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Teachers Learning and Adaptation of TBLT in the ESL Context Kangxian Zhao University of Toronto 09-14-2009, Lancaster, UK.

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Presentation on theme: "Teachers Learning and Adaptation of TBLT in the ESL Context Kangxian Zhao University of Toronto 09-14-2009, Lancaster, UK."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teachers Learning and Adaptation of TBLT in the ESL Context Kangxian Zhao University of Toronto , Lancaster, UK

2 Overview Recent Literature Recent Literature Current Study Current Study Discussion Discussion Limitations and Future Directions Limitations and Future Directions

3 Recent Literature Gatbonton & Gu (1994): Chinese NNS EFL teachers in Beijing Gatbonton & Gu (1994): Chinese NNS EFL teachers in Beijing Carless (2003, 2004): Hong Kong teachers difficulties involved in implementing TBLT in primary schools Carless (2003, 2004): Hong Kong teachers difficulties involved in implementing TBLT in primary schools Carless (2007): Suitability of TBLT for secondary schools in Hong Kong Carless (2007): Suitability of TBLT for secondary schools in Hong Kong Jeon & Hahn (2006): Korean teachers perceptions of TBLT Jeon & Hahn (2006): Korean teachers perceptions of TBLT Watson Todd, R. (2006): NNS teachers in Thailand Watson Todd, R. (2006): NNS teachers in Thailand McDonough & Chaikitmongkol (2007): teachers and learners reactions to a TBLT course in Thailand McDonough & Chaikitmongkol (2007): teachers and learners reactions to a TBLT course in Thailand

4 Recent Literature Lack of comparable studies on NS teachers Lack of comparable studies on NS teachers Impression: Avoiding or adapting or not comprehending TBLT = professional trait of NNS teachers? Impression: Avoiding or adapting or not comprehending TBLT = professional trait of NNS teachers? All is well with NS teachers & TBLT? All is well with NS teachers & TBLT?

5 Current Study Qualitative study Qualitative study Six NS & 1 NNS Canadian ESL teachers & teacher educators Six NS & 1 NNS Canadian ESL teachers & teacher educators Narrative inquiry Approach Narrative inquiry Approach Semi-structured Interviews Semi-structured Interviews Classroom Observations Classroom Observations Follow-up Interviews Follow-up Interviews Native Speaker (NS) English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers learning and teaching experiences of TBLT in the Canadian context Native Speaker (NS) English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers learning and teaching experiences of TBLT in the Canadian context

6 Research Participants NameAprilBridgetCynthiaDavidEmilyFrankJane (NNS) Teaching experience 25 years 14 years15 years10 years5 years13 years 5 years EducationMA, M Ed BA, MA in progress BA, MABABA, B EdBABA, M Ed in progress TESL Training Teacher Educator EFL Teaching Teaching Context EAP Adult Immigrants EAPEFL

7 Learning TBLT Bridget: I kind of ran into task-based (14 years ago). Task-based was one of the principles of the TESL training program... My first hands on experience with TBLT was after I came back to Canada (3 years ago)…Ive done a little bit of research on Task-based (in my Masters study)

8 Learning TBLT I was introduced to Task-Based when I was in New Zealand (5 years ago). (Cynthia) I was introduced to Task-Based when I was in New Zealand (5 years ago). (Cynthia) I learned TBLT in a diploma course in Poland…And I was at the network of the schools, international high school organization, so there are 140 schools, in 40 countries…Everything I know is from them. (David) I learned TBLT in a diploma course in Poland…And I was at the network of the schools, international high school organization, so there are 140 schools, in 40 countries…Everything I know is from them. (David)

9 Learning TBLT Franks experience with TBLT Teaching EFL for seven years Teaching EFL for seven years No training before teaching No training before teaching Started teaching with a textbook and a teachers book Started teaching with a textbook and a teachers book Returned to Canada for Family reason Returned to Canada for Family reason TESL training after teaching for 10 years: TBLT TESL training after teaching for 10 years: TBLT

10 Bridgets Frustration I find some difficulty with it…once the task is finished, and then you do the language work, what do you do next? Okay, you are supposed to give them…well, have they finish the task? Well theyve already done it. They communicated. The communication might not have been pretty, it might not have been accurate, but it was accomplished. Why would they want to go and do it all over again? …So it is great to focus on the language afterwards, but my feeling is… and my experience has been…they do want to know at the beginning how they are supposed to say something, and there is a higher level of frustration with students who dont have guidelines, or they dont have any language suggestion on how to accomplish a task?

