Aligning Teaching and Assessment to Course Objectives: The Case of Preparatory Year English Program at King Abdulaziz University

Rania Kabouha, Tariq Elyas


This research paper   discusses the concept of constructive alignment theory (Biggs, 1996) with the learning outcomes in teaching of English at a Saudi university. The Saudi context has received no empirical attention in the professional literature. Thus, this paper uses constructive alignment framework to examine the Foundation Year English Program (FYEP) curriculum at King Abdul-Aziz University, Saudi Arabia. More specifically, one of the major components of this program, namely, the speaking course, was  used as an example to evaluate the extent to which intended learning outcomes, assessment practices, and teaching methods are aligned in this course. It should be mentioned that the 104 speaking course has been selected as an example for two main reasons, which will be discussed in the paper. Therefore, some suggestions are provided to help solve this issue constructively. The paper also highlights the importance of using the constructive alignment framework to enhance teaching, learning, and assessment in English Language Institute (hereafter ELI).This paper is divided into four sections. Following the introduction, it reviews the existing literature on the notion of constructive alignment theory and its pedagogical outcomes in EFL instruction. It then briefly describes the ELI English program and pinpoints the incongruity between the program objectives and the intended learning outcomes. The second section focuses on analysis of the components of the speaking course through Constructive Alignment Framework. The next section identifies some factors, which negatively affect the speaking course. The last section of this paper discusses the implications of constructive alignment for learning and teaching in ELI.



Constructive Alignment Framework, EFL Instruction, Objectives, Learning Outcomes, Saudi Arabia, EFL, English Language Institute

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