Task-Based Language. Teaching. David Nunan. University of Hong Kong Chapter 5 Focus on form in task-based language teaching. Introduction and. PDF | This paper aims at presenting background of task-based language teaching, giving a definition of a task, describing three main approaches to task- based. PDF | The purpose of this article is to present an overview of second Review of Task-based language teaching () by David Nunan.
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Task-Based LanguageTeaching. Task-Based LanguageTeachingDavid NunanUniversity of Hong Kong CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY. David Nunan, The University of Hong Kong. Publisher: . Access. PDF; Export citation Chapter 2 - A framework for task-based language teaching. pp ELT methodology, Cambridge University Press, , pages. In this book Nunan writes about Task-Based Language Teaching TBLT. The main purpose of .
For a time, it seemed, the syllabus designer was out of business. Strategy 62 Comment 1. In the case of second language acquisition, however, it seemed thatlearners did not acquire one item perfectly one at a time. For example, by reading science texts, learners will develop a feel for scientific discourse i. While the learner-centred curriculum will 14 The role of the learner contain similar elements to traditional curricula, a key difference is that information about learners and, where feasible, from learners will be built into all stages in the curriculum process, from initial planning, through implementation, to assessment and evaluation. The following scheme proposes five different strategy types:
Practical English Language Teaching. New York: Burns, A. Genre-based approaches to writing and beginning adult ESL learners. Candlin and N. Skehan and M. Swain eds. Researching Pedagogic Tasks: Second language learning, teaching and testing. Syllabuses for Secondary Schools: English language secondary 1—5. Hong Kong: Curriculum Development Council, Education Department.
Doughty, C. Williams eds. Cambridge University Press.
Ellis, R. The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford University Press. Task-Based Language Teaching and Learning. Feez, S. Text-Based Syllabus Design. Sydney NSW: Halliday, M. An Introduction to Functional Grammar. Second edition.
Hammond, J. Carter and D. Johnston, K. Immersion Education: International Perspectives. Kohonen, V. Experiential language learning: Second language learning as cooperative learner education. Collaborative Language Learning and Teaching. Kolb, D. Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Krashen, S. Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition.
Lantolf, J. Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning. Littlewood, W. Communicative Language Teaching: Long, M. A role for instruction in second language acquisition. Hyltenstam and M. Clevedon, Avon: Multilingual Matters. Focus on form: Theory, research and practice. Doughty and J. Communicative language teaching: Making it work. ELT Journal, 41, 2, — The Learner-Centred Curriculum. Oxford, R. Language Learning Strategies: What every teacher should know.
Newbury House. Richards, J. Platt and H. Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics. Ryle, G. The Concept of Mind. Savignon, S. Silberstein ed. Alexandria VA.: Skehan, P. A Cognitive Approach to Language Learning. Stenhouse, L. An Introduction to Curriculum Research and Development. Swain, M. Communicative competence: Some roles of comprehensible input and comprehensible output in its development. Gass and C.
Madden eds Input in Second Language Acquisition. Rowley Mass.: Plenary presentation. Tyler, R. Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction. Harcourt Brace. Systems Development in Adult Language Learning: Council of Europe.
Wilkins, D. Notional Syllabuses. Willing, K. Learning Styles in Adult Migrant Education. Willis, D. A Framework for Task-Based Learning. Task-based language learning. The next section outlines a procedure for creating an integrated syllabus around the concept of the pedagogic task. The section that follows is devoted to materials design considerations. It provides a procedure that can be used for planning lessons, materials and units of work.
In the final section, the principles underlying the procedures described in the body of the chapter are laid out. A task framework As we saw in Chapter 1, the point of departure for task-based language teaching is real-world or target tasks.
These are the hundred and one things we do with language in everyday life, from writing a poem to confirming an airline reservation to exchanging personal information with a new acquaintance. Halliday argues that at a very general level, we do three things with language: Typically, in everyday interactions, the macrofunctions are interwoven, as in the following invented example: Nice day.
That it is. What can I do for you? In order to create learning opportunities in the classroom, we must transform these real-world tasks into pedagogical tasks. Such tasks can be placed on a continuum from rehearsal tasks to activation tasks. For example, the other day I was teaching on a course designed to help my students develop job-seeking skills.
