From research to a national curriculum: The case of a lexical syllabus

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The interface between research and policy-making requires sound research-based evidence for informed decisions and accessibility of this evidence to decision-makers. In this chapter I discuss research that should inform the construction of a lexical syllabus, and as a case in point, I report on the lexical syllabus in the new English Curriculum in Israel. The construction of the syllabus involved collaboration between researchers, teachers, textbook writers, curriculum planners, assessment specialists, and education administrators. This collaboration followed the pragmatic model of relations between research and policy-making since both sides' views and expertise complemented each other. The lexical syllabus consists of vocabulary bands taught at different learning stages. The following research findings and collaborations (in brackets) were behind its design: gaps between learners' lexical knowledge and the amount of lexis necessary for performing language tasks (curriculum designers, researchers, teachers, assessment specialists, ministry administrators); vocabulary treatment in textbooks: amount of exposure and type of activities (researchers, curriculum designers, and textbook writers); challenges in reaching the productive level of word knowledge (researchers, students, textbook writers, curriculum designers); establishing a new word counting unit - the Nuclear Word Family (researchers and curriculum designers); importance and difficulty of multi-word units (researchers, curriculum designers); presentation of words with multiple meanings (researchers and curriculum designers); representation of orthographic patterns (researchers and curriculum designers). I show how the above findings have been incorporated into the lexical syllabus and how they will be implemented in textbooks and classroom practices.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollaborative Research in Language Education
Subtitle of host publicationReciprocal Benefits and Challenges
PublisherDe Gruyter
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783110787719
ISBN (Print)9783110787535
StatePublished - 24 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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