The English Language Syllabus in Sweden and Japan : A comparative study

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för språk (SPR)

Abstract: This independent paper compares the Swedish and the Japanese national syllabi for English. Making use of White’s (1988) Type A and Type B syllabus distinction, a number of dimensions are put forward to permit a comparison between the syllabus documents for the two countries. The methods used are hermeneutics and word counting. By counting content signal word frequencies and observing the context in which the words were found, the relative linguistic and pedagogical focuses of the two syllabi are illuminated. The results of the word counting procedures indicate that both countries are somewhat similar when the results were combined from all the Type A dimensions. When observing the word counting for the Type B on the other hand, Sweden has more than 70 % of a word frequency, while Japan has a bit below 30 %. One consequence of this could be the proficiency in the English language that each country has, and the attitude towards learning the language. The results put forward, suggest the basis for an automatized quantitative comparison between the national syllabi which could be implemented in the form of a computer application.

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