The task that my students had to complete was as follows. Pedagogical task: Study the positions available advertisements in the newspaper and find three that would be suitable for your partner. Then compare your choices with the actual choice made by your partner. This task has a rehearsal rationale. It is not identical to the process of actually applying for a job in the world outside the classroom. In addition to the work with a partner, the students will be able to get feedback and advice from me, the teacher, as well as drawing on other resources.
Not all pedagogical tasks have such a clear and obvious relationship to the real world. Many role plays, simulations, problem-solving tasks and information exchange tasks have what I call an activation rationale.
The task is designed not to provide learners with an opportunity to rehearse some out-of-class performance but to activate their emerging language skills. In performing such tasks, learners begin to move from reproductive language use — in which they are reproducing and manipulating language models provided by the teacher, the textbook or the tape — to creative language use in which they are recombining familiar words, structures and expressions in novel ways.
I believe that it is when users begin to use language creatively that they are maximally engaged in language acquisition because they are required to draw on their emerging language skills and resources in an integrated way.
Here is an example of an activation task. It is one I observed a group of students carrying out in a secondary school classroom. It formed the basis of an extremely engaging lesson to which all students actively and animatedly contributed. You are on a ship that is sinking. You have to swim to a nearby island. You have a waterproof container, but 20 A framework for task-based language teaching can only carry 20 kilos of items in it. Decide which of the following items you will take.
It is worth noting, however, that learners are not constrained to using a particular set of lexical and grammatical resources. They are free to use any linguistic means at their disposal to complete the task. One interpretation of TBLT is that communicative involvement in pedagogical tasks of the kind described and illustrated above is the necessary and sufficient condition of successful second language acquisition. Elsewhere, Krashen see, for example, Krashen , argues that there is a 21 A framework for task-based language teaching role for grammar, but that this role is to provide affective support to the learner — in other words it makes them feel better because, for most learners, a focus on form is what language learning is all about, but it does not fuel the acquisition process.
In fact, Krashen and Terrell argue that even speaking is unnecessary for acquisition: The role of a focus on form remains controversial, as we shall see in Chapter 5. My own view is that language classrooms are unnatural by design, and that they exist precisely to provide for learners the kinds of practice opportunities that do not exist outside the classroom.
Learners, particularly those in the early stages of the learning process, can benefit from a focus on form Doughty and Williams ; Long ; Long and Robinson , and learners should not be expected to generate language that has not been made accessible to them in some way.
In fact, what is needed is a pedagogy that reveals to learners systematic interrelationships between form, meaning and use Larsen-Freeman In the TBLT framework presented here, form-focused work is presented in the form of enabling skills, so called because they are designed to develop skills and knowledge that will ultimately facilitate the process of authentic communication.
In the framework, enabling skills are of two kinds: See Kumaravadivelu , for elaboration. Language exercises come in many shapes and forms and can focus on lexical, phonological or grammatical systems. Here are examples of lexically and grammatically focused language exercises: Service occupations flight attendant ……………..
JOBS Management positions company director …………….. Office work receptionist …………….. B Add two jobs to each category. Then compare with a partner. Richards Then practise with a partner. What ………… you …………? I study business. And ………… do you ………… to school? I ………… to Jefferson College. I ………… them a lot. In each case above, success will be determined in linguistic terms: They are similar to language exercises in that they provide manipulative practice of a restricted set of language items.
They resemble pedagogical tasks in that they have an element of meaningful communication.
Communicative activity Look at the survey chart and add three more items to the list. Now, go around the class and collect as many names as you can. Find someone who has. After a discussion of syllabus design considerations, we shall look at how these elements can be combined to form units of work. The framework described in this section is represented diagrammatically on the next page. How are they combined? Syllabus design considerations One of the potential problems with a task-based program is that it may consist of a seemingly random collection of tasks with nothing to tie them together.
In my own work, I tie tasks together in two ways. I will explore the principle of task chaining in the next section. In this section I will look at broader syllabus design consideration. Look at the map with your partner. You are at the hotel.
Ask your partner for directions to the bank. You are having a party. Tell your partner how to get from the school to your home. Syllabus design considerations: These are both underpinned by the same macrofunction exchanging goods and services , the same microfunction asking for and giving directions and the same grammatical elements among others, wh-questions and imperatives.
