This course gives you the knowledge and skills to approach or review the design and development of language teaching syllabi. You will look at the relationships between the syllabus and the curriculum, and with other aspects of teaching and learning, and explore the challenges of syllabus design. You will look at the role of the coursebook, learning objectives and assessment outcomes in syllabus design, and how to align a syllabus to external frameworks like the CEFR.


" I feel the tasks/materials I have engaged with are hyper-relevant for practical syllabus design and understanding. "

Angelica - 2023

Is this course for you?

Location: Online
A background in language education, as a teacher, manager or publisher.
Language Level: B2 or higher
Course dates: 
15 January - 20 March 2024
16 September - 20 November 2024
NILE Certificate
Course Length: 8 weeks
Course fees:
Course fee: 495.00
Minimum age: 18
Max class size: 18
Tutor-led and highly interactive
Live and asynchronous eLearning platforms
Specialist ELT eLibrary
Accredited by AQUEDUTO

Course content

exploring key concepts in syllabus design and development
consolidating your understanding of key issues and options in syllabus design and development
consolidating your understanding of the relationship between the syllabus and the coursebook
clarify the role of learning objectives and assessment in a syllabus
familiarising yourself with how to map a syllabus against CEFR
become familiar with considerations in integrating critical thinking and/or 21st Century skills in a syllabus
become familiar with a syllabus evaluation framework

You will also evaluate the possibility of going beyond language in a syllabus, to include, for example, critical thinking or other 21st century skills. Finally, you will consider principles for critically evaluating a syllabus and build up to an assignment which will assess the competences you have developed during the course.

Download course description

" This was a great introduction to syllabus design, I appreciate that the course is achievable for learners with little prior knowledge. "

Vanja - 2023

" The wealth and amount of material that is freely and easily available is fantastic along with the ease of communication between everyone on the course. "

Cory - 2023

Further Information

NILE Online courses are highly interactive and learning takes place through varied and engaging multimedia content and the collaboration between participants from different contexts. All participants work on the same unit in the same week but there is a high level of flexibility within that time period to help you fit studying around your life and work. The interaction via forums and the other powerful digital tools built into the platform help and encourage you to share ideas, ask questions, explore concepts and build up a community.

You need a computer, a headset (with microphone) and an Internet connection. Much of the course can be done on a mobile device, but a computer is needed for certain activities and tasks.

All participants have access to NILE’s extensive ELT e-library and an innovative social and cultural programme.

Course Leader

Simon Smith

Simon is a NILE Associate Trainer and has lived and worked in Sudan, China, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland.

He is now based in Britain, Current interests include teacher education, early start English project evaluation, curriculum mapping and review, trainer training, and classroom assessment.

Available dates:

Course dates Location Course length
15 January - 20 March 2024 Online 8 weeks
16 September - 20 November 2024 Online 8 weeks