The relevance of sociopolitical factors to communicative course design

Numa Markee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is essential for syllabus designers and materials writers working in Third World countries to appreciate the importance of sociopolitical factors to course design. Materials design projects in certain Third World countries should be seen as educational-language-policy solutions to educational-language-policy problems. More specifically, the task of the materials writer is to produce materials that can work within the system for which they are designed. Although an institution may officially be English-medium, the students' competence in English may preclude its exclusive use as the medium of instruction. Thus, course designers must know how the institution is supposed to operate (the formal system) and how it actually operates (the informal system) in order to write appropriate materials. Furthermore, given that educational institutions in developing countries are often undergoing rapid structural change, materials writers must evaluate what change is likely in the foreseeable future. In this way, they can build an element of survivability into their courses, which ensures that the materials will not become obsolete when the projected changes are implemented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-16
Number of pages14
JournalEnglish for Specific Purposes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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