But here the three tasks have different microfunctions. Your partner is the sales assistant. Look at the clothing items on the worksheet. Find out the prices and decide what to buy. Make a list of movies and concerts and how much they cost. Work with three other students and decide where to go.
Example 3 Tasks You are at a party. Introduce your partner to three other people. Role play. You and a friend have started at a new school. Circulate and find out about your classmates. The table on p. Make a list of the facilities and services that are important to you and then decide on the best place to live based on brochures from local councils.
Exchanging goods and services Making comparisons Comparisons with adjectives You have just moved to a new neighbourhood. Introduce yourself to your neighbours. Socializing Exchanging personal information Stative verbs Demonstrative: A related question might be: We have already seen in the boxes above that certain functional and grammatical items appear more than once. Tasks and functions are obviously closely related.
Any task will be underpinned by at least one and sometimes several functions. They allow for functions and grammar to be activated in a particular communicative context. Syllabus content is ultimately based on an analysis of the language to be learned, whether this be overt, as in the case of structure, word, notion or function, or covert, as has usually been the case with situation and topic. SLA research offers no evidence to suggest that any of these synthetic units are meaningful acquisition units, that they are or even can be acquired separately, singly, in linear fashion, or that they can be learned prior to and separate from language use.
In fact, the same literature provides overwhelming evidence against all those tacit assumptions. Long and Crookes In a task-based syllabus, grammatical and functional items will reappear numerous times in a diverse range of contexts. Their mastery of the structure will not increase in a linear fashion from zero to native-like mastery.
At times their ability will stabilize. At other times they will appear to get worse, not better. That is because, as Long and Crookes have pointed out, linguistic items are not isolated entities. Rather, any given item is affected by, and will affect, numerous others. As Rutherford has argued, language acquisition is an organic process and, in acquiring a language, learners go through a kind of linguistic metamorphosis.
Developing units of work In the preceding section, we looked at broader syllabus design issues. In this section, I would like to describe how we can develop instructional sequences around tasks.
Consider the following target task taken from example 2 in the preceding section: With a group of pre-intermediate level students, how can we create a linked sequence of enabling exercises and activities that will prepare learners to carry out the task? I would like to propose a six-step procedure, and this is set out below.
Step 1: Schema building The first step is to develop a number of schema-building exercises that will serve to introduce the topic, set the context for the task, and introduce some of the key vocabulary and expressions that the students will need in order to complete the task. For example, students may be given a number of newspaper advertisements for renting accommodation of different kinds such as a house, a two-bedroom apartment, a studio apartment, etc.
They have to identify key words, some written as abbreviations, and then match the people in the photos to the most suitable accommodation. Step 2: Controlled practice The next step is to provide students with controlled practice in using the target language vocabulary, structures and functions. One way of doing this would be to present learners with a brief conversation between two people discussing accommodation options relating to one of the advertisements that they studied in step 1.
They could be asked to listen to and read the conversation, and then practise it in pairs. In this way, early in the instructional cycle, they would get to see, hear and practise the target language for the unit of work.
This type of controlled practice extends the scaffolded 31 A framework for task-based language teaching learning that was initiated in step 1. They could then be asked to practise variations on this conversation model using other advertisements in step 1 as cues. Finally, they could be asked to cover up the conversational model and practice again, using only the cues from step 1, and without the requirement that they follow the conversational model word for word.
At this point, the lesson might be indistinguishable from a more traditional audiolingual or situational lesson. The difference is, however, that the learners have been introduced to the language within a communicative context.
In the final part of the step, they are also beginning to develop a degree of communicative flexibility. Step 3: Authentic listening practice The next step involves learners in intensive listening practice. The listening texts could involve a number of native speakers inquiring about accommodation options, and the task for the learner would be to match the conversations with the advertisements from step 1. This step would expose them to authentic or simulated conversation, which could incorporate but extend the language from the model conversation in step 2.
Step 4: Focus on linguistic elements The students now get to take part in a sequence of exercises in which the focus is on one or more linguistic elements. They might listen again to the conversations from step 3 and note the intonation contours for different question types. They could then use cue words to write questions and answers involving comparatives and superlatives: Note that in a more traditional synthetic approach, this language focus work would probably occur as step 1.
