “Lineamientos Curriculares”. In order to evaluate them you need to compare this document to the three articles related to curriculum development for this semester: Finney’s article, Curriculum Theory and Practice and The Learner-Centered Curriculum chapters 1 and 2.

Read and analyze if the curricular background in Colombia is strong, if it reflects current trends, if it is a good starting point for teachers, if it is appropriate and updated for our setting and needs, and any other aspect that you consider is interesting, relevant or surprising.

Write your evaluation as a short essay where you show your own point of view about what curriculum should be in Colombia based on the documents and your experience in education.

Read or download the document here:


5 responses to “TESOL II: Lineamientos Curriculares


    February 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Analyzing the curriculum guidelines for foreign language education in Colombia, it is possible to affirm that things are not working as it was expected by the government, why? According to Nunan (1988) the curriculum has to be designed considering every aspect inthin the educative field and, designed, at the same time, by people who are really involved in the educational process. But here in Colombia, what we have is a guideline given by people who have nothing to do with the real teaching and learning context.
    According to the government thought, teachers have to adopt some new approaches like the Content Based Instruction and the task based instruction. Nevertheless, what can teachers do if they are still stuck in the Grammar Translation Method? Besides, the government establishes that every student has to use certain kind of technology to reinforce his or her learning process but, again, here in Colombia most of the public high schools do not have enough sources like computers, TV sets or English laboratories. In addition the government pretends learners to achieve a communicative competence while they just have an hour of English per week and when they do not have even a dictionary. It proves us that these curriculum guidelines are not focused on what is taking place in Colombia.
    From my point of view, there is no coherence between what is written down on the documents and what is applied by the educative institutions and the teachers inside the classrooms. Thus, if the government wants to achieve his objectives, it is necessary first of all that they base their ideas on some good theories about curriculum design. Secondly, they have to change the way by which they want to reach them. For instance, it is necessary to implement more hours of English per week. It is important to improve the quality of teachers and the methodology they are implementing, also. It is fundamental to take into account the assessment process which now a days is not seen as a part of the process but the final part of it; and, maybe this is the most important one, the government has to be focused in the learners needs instead of the economical need that they have as corrupt politicians.
    As a conclusion, the government has to think about the Colombian context instead of the European context at the moment of planning the Colombian curriculum. In this way things are going to get better for us as future teachers and for the learners that today are terrify because of their English classes.

  2. Diego Ortiz German Bolaños

    February 15, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    After having read Nunan’s article about curriculum and the Colombian curriculum guidelines we can state that they share some aspects, but others are missing. The Colombian curriculum shows some influences of the latest models which regard the students as active participants in the process of learning. Some things in common are that the teacher has to identify and analyze the interests of the students in the classroom and adapt some activities according to those interests. Another common thing is the special attention devoted to the students’ learning stiles which are a bit different from each other, these aspects are supposed to be taken into account in order to make activities more meaningful to the students , so that they will learn easily. Finally, it is important to acknowledge that the Colombian curriculum is based on valuable research and principles regarding teaching and learning that was carried out by Krashen and many other people who made incredible contributions to the field of languages. On the other hand, some important aspects were left out by the Government’s curriculum. One of these aspects is the flexibility on the kind of content to be taught. Another important point is that the students are free to set their own attainable goals and finally that the students must be encouraged to develop the ability to learn how to learn outside the classroom. After all this, we can say that one thing is planned and then another thing happens in the classroom because what it is really worth is the labor of teachers and their ability to carry out the curriculum, so we need well-prepared teachers willing to cope with the requirements of the current challenges.

  3. Daniela Vallejo-Maritza Bravo

    August 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Hello Teacher!

    Taking into account the “lineamientos curriculares” in Colombia and the three readings, we could analyze that there are a lot of problems. First of all, the government does not know about what a curriculum design implies; the first thing that Nunan said is that a curriculum should be designed by people who are involved in the process of education so in Colombia it was designed by people whose interests are politics and economics; moreover, they do not know anything about teaching languages. Another thing that Nunan said is that curriculum is a collaborative effort between teachers and students where they can participated in the planning, implementation and evaluation of an educational program, so “lineamientos curriculares” should be open to changes because the context, students and teachers’ skills will be different in each class, then curriculum should be evaluated and analyzed to make changes according the teaching conditions and student’s needs.

    An important goal that the government wants to reach is a bilingual country and the problem is that the curriculum in Colombia was focused in a different context of ours; we mean that the government is focused on the United States and Europe education. Also our teaching conditions are not appropriate to develop a communicative competence because teachers only have three hours per week to teach English, in spite of, that “lineamientos curriculares” argue for achieving a communicative competence the hours of class should be more extend and English can be applied in other subjects. Moreover, the settings are not adequate to develop an English class as the government wants, a level of proficiency like a native speaker which is a goal impossible to reach in these conditions where the lack of materials like recorders, dictionaries, laboratories, televisions, DVDs, books among others, is always a problem.

    Finally, “lineamientos curriculares” must be modified, analyzed and applied taking into account our real teaching conditions. However, we as future teachers could improve the education in Colombia by giving new ideas about what methods apply that help students to achieve a communicative competence.

