De Kunst Van- Het Doelstellingen Formuleren
In a research project conducted at the Institute for Applied So-ciology of the Catholic University of Nijmegen, an attempt has been made to arrive by means of a structured decision procedure at a choice of objectives for foreign language teaching in gene-ral secondary schools and at an analysis of the arguments and criteria that play a role in the decision process. A panel of experts (teachers and others) had to make a choice out of a list of 18 possible objectives, formulated in terms of language use situations. On an abstraction scale going from general to operational, these objectives can be characterized as concrete objectives, that ha-ve an external and an internal function in education. External because they are intended to inform those who have to make choices in the educational system, choices concerning subjects and school types. Internal, because they have to indicate directions for curriculum development and for the construction of tests. The state of our knowledge about relationships between language use and situational variables does not allow a completely syste-matic derivation of language forms and content from descriptions of situations.The usefulness of these objectives lies also else-where: in being more precise than the official school and exami-nation programs and more generally accessible than the operatio-nal objectives that are the actual tests.
Published online: 24 March 2014