In the task-based procedure being presented here, it occurs relatively late in the instructional sequence. Before analyzing elements of the linguistic system, they have seen, heard and spoken the target language within a communicative context. Hopefully, this will make it easier for the learner to see the relationship between communicative meaning and linguistic form than when linguistic elements are isolated and presented out of context as is often the case in more traditional approaches.
Step 5: At this point, it is time for the students to engage in freer practice, where they move beyond simple manipulation.
For example, working in pairs they could take part in an information gap role play in which Student A plays the part of a potential tenant and Student B plays the part of a rental agent.
Student A makes a note of his or her needs and then calls the rental agent. Student B has a selection of newspaper advertisements and uses these to offer Student A suitable accommodation. The student should be encouraged to extemporize, using whatever language they have at their disposal to complete the task. This will result in discourse that begins to draw closer to the discourse of normal conversation, exhibiting features such as the negotiation of meaning.
In this process, they will create their own meanings and, at times, their own language. As we shall see in Chapter 4, it has been hypothesized that such creative language work is healthy for second language acquisition Long ; Martyn , Step 6: Introduce the pedagogical task The final step in the instruction sequence is the introduction of the pedagogical task itself — in this case a small group task in which the participants have to study a set of newspaper advertisements and decide on the most suitable place to rent.
This six-step instructional sequence is summarized on pp. When using this sequence, I sometimes at the outset show the students the final task in the sequence and ask them if they can do it. The usual response from most students is a negative one and sometimes one of outright horror. Generally speaking, however, students find it highly motivating, having worked through the sequence, to arrive at step 6 and find that they are able to complete the task more or less successfully.
Look at newspaper advertisements for renting accommodation. Identify key words some written as abbreviations , and match people with accommodation. Step 2 Example Give learners controlled practice in the target language vocabulary, structures and functions. Listen to a model conversation between two people discussing accommodation options and practise the conversation.
Practise again using the same conversation model but information from the advertisements in step 1. In the final practise, try to move away from following the conversation model word for word. Step 3 Example Give learners authentic listening practice. Listen to several native speakers inquiring about accommodation and match the conversations with newspaper ads. Step 4 Example Focus learners on linguistic elements, e.
Listen again to conversations and note intonation contours. Use cue words to write complete questions and answers involving comparatives and superlatives cheaper, closer, most spacious, etc. Step 5 Example Provide freer practice. Pair work: Student A plays the part of a potential tenant. Make a note of needs and then call rental agent. Student B plays the part of a rental agent. Use ads to offer partner suitable accommodation.
Look at a set of advertisements and decide on the most suitable place to rent. Reflect Select a target task and develop your own instructional sequence using this six-step procedure as a model. Seven principles for task-based language teaching In this final section of the chapter, I will summarize the underlying principles that were drawn on in developing the instructional sequence outlined above. Principle 1: At the beginning of the learning process, learners should not be expected to produce language that has not been introduced either explicitly or implicitly.
A basic role for an educator is to provide a supporting framework within which the learning can take place. If it is maintained too long, the learners will not develop the independence required for autonomous language use.
Principle 2: The task dependency principle is illustrated in the instructional sequence above which shows how each task exploits and builds on the one that has gone before. Within the task-dependency framework, a number of other principles are in operation. One of these is the receptive-to-productive principle. Here, at the beginning of the instructional cycle, learners spend a greater proportion of time engaged in receptive listening and reading tasks than in productive speaking and writing tasks.
Later in the cycle, the proportion changes, and learners spend more time in productive work. The reproductive-to-creative-language principle is also used in developing chains of tasks. This principle is summarized separately below. Principle 3: An analytical approach to pedagogy is based on the assumption that learning is not an all-or-nothing process, that mastery learning is a misconception, and that learning is piecemeal and inherently unstable.
If it is accepted that learners will not achieve one hundred per cent mastery the first time they encounter a particular linguistic item, then it follows that they need to be reintroduced to that item over a period of time. This recycling allows learners to encounter target language items in a range of different environments, both linguistic and experiential.
They will also see how it functions in relation to different content areas. Principle 4: In Chapter 1, I gave a brief introduction to the concept of experiential learning. A key principle behind this concept is that learners learn best through doing — through actively constructing their own knowledge rather than having it transmitted to them by the teacher. When applied to language teaching, this suggests that most class time should be devoted to opportunities for learners to use the language.