    Daniela Vallejo – Maritza Bravo

  4. Gloria Amparo España-- Yuly Nataly Arteaga

    August 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    TESOL II Post 1 B-2011: Lineamientos Curriculares

    hello teacher

    According to the read documents in Colombia there is a big problem in the institutions, because the government has establish the “lineamientos curriculares” in an adequate way, which are not applied in any way, for example when it talks about contextualization it shows that our context lack of technological and scientific progress, besides there is non- native speakers who teach the subject. On the other hand taking account teachers who teach a foreign language in elementary school in this case English are not professional in the subject , therefore it is very difficult for them establish goals, which can be developed during the academic year, teachers who don’t have an adequate knowledge about the subject , they can’t develop the children skills and therefore they can’t know the needs of the children.
    About “lineamientos curriculares” “el plurilinguismo” is the most important goal that they have to keep. In Colombia it is impossible that this system exist because in the schools it is only allowed to teach one hour during the week, then it is not enough to get a high level in the process of foreign language learning. Moreover, in the process of exchange cultures, we can lose our costumes because Colombia has many economical problems, therefore the education is not good and people would believe that those countries are better and they wanted to learn their costumes.
    According to Nunan all the process of learning has to be planned and guided by the school, whether it is carried on groups or individually, inside of outside of the school. In this part, the curriculum is made up of three parts: curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted, curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students-product and curriculum as process. In contrast with the “ lineamientos curriculares” the process of learning is a building of abilities, which are sociable and allows students would be recognized as people with intelligence and personality which are in development, therefore the educational interactions should be conceive in function with the development of the abilities.
    In the article of learner-centered curriculum the first step in the curriculum process is the collection of information about learners in order to diagnose what Richterich (1972) refers to as their objective needs, that is needs which external to learner. This initial data collection is usually superficial, relating mainly to factual information such as current proficiency level, age, educational, background, previous and current occupation, in contrast the curriculum of “lineamientos curriculares” is different because it is made up of contextualization, elements and approaches of foreign language curriculum, continuous formation of foreign language teachers and new technologies on foreign language curriculum.
    Otherwise in the article the ELT curriculum: a flexible model for a changing world the methodology apply the syllabus that provides the framework, but learning ultimately depends on the interaction between the teacher and the learners in the classroom and on the teaching approaches, activities, materials, and procedures employed by the teacher. From the perspective of communicative language teaching, learners’ needs and wants inform the teaching learning process, and the emphasis is on using the language in stimulating communicative activities. on “lineamientos curriculares” the methodology applies many methods such as “ Metodologías activas e interactivas que tienen en cuenta el factor lúdico, Actividades interesantes y significativas centradas en el alumno, Metodologías que integran lo conocido con lo nuevo y Metodologías flexibles”. About Evaluation in the article it must take place all stages of curriculum planning and implementation, and involve all participants, the primary purpose of evaluation is to determine whether or no or not the curriculum goals have been met, which in the case of language programmed, will be based on an assessment of the participants in the programme, It also determines the effectiveness of the curriculum and to evaluate the language programme itself, which will focus on the teachers, the methodology, the materials and so on. On the other hand on “lineamientos curriculares” the evaluation is a process which does statements about the effective into the process of learning, which is based on an objective appreciation.

    To conclude, “lineamientos curriculares ” is a system that has a good outlining, but It has not used in our country, maybe teachers in our social and economical conditions have tried to change it, but it is very difficult to apply , because the government interest is no the education, then people are going to continue doing the same. We as future English teachers could change this reality, but Colombia is a country where the ideas of the people are not important and, for that reason, it is very difficult to change education reality but we can if we use the adequate methodology.

  5. Isabel Cristina Gelpud - Esteban Cuastumal Pérez

    August 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm


    Greetings appreciable life forms…

    Although the document about Lineamientos Curriculares seems to be very well planned and structured; in our opinion, it is a big exaggeration in the Colombian experience regarding education. In this opportunity, we are going to take into account some subjects which we consider are related to our own experiences in the real settings in schools; especially in primary schools. First, we would like to talk about the need of implementing the study of at least one foreign language in primary schools. It is a good topic, the problem is that in state schools teachers teach all subjects in a determined classroom and there is no specialization or specialized teachers in English, particularly in methodology.

    Besides, traditional teachers supposedly know a little about English but if a real English teacher reviews what the traditional teacher is doing in the classroom, he or she will realize that the content is not clear, is not coherent according to the ages of the students and in some cases, the taught topics are wrongly taught.

    Otherwise, although Lineamientos Curriculares make emphasis in using authentic materials (developed in English by native speakers) such as: books, newspapers, brochures, magazines, radio or television, we think that it is another exaggeration due to this kind of materials is difficult to get and introduce in our teaching settings because our educational system does not possess the economical resources to buy and acquire them. And if this happens in schools located in cities, what about rural schools?

    Given these circumstances, it is impossible that teachers have enough materials and resources for teaching in a didactic way and less knowing that some primary school courses have only one hour per week on English matter. In this way, one of the mayor contradictions of Lineamientos Curriculares is that it says that educational institutions and teachers have to keep in mind that two or three hours per week on English matter does not guarantee a good teaching, nor this allows us to take for granted that students will have a good level of English. And to make bigger this contradiction, Lineamientos Curriculares propose “El aprendizaje en ambientes tecnológicos” what makes us think about if we can´t get a book or some photocopies to teach, how can we teach in technological environments if we really do not get them?

    Finally, we will consider the making-decision process within the curriculum in Lineamientos Curriculares. According to Nunan (1988), the making-decision process is an activity which students and teachers agree about the contents that the curriculum will posses. While on the other hand, according to Lineamientos Curriculares the teacher is who makes all decisions without taking into consideration the learners’ opinions. Thus, although Lineamientos Curriculares document seems to be based on globalization and current trends with this example we can see that it is not true.

    To conclude, we can say that the Colombian background about curriculum is not as good as the government sets it. Besides, current trends are too advanced to be adopted in our educational settings regarding technological resources and authentic materials, without forgetting that some nowadays English teachers are able to teach with their own designed resources and taking into account that all “helps” the government gives, are not enough.

    Isabel Cristina Gelpud – Esteban Cuastumal Pérez


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