Types of syllabus in education

Types of Syllabus

Functional & Notional Syllabi –

  • Both Functional and Notional syllabi are predesigned.
  • They decide the criteria of the selection of the contents and the actual selection of contents.
  • The selection is done according to their usefulness and practicality.
  • It includes various situations such as introduction, conversation, giving congratulations, etc.
  • Focus is on developing good communication skills.
  • They begin with the meaning and concepts that the learner needs in order to communicate and the language needed to express them.


Concentric syllabus 

  • The word “concentric” means having a common centre.
  • There is a central topic or unit around which related sub-topics or sub-units of increasing and widening scope are interlaced.
  • The extent, purpose and usages sequentially get widened as one progressively moves from lower to higher standards.
  • There is gradual proceeding from easy to difficult, simple to complex, known to unknown.
  • There is continuity of the unit and it takes the advantages of previous learning to facilitate new learning.
  • The increase is marked by growth in maturity and comprehension level.

Cyclic syllabus / Spiral syllabus 

  • The term cyclic means recurring in cycles. It is a complete set or series.
  • In a cyclic syllabus, the units, topics, and items taught in one standard recur i.e. repeat themselves later in a subsequent standard at certain intervals.
  • They might recur exactly as they were in their scope or with modification to suit the learners studying in higher standards. The essence however, remains the same.
  • In a cyclic syllabus, repetition of linguistic items facilitates teaching learning of a total grammar area.

Topical syllabus /Unit syllabus 

  • According to this type, the subject matter fixed for that particular subject is divided into topics and certain topics are prescribed for certain standards.
  • In grammar, there are some areas such as parts of speech, sentences according to clause structures, different types of compositions, etc. which are wide and extensive in scope. Such areas are split up into small parts. These parts are known as units or topics and the syllabus is designed around such central topics.
  • Topical syllabus is useful for intensive teaching of a single topic. The learners concentrate on a single aspect at a time. This helps in better learning and retention of the topic.
  • Parts of Speech – each part i.e. Noun, Verb, Adjective, Adverb, Preposition, Conjunction, Interjection, Pronoun – each are studied separately and intensively as different topics.

Eclectic syllabus / Mixed syllabus

  • Eclectic means free, diverse or miscellaneous
  • The Eclectic Syllabus is comprehensive and attempts to include the best of all worlds.
  • It includes everything in it.
  • It considers all the elements of different types of syllabus.
  • It is free and flexible in nature.
  • Our present syllabus is eclectic or mixed in nature.

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