These opportunities could be many and varied, from practising memorized dialogues to completing a table or chart based on some listening input. The key point, 36 Seven principles for task-based language teaching however, is that it is the learner, not the teacher, who is doing the work. This is not to suggest that there is no place at all for teacher input, explanation and so on, but that such teacher-focused work should not dominate class time.
Principle 5: Until fairly recently, most approaches to language teaching were based on a synthetic approach in which the linguistic elements — the grammatical, lexical and phonological components — were taught separately. This approach was challenged in the s by proponents of early versions of communicative language teaching who argued that a focus on form was unnecessary, and that all learners needed in order to acquire a language were opportunities to communicate in the language.
This led to a split between proponents of form-based instruction and proponents of meaning-based instruction, with proponents of meaning-based instruction arguing that, while a mastery of grammar is fundamental to effective communication, an explicit focus on form is unnecessary.
Principle 6: In reproductive tasks, learners reproduce language models provided by the teacher, the textbook or the tape. These tasks are designed to give learners mastery of form, meaning and function, and are intended to provide a basis for creative tasks. In creative tasks, learners are recombining familiar elements in novel ways. This principle can be deployed not only with students who are at intermediate levels and above but also with beginners if the instructional process is carefully sequenced.
Principle 7: Strictly speaking, learning-how-to-learn does not have a more privileged place in one particular approach to pedagogy than in any other. However, I feel this reflective element has a particular affinity with task-based language teaching.
TBLT introduces learners to a broad array of pedagogical undertakings, each of which is underpinned by at least one strategy. Research suggests that learners who are aware of the strategies driving their learning will be better learners. Reflect Evaluate the materials or textbook you are currently using or one that you are familiar with in terms of the seven principles articulated in this section.
Conclusion The main aim of this chapter has been to develop a framework for transforming target or real-world tasks into pedagogical tasks. I devoted the first part of the chapter to a description and exemplification of the various elements that go in to a curriculum in which the task is the basic organizing principle. This was followed by a section that sets out a procedure for integrating other elements including functions and structures. I then provided a detailed example of how an instructional sequence, integrating all of these elements, can be put together.
The chapter concluded with a summary of the principles underlying the instructional sequence. In the next chapter, we will look at the core components that go to make up a task, including goals, input data, procedures, teacher and learner roles and task settings.
References Doughty, C. The Natural Approach. Kumaravadivelu, B. Language learning tasks: Teacher intention and learner interpretation.
ELT Journal, 45, 98— The name of the task and the task of naming: Methodological aspects of task-based pedagogy. Crookes and S. Gass eds Tasks in a Pedagogical Context. Larsen-Freeman, D. Units of analysis in syllabus design: Martyn, E. The influence of task type on the negotiation of meaning in small group work. The effects of task type on negotiation of meaning in small group work. Unpublished Ph. University of Hong Kong. ATLAS 4: Learning-Centered Communication. Experiential learning has diverse roots in a range of disciplines fromsocial psychology, humanistic education, developmental education andcognitive theory.
In his model Kolb , learnersmove from what they already know and can do to the incorporation ofnew knowledge and skills. The most articulate application of experiential learning to languageteaching is provided by Kohonen In many respects, his model canbe seen as a theoretical blueprint for TBLT, as can be seen from the fol-lowing list of precepts for action derived from his work. Experiential learning theory provides the basic philosophical view of learning as part of personal growth.
The goal is to enable the learner to become increasingly self-directed and responsible for his or her own learning. This process means a gradual shift of the initiative to the learner, encouraging him or her to bring in personal contributions and experiences. Instead of the teacher setting the tasks and standards of acceptable performance, the learner is increasingly in charge of his or her own learning.
Kohonen While there were several exciting proposals forpedagogy, few had actually been implemented. The following quote from the Hong KongMinistry of Education is typical of the kinds of governmental pronounce-ments being made: Learners are encouraged to activate and use whatever language they already have in the process of completing a task.
The use of tasks will also give a clear and purposeful context for the teaching and learning of grammar and other language features as well as skills. All in all, the role of task-based language learning is to stimulate a natural desire in learners to improve their language competence by challenging them to complete meaningful tasks.
CDC In a studypublished in , I reported a large gap between the rhetoric and thereality in relation to CLT.