11 One Framework of TBLT Adapted from Willis (1996) Adapted from Willis (1996) (1) Pre-Task Language Activities (1) Pre-Task Language Activities (2) Task (or tasks) (2) Task (or tasks) (3) Planning (the representation of task completion or process) (3) Planning (the representation of task completion or process) (4) Report / Presentation / Performance / etc. (4) Report / Presentation / Performance / etc. (5) Focus on Form Exercises … (5) Focus on Form Exercises … (6) Evaluation (throughout) (6) Evaluation (throughout)

12 Bridgets Adaptation First I stuck with task-based. Give it a try, do it this way. But you know what? Why am I putting them through that? Why am I putting me through that? You know, I just say, okay, I try it in a different way. I will give you a list of phrases before we try the task. I am not going to tell them that this is…I just thought okay, this is what I am going to do. And it is part of my lesson plan. To elicit before hand. And then have them work on the task.

13 Franks Concern My concern is students interactions with each other. (I see myself) as a model for their language use…I remember in university, always, there is a reliance on the professor. All questions are directed at the professors. … the students arent supposed to be doing like this. Not this way. And it has taken me a long time to… and I still fight against it because I think I like to be involved with it. But my director of study at the school, shes often said, in the last couple years, yeah, just leave the room, if they are doing something, a task. And you trust them if they are mature enough, leave the room, and let them complete the task. And then you assess the task later. And that seems to be like a foreign thing to me. Because I am thinking that the students pay money, then they expect to see the teacher. My concern is students interactions with each other. (I see myself) as a model for their language use…I remember in university, always, there is a reliance on the professor. All questions are directed at the professors. … the students arent supposed to be doing like this. Not this way. And it has taken me a long time to… and I still fight against it because I think I like to be involved with it. But my director of study at the school, shes often said, in the last couple years, yeah, just leave the room, if they are doing something, a task. And you trust them if they are mature enough, leave the room, and let them complete the task. And then you assess the task later. And that seems to be like a foreign thing to me. Because I am thinking that the students pay money, then they expect to see the teacher.

14 Observation Notes Bridget gave a list of words and phrases before task Bridget gave a list of words and phrases before task Cynthia changed her lesson plan because of my visit. She did a a test-teach-test lesson. Cynthia changed her lesson plan because of my visit. She did a a test-teach-test lesson. Cynthia liked to give detailed explanation and clear instruction of grammar during and after task. Cynthia liked to give detailed explanation and clear instruction of grammar during and after task. David demonstrated a TBLT lesson David demonstrated a TBLT lesson In addition to TBLT, Frank taught according to his own beliefs (e.g., dictation) In addition to TBLT, Frank taught according to his own beliefs (e.g., dictation)

15 Discussion: Task Repetition Research literature Previous experience of a task can have effect on subsequent performance (more complex, more fluent) and task repetition might enable students to shift their attention from meaning to form (Bygate, 2009) Previous experience of a task can have effect on subsequent performance (more complex, more fluent) and task repetition might enable students to shift their attention from meaning to form (Bygate, 2009) Current Study Well theyve already done it, they communicated. The communication might not have been pretty, it might not have been accurate, but it was accomplished. Why would they want to go and do it all over again? (Bridget) Well theyve already done it, they communicated. The communication might not have been pretty, it might not have been accurate, but it was accomplished. Why would they want to go and do it all over again? (Bridget)

16 Discussion: Different versions of TBLT Research Literature A strong version of TBLT & a weak version of TBLT (Skehan, 2003) A strong version of TBLT & a weak version of TBLT (Skehan, 2003) a weak version of task- based teaching is likely to be most suitable... (Carless, 2007) a weak version of task- based teaching is likely to be most suitable... (Carless, 2007) Current Study A weak version of TBLT A weak version of TBLT

17 Discussion: Difficulty with TBLT Research Literature Classroom management Classroom management Avoidance of English Avoidance of English NNS Teachers English proficiency NNS Teachers English proficiency Teachers lack of knowledge of TBLT Teachers lack of knowledge of TBLT Conflict with educational values and traditions Conflict with educational values and traditions (Littlewood, 2009) Current Study Student interactions Student interactions Students proficiency Students proficiency NS teachers NS teachers Teacher beliefs Teacher beliefs

