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03 - Task-based Language Teaching


Task-based Language Teaching

Task-based Language Teaching
Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) refers to an approach based on the use of tasks as the core unit of instruction

in language.

doing things with(by) language Involvement Inquiry Induction learning by doing

TBLT
Incorporation

learning for using learning by using learning then using

Four dimensions of teaching and learning tasks represented by the “four eyes” : involvement (参与), inquiry (探究), induction(归纳), incorporation (整合).

?Background ?Theoretical basis ?Definitions and Components of Tasks ?Features and Problems ?Task-based Language Teaching Design Principles and Application ?Conclusion

? In the 1970s, the discussion about “language communication is a synthetic processing” made the language teaching syllabus designers put forward the sequent, independent language item. ? The focus of research transferred from how to teach to how to learn. “Learning activity itself is as important as learning goal”. ? Task-based Language Learning reflects the synthesis of language learning and cover the whole processing and have the explicit goal.

? Learning process is primary while learning content is secondary. ? Parts of tasks in task-based language teaching are similar to some tasks in real life. ? The accuracy of language is one of the dimensions of tasks. ? Synthetically deal with the information from multiple aspects on different levels.

? The process feature of tasks and the activity quantity of participators contribute to the forming of learners’ language automaticity. ? The training of language dynamics ability and group dynamics ability. ? The schema expansion in meaningful learning, the theory considered language as dynamic information resources.

Definitions of task
In task-based language teaching, the basic and initial point of organization is the Task, class work is organized as a sequence of tasks, and it is the task that generates the language to be used, not vice versa.

In short, the “task” in task-based learning or teaching is not the inside or outside class teaching or learning activity, which is general, isolated or united arbitrarily; instead, it is the organic part of the whole system. The task has educational value.

Five parts of task designing
(Nunan1989)
? The task goals ? The input materials used to constitute the task content ? Activities designed on the basis of these materials ? Teacher/student role ? The settings of carrying out the task

Features
? It puts the task in the central position, but not considers the practicing less meaningful language form as its aim. ? The focus of task is on solving some communicative problems. ? When designing and implementing tasks, the teacher should pay attention to the accomplishment of tasks that is to solve the communicative problems.

1. An emphasis on learning to communicate through interaction in the target language. 2. The introduction of authentic texts into the learning situation. 3. Provision of opportunities for learners to focus, not only on language itself, but also on the learning process. 4. An enhancement of the learners’ own personal experiences as important contributing elements to classroom learning. 5. An attempt to link classroom language learning with language activation outside the classroom. ( Nunan 1991)

Advantages
? The teacher designs the teaching activities on the basis of students’ learning. ? The meaningful task activities can arouse students’ sympathetic response and stimulate students’ desire to take an active part in them.

? Working in pairs provides students a great number of practicing opportunities and it is also a process of drawing on collective wisdom and absorbing all useful ideas and learning from each other. ? Students are more likely to feel ownership over their language learning.

Problems
? It takes amount of time to finish a large learning task. ? It is hard to master the difficulty of the task ? In task-based language teaching, students are accustomed to the group discussion.

? Teachers found it difficult to achieve a balance between carrying out communicative tasks and maintaining good behavior. ? The use of mother tongue by students during tasks.

Strategies
? The rational for pair-work, group work, or activities, needs to be indicated clearly to students, particularly in contexts where this may not be a universal teaching strategy. ? Teachers can be good language models themselves by using the target language as far as possible when interacting with their class.

? The teacher divides students into groups reasonably. ? Task-based language teaching makes sure that every student has something to do. ? Task-based language teaching provides the feasible conditions for assessing students from multiple levels, multiple aspects and multiple forms.

Design principles
1. The authentic language and situation principle 2. The form-function principle 3. The task-dependency and the taskchain principle 4. Learning by doing

Willis’ task-based language model
1. Offer valuable and authentic language materials 2. Apply the language 3. Choose the tasks which can arouse students to use language 4. Pay attention to certain language form properly 5. Sometimes should focus on the language form

Willis’ model for task-based instruction (Willis, 1996:127) Pre-task Introduce to topic and task Task cycle

Task
Planning Repot Language focus

Analysis
Practice Long 1991

Willis’ task-based teaching applied to writing course 1. Pre-task 2. Drafting 3. Analyzing and solving problems

任务型教学代表了西方重视输出的语言学习文 化,其引进和倡导对改变我国传统的英语课堂教 学具有重要的借鉴意义。同时还应看到,我国特 有的将英语作为外语来学的语言学习环境和条件 与西方国家许多英语学习者将英语作为第二语言 来学的特定环境和条件有许多不同,加上任务型 教学本身的问题和局限,我们对任务型教学的借 鉴应该抓住其本质与合理内核,促进其与我国传 统外语教学方式相互取长补短,而不是形式上的 盲目模仿。
—魏永红(2004:163)

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