Schools that claimed to be teaching accordingto principles of CLT were doing nothing of the sort Nunan Isuspect the same is true today of TBLT. When asked to describe whatTBLT is and how it is realized in the classroom, many people are hardpressed to do so.
There are two possible interpretations for this. That multiple per-spectives and applications have developed is not necessarily a bad thing;in fact, it is probably good that the concept has the power to speak todifferent people in different ways.
What is it? Learner rolesSo far, we have looked at task-based teaching from the perspective of thecurriculum developer and the teacher. While the learner-centred curriculum will14 The role of the learnercontain similar elements to traditional curricula, a key difference is thatinformation about learners and, where feasible, from learners will bebuilt into all stages in the curriculum process, from initial planning,through implementation, to assessment and evaluation.
Curriculumdevelopment becomes a collaborative effort between teachers and learn-ers, since learners will be involved in decisions on content selection,methodology and evaluation Nunan The philosophical reasonsfor adopting a learner-centred approach to instruction have beeninformed by research into learning styles and strategies Willing ;Oxford , as well as conceptual and empirical work in the area oflearner autonomy Benson Breen — a frequent contributor to the literature on learner-centredteaching — has pointed out the advantages of linking learner-centrednesswith learning tasks.
He draws attention to the frequent disparity betweenwhat the teacher intends as the outcome of a task, and what the learnersactually derive from it. We may parallel this with a similar disparitybetween what curriculum documents say ought to happen and whatactually happens in the classroom. Additionally, we cannot know for certainhow different learners are likely to carry out a task.
We tend to assumethat the way we look at a task will be the way learners look at it. However, there is evidence to suggest that, while we as teachers arefocusing on one thing, learners are focusing on other things. We cannotbe sure, then, that learners will not look for grammatical patterns whentaking part in activities designed to focus them on meaning, and look formeaning in tasks designed to focus them on grammatical form.
One way of dealing with this tendency is to sensitize learners to theirown learning processes by adding to the curriculum a learning strategiesdimension.
Eventually, it should be possible for learners to make choicesabout what to do and how to do it. This of course implies a major changein the roles assigned to learners and teachers.
This isnot to say that the teacher and learner will view the same task in the same 15 However, even in institutions in which teachers and learners have minimal input into the curriculum development process, it is possible to introduce elements of learner-centred instruction.
Think about your own program, and list ways in which it could be made more learner-centred. I tried to tease out some ofthe conceptual differences as well as the relationships between key con-cepts such as curriculum, syllabus, methodology, task and exercise.
Other important concepts included in the chapter were synthetic andanalytical approaches to syllabus design and experiential learning. I alsotouched on the place of a focus on form in the task-based classroom, aswell as the role of the learner and the importance of a focus on learningprocess as well as on language content. These elements will then be elaboratedon in Chapter 3. ReferencesBenson, P. Teaching and Researching Autonomy in Language Learning. Breen, M.
Processes in syllabus design. General English Syllabus Design. Pergamon Press. Learner contributions to task design. Candlin and D. Murphy eds Language Learning Tasks. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice- Hall. Brinton, D. Content-based instruction. Nunan ed. Practical English Language Teaching. New York: Burns, A. Genre-based approaches to writing and beginning adult ESL learners. Candlin and N. ReferencesBygate, M. Skehan and M. Swain eds. Researching Pedagogic Tasks: Second language learning, teaching and testing.
Syllabuses for Secondary Schools: English language secondary 1—5. Hong Kong: Curriculum Development Council, Education Department. Doughty, C. Williams eds. Cambridge University Press. Ellis, R. The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford University Press. Task-Based Language Teaching and Learning. Feez, S. Text-Based Syllabus Design. Sydney NSW: Halliday, M. An Introduction to Functional Grammar. Second edition. Hammond, J. Carter and D. Johnston, K. Immersion Education: International Perspectives.
Kohonen, V. Experiential language learning: Second language learning as cooperative learner education. Collaborative Language Learning and Teaching. Kolb, D. Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Krashen, S. Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. Lantolf, J. Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning. Littlewood, W. Communicative Language Teaching: Long, M. A role for instruction in second language acquisition.
Hyltenstam and M. Clevedon, Avon: Multilingual Matters. Focus on form: Theory, research and practice. Doughty and J. Communicative language teaching: Making it work.
