Presentation on theme: "Task-Based Language Teaching"— Presentation transcript:
1Task-Based Language Teaching Nadja Mifka-Profozić, PhDOdjel za anglistiku, Sveučilište u ZadruZadar, 22 October 2013
2Outline Definitions: a task, a task-based approach Rationale for using tasks in language teachingFocus on meaning, focus-on-formActivation of learning processesAdvantages of group-workTypes of taskProcedureSome ideas for using tasks
3What is a task-based approach? “ As earlier with the communicative approach…teachers and others are often not certain as to what a task-based approach really does mean… does it mean that everything they do in the classroom should be a task? …What is the difference, in any case, between a task-based approach and the communicative approach that they were told they should use not so many years ago?” (Littlewood, 2004, p )(
4What is a task? A task is goal-directed. A task has a primary focus on meaning.A task has a clear pedagogic relationship to real world language needs.A task has a clearly defined outcome (the assessment of the task is in terms of outcome).The participants choose the linguistic resources needed to complete the task.
5DefinitionsTasks … are activities which have meaning as their primary focus. Success in tasks is evaluated in terms of achievement of an outcome, and tasks generally bear some resemblance to real-life language use (Skehan, 1996).…The task should also have a sense of completeness, being able to stand alone as a communicative act in its own right (Nunan, 1989).
6Rationale for using tasks Developing implicit knowledge as a result of the effort to communicate.Automatisation: learners can only gain in fluency by attempting to use L2 in real operating conditions.
7Justifying the use of tasks What is important is instruction thata) enables acquisitional processes to operate, particularly by allowing meaning to be negotiated, andb) maintains a focus-on-form, as opposed to focus on formS
8Meaningful languageTask-based language teaching uses tasks as the core unit of planning and instruction, based on the following principles:Activities that involve real communication are essential for language learning.Activities in which language is used for carrying out meaningful tasks promote learning.Language that is meaningful to the learner supports the learning process.
9Activation of learning processes An interest in tasks as potential building blocks of L2 instruction emerged when researchers turned to tasks as SLA research tools in the mid-1980s.Reassessment of the role of formal grammar instruction.Engaging learners in task work provides a better context for the activation of learning processes than formal grammar activities, ultimately provides better opportunities for language learning to take place.
10Interaction & focus on meaning Within the context of second language acquisition (SLA), the Interaction Hypothesis suggests that receiving comprehensible input and interactional feedback, being pushed to make changes in output, and negotiating for meaning are all helpful for second language (L2) learning.To date, many of the empirical studies that support the Interaction Hypothesis have been carried out in laboratory settingsand classrooms.
11Approach: the nature of language learning TBLT is motivated primarily by a theory of learning rather than a theory of language. Several assumptions about the nature of language underlie the approaches to TBLT:Language is primarily a means of making meaningMultiple models of language inform TBLT
12The focus: conversation and meaning-making Lexical units are central in language use and language learning.‘Conversation’ is the central focus of language and the keystone of language acquisition.Tasks provide both the input and output processing necessary for language acquisition.Task activity and achievement are motivational.Learning difficulty can be negotiated and fine-tuned for particular pedagogical purposes.
13Classroom organisation Teacher-fronted vs. small group classroomsThe traditional mode of classroom organisation was a teacher-fronted one, with learners sitting in rows facing the teacher.In contrast, experiential learning, based on a constructivist approach to education, is realised at a classroom level by cooperative, task-based learning, with learners working in small groups or pairs. Students become skilled at cooperating with others, and express their own opinions, ideas, and feelings, guided by the teacher.
14Procedure Pre-task activities (Introduction to topic and task, e. g. brainstorming ideas, pre-teaching new structures orhighlighting useful words and phrases.Task (the Task cycle)the task is done by Ss (in pairs or groups), T walksaround and monitorsPlanning (prepares for the next stage when Ss areasked to report how they did the task and what theoutcome was)ReportPost-task activities (language focus: analysis & practice)
15Group workGroup work is essential to any classroom that is based on principles of experiential learning. Through group work learners develop their ability to communicate through tasks that require them to talk and to approximate the kinds of things they will need to be able to do to communicate in the world beyond the classroom. However, many educational institutions have not kept pace with changes in society at large. Most are still predicated on a transmission mode of education, a mode that is even reflected in the physical setting of the classroom.
16Advantages of group work It fosters learner autonomy. Students working in groups are not directly controlled by the teacher, and they make their own choices about how they do the group task.Although collaborative work does not suit the learning style of some students, for many group work is very motivating.It is particularly important for practising oral fluency.More students can contribute ideas to a discussion task.Groups can work as teams in competition
17ProblemsBoth teachers and students may have reservations about doing group work.TeachersFear that they may lose control, particularly with young and adolescent groups in schools.Students might start using their L1 too much, make a lot of noise, and may not be engaged in the task at all.How much learning is actually going on?StudentsIndividual learning style (?)Some students prefer teacher-led classroom
18Types of task (Ellis, 2003) Unfocused pedagogic( information-gap, opinion-gap,reasoning-gap, personal,role-play, etc.)real-world tasks (giving instructions, letters to the editor, writing reviews, etc.)Focused tasks (focused on a linguistic target)
19Types of tasks (Willis, 1996) ListingOrdering and sortingComparingProblem solvingSharing personal experiencesCreative tasks
20Characteristics of tasks One-way or two-way: whether the task involves a one-way or two-way exchange of informationConvergent or divergent: whether the students achieve a common goal or several different goalsCollaborative or competitiveSingle or multiple outcomesSimple or complex processingSimple or complex languageConcrete or abstract language
21Some ideas for using tasks Report writing – narrativeReview writing (book review, film review)Seeking/giving adviceWriting a letter to the editorHouse selling or buyingInstructions “how to…”Designing a brochureDesigning a menuPreparing for a job interviewWriting a CVWriting a referenceChoosing the best candidate for a jobConducting an experiment
22ICT: challenges & opportunities Keeping up with tech-savvy pupils and the pace of change are challenges and also opportunities to enhance teaching and learning.Incorporating new technologies into the classroom and the process of learning beyond the classroom has the potential to motivate and engage pupils, to involve and empower them, and, hopefully, retain them as language learners.
23Imaginative use of ICTMany examples of teachers of languages using ICT imaginatively and effectively with their pupils and there are already digital resources around to access easily.A wide range of resources free for all to use, ranging from photos to video clips of native speakers to interactive games and quizzes.
24Collaboration, creativity Teachers reported beneficial effects as pupils worked both collaboratively and independently, focusing on pronunciation and accuracy and developing creativity inan appealing way.The appeal of creating a hi-tech multimedia products motivates students to do the little bit extra work.Videoconferencing – a great way of enabling face-to-face contact with students in other countries.
25Raising motivationExcitement and fun in language learning motivate pupils, helping them to engage purposefully with the target language.Commercial products too, enable teachers to introduce a focused ‘fun and games’ element into teaching and learning. ( e. g. Task Magic and Hot Potatoes are the products for the creation of very appealing interactive games.)
26WikisA collaborative tool for setting up easily edited websites which have content added and amended by readers – enables anyone who accesses them to contribute new information. A wiki is a web page that is created and can be revised collaboratively.Wikis make two assumptions: first, that knowledge is transitory and not static: there is always some new piece to delete or revise. The second assumption is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts: through each individual contribution the product gets better and better.
27Thank you!Hope there will be more opportunities for future collaboration.