18 Conclusion Teachers learn TBLT during TESL training and ESL teaching Teachers learn TBLT during TESL training and ESL teaching Some NS teachers struggle with, resist, or adapt TBLT in ways that are similar to those of NNS teachers, as reported in research literature Some NS teachers struggle with, resist, or adapt TBLT in ways that are similar to those of NNS teachers, as reported in research literature Both NS and NNS teachers may adapt TBLT in ways that might not be congruent with the theoretical underpinnings of a certain version of TBLT Both NS and NNS teachers may adapt TBLT in ways that might not be congruent with the theoretical underpinnings of a certain version of TBLT Downplaying language or speaker identity as a factor Downplaying language or speaker identity as a factor Research v.s. Classroom practice Research v.s. Classroom practice

19 Limitations & Future Directions Limitations & Future Directions Small sample Small sample Contextual factors Contextual factors Truth Truth Bigger sample Bigger sample In-depth investigation In-depth investigation In different provinces In different provinces NNS in ESL Context NNS in ESL Context NS in EFL Context NS in EFL Context

20 Reference Bygate, M. (2009). Chapter 12. Effects of task repetition on the structure and control of oral language. In K. Van den Branden, M. Bygate & J. Norris (eds.), Task-based language teaching: A reader (249–274). Amsterdam:John Benjamins. Bygate, M. (2009). Chapter 12. Effects of task repetition on the structure and control of oral language. In K. Van den Branden, M. Bygate & J. Norris (eds.), Task-based language teaching: A reader (249–274). Amsterdam:John Benjamins. Carless, D. (2003). Factors in the implementation of task-based teaching primary schools. System, 31(4), Carless, D. (2003). Factors in the implementation of task-based teaching primary schools. System, 31(4), Carless, D. (2004). Issues in teacher's reinterpretation of a task-based innovation in primary schools. TESOL Quarterly, 38(4), Carless, D. (2004). Issues in teacher's reinterpretation of a task-based innovation in primary schools. TESOL Quarterly, 38(4), Carless, D. (2007). The suitability of task-based approaches for secondary schools: perspectives from Hong Kong. System, 35, Carless, D. (2007). The suitability of task-based approaches for secondary schools: perspectives from Hong Kong. System, 35, Gatbonton, E., & Gu, G. (1994). Preparing and implementing a task-based ESL curriculum in an EFL setting: Implications for theory and practice. TESL Canada Journal, 11(2), Gatbonton, E., & Gu, G. (1994). Preparing and implementing a task-based ESL curriculum in an EFL setting: Implications for theory and practice. TESL Canada Journal, 11(2), Jeon, I. J., & Hahn, J. W. (2006). Exploring EFL teachers perceptions of task-based language teaching: A case study of Korean secondary school classroom practice. Asian EFL Journal. Retrieved May 3, 2006, from Jeon, I. J., & Hahn, J. W. (2006). Exploring EFL teachers perceptions of task-based language teaching: A case study of Korean secondary school classroom practice. Asian EFL Journal. Retrieved May 3, 2006, from Littlewood, W. (2009). Communicative and task-based language teaching in East Asia classrooms. Language Teaching, 40, Littlewood, W. (2009). Communicative and task-based language teaching in East Asia classrooms. Language Teaching, 40, McDonough, K., & Chaikitmongkol, W. (2007). Teachers and learners reactions to a task-based EFL course in Thailand. TESOL Quarterly, 41(1), McDonough, K., & Chaikitmongkol, W. (2007). Teachers and learners reactions to a task-based EFL course in Thailand. TESOL Quarterly, 41(1), Skehan, P. (2003). Task-based instruction. Language Teaching, 36, Skehan, P. (2003). Task-based instruction. Language Teaching, 36, Watson Todd, R. (2006). Continuing change after the innovation. System, 34, Watson Todd, R. (2006). Continuing change after the innovation. System, 34, Willis, J. (1996) A Framework for Task-Based Learning, Harlow, UK: Longman Addison- Wesley. Willis, J. (1996) A Framework for Task-Based Learning, Harlow, UK: Longman Addison- Wesley.

21 Thank you!


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