ELT Journal, 41, 2, — The Learner-Centred Curriculum. Oxford, R. Language Learning Strategies: What every teacher should know.
Newbury House. Richards, J. Platt and H. Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics. Ryle, G. The Concept of Mind. Savignon, S. Silberstein ed. Alexandria VA.: Skehan, P. A Cognitive Approach to Language Learning. Stenhouse, L. An Introduction to Curriculum Research and Development.
Swain, M. Communicative competence: Some roles of comprehensible input and comprehensible output in its development. Gass and C. Madden eds Input in Second Language Acquisition. Rowley Mass.: Plenary presentation. Tyler, R. Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction. Harcourt Brace. Systems Development in Adult Language Learning: Council of Europe. Wilkins, D. Notional Syllabuses. Willing, K. Learning Styles in Adult Migrant Education.
A Framework for Task-Based Learning. Task-based language learning. The next section outlines aprocedure for creating an integrated syllabus around the concept of thepedagogic task. The section that follows is devoted to materials designconsiderations.
It provides a procedure that can be used for planninglessons, materials and units of work. A task frameworkAs we saw in Chapter 1, the point of departure for task-based languageteaching is real-world or target tasks. Halliday argues that at avery general level, we do three things with language: Typically, in everyday interactions, the macrofunctions are inter-woven, as in the following invented example: Nice day. That it is.
What can I do for you? In order to create learning opportunities in the classroom, we musttransform these real-world tasks into pedagogical tasks. Such taskscan be placed on a continuum from rehearsal tasks to activation tasks.
A framework for task-based language teachingA rehearsal task bears a clear and obvious relationship to its correspond-ing real-world counterpart. For example, the other day I was teaching ona course designed to help my students develop job-seeking skills. Thetask that my students had to complete was as follows. Pedagogical task: Then compare your choices with the actualchoice made by your partner.
This task has a rehearsal rationale. It is not identical to the processof actually applying for a job in the world outside the classroom. In addi-tion to the work with a partner, the students will be able to get feedback andadvice from me, the teacher, as well as drawing on other resources. Not all pedagogical tasks have such a clear and obvious relationshipto the real world.
Many role plays, simulations, problem-solving tasksand information exchange tasks have what I call an activation rationale. The task is designed not to provide learners with an opportunity torehearse some out-of-class performance but to activate their emerginglanguage skills.
In performing such tasks, learners begin to move fromreproductive language use — in which they are reproducing and manipu-lating language models provided by the teacher, the textbook or the tape— to creative language use in which they are recombining familiar words,structures and expressions in novel ways.
I believe that it is when usersbegin to use language creatively that they are maximally engaged in lan-guage acquisition because they are required to draw on their emerginglanguage skills and resources in an integrated way. Here is an example of an activation task. It is one I observed a groupof students carrying out in a secondary school classroom. However, a task is more like a work plan, which sets a plan for learner activity. This can e. The actual activity of the learner can but must not match the intended former plan Ellis, The learners choose the language needed to complete the task by experimenting and using a language freely.
The language used to fulfill the outcome of the task is not specified, so learners will more likely choose the form of target language that is most helpful for them to achieve the aim of the work plan. Ellis, It is significant for a task that a task seeks to develop foreign language proficiency through communication, which means learners are engaged to use the language mainly pragmatically. The actual spoken language can be negotiated in classroom by teachers and students Ellis, A task has a clearly defined, non-linguistic but pragmatic outcome.
The communication performed by learners in a task reflects real world communication Ellis, Still, a task requires the learner to use cognitive processes such as selecting, classifying, ordering, reasoning and evaluating information while working on a non-linguistic outcome. These processes influence the language of the learner, but do not determine it Ellis, It is important to distinguish between the outcome and the aim of a task. This could e. The aim refers to the pedagogical purpose of the task and to the use of meaning— focused language both receptive and productive Ellis, A task is a pedagogical piece of classroom work, which is a communicative act with clear beginning, middle and end.
It involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing or interacting in the target language. The intention of a task is to convey meaning rather than to manipulate form Nunan, It is important to have a look at them at this point. Prabhu distinguished three principal tasks; namely a the information- gap activity transfer of given information from one person to another , b the reasoning- gap activity articulating a personal preference or response and c the opinion- gap activity deriving new information from given information through process of inference Prabhu Reasons for selecting a certain task may differ depending on the context and the students.
