Presentation on theme: "Task-Based Language Teaching"— Presentation transcript:
1Task-Based Language Teaching Rod EllisUniversity of Auckland
2Three Dimensions of Language Teaching Goal (i.e. ‘why’ the language is being taught)Content (i.e. ‘what’ is taught)- Type A syllabuses- Type B syllabusesMethodology (i.e. ‘how’ it is taught)- accuracy- fluency
3Grammar Translation Goal Content Methodology Ability to read literature in the L2Type A (list of grammar rules and words to be taught)Accuracy (i.e. accurate translation of L2 into L1)
4Audiolingualism Goal Content Methodology Ability to communicate Type A (list of linguistic items to be taught)Accuracy (I.e. focus on target-like use of the L2)
5Notional/Functional Teaching GoalContentMethodologyAbility to communicateType A (i.e. a list of notions and functionsAccuracy (i.e. focus on target-like use of the L2)
6Task-Based Teaching Goal Content Methodology Ability to communicate Type B (i.e. a series of message-focused tasks)Fluency (i.e. focus on message conveyance)
7Rationale for Using Tasks Developing implicit knowledge – learners can only develop implicit knowledge of a second language incidentally as a result of the effort to communicate.Automatization – learners can only gain in fluency by attempting to use the L2 in real operating conditions.
8Defining a ‘Task’ A task is a goal directed. A task involves a primary focus on meaning.The participants choose the linguistic resources needed to complete the task.A task has a clearly defined outcome.
9Types of Task Unfocussed tasks a. Pedagogic b. Real world
10An Example of a Pedagogic Task Four students – each has one picture and describes it to the rest of the class.Students from the rest of the class ask the four students questions about their pictures.One student from the class tries to tell the story.If necessary Steps 2 and 3 are repeated.
11Some Typical Pedagogic Tasks Information-gap tasks (e.g. Same or Different)Opinion-gap tasks (e.g. Balloon debates)Reasoning-gap tasksPersonal tasksRole-play tasksNote: Tasks can be dialogic or monologic; they can be performed orally or in writing.
12A Real-World TaskLook at the message below. Listen to Mr. Pointer’s instructions on the tape. Make notes if you want to. Then write a suitable reply to Lesieur.Dear Mr. PointerPlease send flight number, date and time of arrivaland I will arrange for someone to meet you at theairport.Lesieur.
15A Framework for Describing Tasks GoalInputConditionsPredicted outcomes:a. Processb. Product
16Two Approaches to Using Tasks Use tasks to support a Type A approach.- task-supported teaching (Type A)- weak form of communicative language teachingUse tasks as the basis for teaching- task-based teaching (Type B)- strong form of communicative teaching
17Designing a Task-Based Curriculum Select task types according to general level.Determine the themes/topics of the tasksGrade tasks in terms of task difficultySpecify language/skills/ text types required to perform the task.
18The Methodology of Task-Based Teaching Three phases in a task-based lesson:Pre-task phaseMain task phasePost-task phase
19The Pre-Task Phase Some options: Allow the students time to plan. Provide a modelDo a similar taskPre-teach key linguistic items
20The Main Task Phase Some options: Whole-class vs. small group work Set a time for completing the task.Vary the number of participants.Introduce a surprise element.Tell students they will have to present a report to the whole class.
21The Post-Task Phase Some options: Students give a report. Repeat task (e.g. students switch groups)Consciousness-raising activities.
22Focussing on FormOpportunities to focus on form arise in task-based teaching:Definition:Focus on form … overtly draws students’ attention to linguistic elements as they arise incidentally in lessons whose overrriding focus is on meaning or communication. (Long 1991)cf. Focus on forms
23Three Types of Focus on Form Reactive focus on form (error correction)Teacher-initiated focus on formStudent-initiated focus on form
24Reactive Focus on Form: An Example T: What were you doing?S: I was in pub(2)S: I was in pubT: In the pub?S: Yeh and I was drinking beer with myfriend.
25Dual Focus Learner 1: And what did you do last weekend? Learner 2: … I tried to find a pub where you don’t see – where you don’t see many tourists. And I find oneTeacher: Found.Learner 2: I found one where I spoke with two English women and we spoke about life inCanterbury or things and after I came backTeacher: Afterwards …
26Problems and Solutions 1. Students lack proficiency to communicate in the L2Devise activities that develop ability to communicate gradually.2. Students unwilling to speak English in class.Use small group work; allow planning time; learner training3. Students develop pidginized language systemSelect tasks that demand fully grammaticalized language
27Problems with the Educational System and Solutions 1. Emphasis on ‘knowledge’ learningReview philosophy of education.2. Examination systemDevelop new more communicative exams3. Large classesUse small group work; develop tasks suited to large classes.
28ConclusionsTask-based teaching offers the opportunity for ‘natural’ learning inside the classroom.It emphasizes meaning over form but can also cater for learning form.It is intrinsically motivating.It is compatible with a learner-centred educational philosophy.It can be used alongside a more traditional approach.