One learner explains while the other ones listen. In practice a listening task could be held in form of an interview, students asking each other or outstanding people questions or doing a brainstorming in pairs or small groups.
The outcome could possibly be a list of information, a draft of a mind map or even an article or interview Willis, Students bring items, actions or events in chronological order, classify items in different ways or categorize items in given or ungiven groups Willis, An outcome of an ordering and sorting task could be a ranking list or a picture story.
Depending on the complexity of the problem they can be quite challenging, but learners are often very engaged and satisfied to solve the problem Willis, An easy sort of a problem-solving task would be a short logic puzzle. A more challenging, real-life problem could involve evaluating a solution, comparing alternatives for an existing problem in the world or expressing hypotheses Willis, Often problem-solving tasks are based on extracts from texts where learners must predict the ending or put pieces and clues together to guess it.
The sample lesson II s. Students are asked to take different positions of involved people and are asked to come up with a solution that would best serve their personal situation.
Students are asked to compare information in order to either identify common points or differences by matching and relating specific points to each other. They find similarities and things in common or differences that can be set in contrast to each other Willis, In any case, this task is about sharing true or fictional experiences with others.
The interaction resulting from this task is close to a casual conversation and is less outcome- orientated than other tasks Willis, Sometimes the task is also done outside of classroom, when students need to do some kind of research out-of-class.
This type of task also tends to involve other types of tasks e. There is a bright amount of creative tasks teachers can introduce to their students such as creative writing of stories, essays or even a books, as well as script writing for a role play. Since creative tasks are freer than others they tend to be more time-consuming, too and might not be manageable in one lesson.
A creative task can be extended into a big project, which outcome can also be published and made accessible to an audience beyond the class- or school-environment Willis, Willis According to the task-based-language framework that was invented by Jane Willis s. The pre-task gives a quick access to the topic, which is to be explored by the students.
It usually includes a short task activity. The teacher helps the students to understand the theme and objectives of the task.
In other frameworks the task cycle was also called the while- or during- task. Since I present the task-based-framework by Willis I refer to her name of task cycle. The task-cycle can be seen as the main task and consists of the planning phase and the actual report phase. It contains a learning process of planning, drafting and rehearsing Willis, During the planning phase learners discuss and work out their findings and prepare their presentation.
During the following report phase students present their findings, exchange written reports or discuss and compare their outcome Willis, After students have presented their outcome to the class, a feedback or evaluation is given in the language focus. It is split up in two parts: Analysis and practice. The language focus phase has three major pedagogic goals: The TBLT framework ends after the language focus phase.
The main intention of the pre-phase is to introduce the topic to the students and to help learners define the topic area. Depending on the topic students need more or less clarification and support from the teacher at this stage. According to the question which task type functions best as a pre-task it can be said that the topic can be easily introduced by a shorter type of task e.
A creative-task would be too time-consuming and labor intensive at this stage Willis, The second step after introducing the topic to the students is to introduce the topic language.
Learners are supposed to identify words and phrases that will be helpful during the pre-task but also outside the classroom. Pre-task activities can be seen as a warming up for the task cycle sequence, which is why it is important that all learners are getting involved and instructions are made clear und understandable by the teacher.
The pre-task gives the learner the chance to get interested in the topic and to understand the necessity of the pre-task in terms of the upcoming task cycle Willis, Practically, it is necessary to choose a pre-task that deals with the same content of the task cycle.
This way the pre-task is a quick, but effective preparation to introduce the topic to the learner. During this phase learners work on a type of task in pairs or groups and then plan their reports. The teacher may help students shape their meanings and express themselves more exactly, but the students should do the main planning. Only by doing the work as a group or team learners maximize their learning opportunities properly Willis, The planning stage gives learners the opportunity to prepare for the challenge of going public in the target language.
It is therefore very important that students have enough time and support to check language and grammar. Support does not mean that the teacher tells the students what to do or say, but the teacher should make sure that students can get the help they need, e. It contains slightly less learning opportunities than the planning stage, but is still necessary to complete the learning process of the task cycle Willis, Depending on the level of the learners and the type of task a report can be very short, e.
Depending on the type of task a report can involve an oral or a written presentation. Since students are learners of L2 or L3 they will make grammatical errors and come up with strange wordings while presenting their reports.