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unit3 task-based language teaching


Task-based Teaching Approach
I.What is a Task?
A number of definitions of the concept of task exist in the literature. We may define a task as follows:

?a piece of work undertaken for oneself or for others, freely or for some reward. Thus, examples of tasks include painting a fence, dressing a child, filling out a form, buying a pair of shoes, making an airline reservation, borrowing a library book, taking a driving test, typing a letter, weighing a patient, sorting letters, taking a hotel reservation, writing a check, finding a street destination and helping someone across a road. In other words, by "task" is meant the hundred and one things people do in everyday life, at work, at play, and in between. Tasks are the things people will tell you they do if you ask them and they are not applied linguists (Long, 1985:89).

?a piece of work or an activity, usually with a specified objective, undertaken as part of an educational course, or at work (Crookes, 1986:1). ?an activity which require[s] learners to arrive at an outcome from given information through some process of thought, and which allow[s] teachers to control and regulate that process (Prabhu, 1987:24).

?an activity or action which is carried out as the result of processing or understanding language (i.e., as a response). For example, drawing a map while listening to an instruction and performing a command, may be referred to as tasks. Tasks may or may not involve the production of language. A task usually requires the teacher to specify what will be regarded as successful completion of the task. The use of different kinds of tasks in language teaching is said to make language teaching more communicative ... since it provides a purpose for a classroom activity which goes beyond the practice of language for its own sake (Richards et al., 1985:289).

?any classroom work which involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing or interacting in the target language while their attention is principally focused on meaning rather than form. The task should also have a sense of completeness, being able to stand alone as a communicative act in its own right (Nunan, 1993:59).

? (1) a classroom activity or exercise that has : ?a) an objective obtainable only by the interaction among participants, ?b) a mechanism for structuring and sequencing interaction , and ?c) a focus on meaning exchange ;
?2) a language learning endeavor that requires learners to comprehend, manipulate, and /or produce the target language as they perform some set of workplans.(Lee,2000)

an activity which requires learners to use language, with emphasis on meaning, to attain an objective.( Bygate, Skehan, and Swain, 2001)

.

Tasks are always classroom activities where the target

language is used for the purpose of communication in order to achieve an outcome.(Jane Willis 1996) The task is a goal-oriented activity with a clear purpose. Doing a communication task involves achieving an outcome, creating a final product that can be appreciated by other. Examples include compiling a list of reasons, features, or things that need doing under particular circumstances; comparing two pictures and/or texts to find the differences; and solving a problem or designing a brochure.

The task is a meaningful language learning activity both in and out of classroom where the learners use the target language to communicate actively for the certain purpose and finally achieve some outcome.

II:Components of tasks:

Goals

Teacher role

Input

TASKS

Learner role

Activities

Settings

III: Characteristics of Tasks:
1.Tasks are activities in which students work purposefully towards an objective 2.The objective may be one that they have set for themselves or one which has been set by the teacher. 3.The objective may be language focused,e.g. To discover a grammar or complete an exercise, or content-based,e.g. to carry out a project or reach a decision through discussion.

? 4.Tasks may be carried out individually or (more often ) in groups. ? 5.Tasks may be carried out in competition with others or (more often ) in collaboration. ? 6.The outcome may be something concrete (e.g. a report or presentation) or something intangible(e.g. agreement or the solution to a problem)

? Task -based learning offers an alternative for language teachers. In a task-based lesson the teacher doesn't pre-determine what language will be studied, the lesson is based around the completion of a central task and the language studied is determined by what happens as the students complete it. The lesson follows certain stages.

IV: Components of a TBL Framework PRE-TASK PHASE

Introduction to topic and task
Teacher explores the topic with the class, highlights useful words and phrases, and helps learners understand task instructions and prepare. Learners may hear a recording of others doing a similar task, or read part of a text as a lead in to a task.

TASK CYCLE

TASK: Students do the task, in pairs or small groups. Teacher monitors from a distance, encouraging all attempts at communication, not correcting. Since this situation has a "private“ feel, students feel free to experiment. Mistakes don't matter.

? PLANNING Students prepare to report to the whole class (orally or in writing) how they did the task, what they decided or discovered. Since the report stage is public, students will naturally want to be accurate, so the teacher stands by to give language advice.

? REPORT Some groups present their reports to the class, or exchange written reports, and compare results. Teacher acts as a chairperson, and then comments on the content of the reports. Learners may now hear a recording of others doing a similar task and compare how they all did it. Or they may read a text similar in some way to the one they have written themselves, or related in topic to the task they have done.

LANGUAGE FOCUS
ANALYSIS Students examine and then discuss specific features of the text or transcript of the recording. They can enter new words, phrases and patterns in vocabulary books. PRACTICE Teacher conducts practice of new words, phrases, and patterns occurring in the data, either during or after the Analysis. Sometime after completing this sequence, learners may benefit from doing a similar task with a different partner.

IV:Principles for Designing tasks:
1.Interest and authenticity principle 2.Variety and Feasibility principle

3.Purpose and objective principle
4.Participation principle

5.Language skill principle
6.Outcome principle

V. Tasks and exercises
Exercises
Focus Form

task
Meaning

Situation
Outcome

No situations
form

Real-life situation
Accomplishment of task Choice of form and content Delay correction

language error

Practice of assigned form Immediate correction

VI. Types of Tasks
? ? ? ? ? ? ? 6 task types (Willis, 1996) listing ordering and sorting comparing problem solving sharing personal experiences creative tasks

? ? ? ? ? ?

Pica, Kanagy, and Falodun (1993) jigsaw tasks information-gap tasks problem-solving tasks decision-making tasks opinion exchange tasks

? Nunan’s two types of tasks(1998) ? real-world task ? pedagogical tasks

Designing Tasks to Promote Language Use
YOUR TOPIC e.g., cats

ORDERING, SORTING, CLASSIFYING
LISTING

COMPARING, MATCHING
PROBLEM SOLVING

CREATIVE TASKS, PROJECT WORK
SHARING PERSONAL EXPERIENCES ANECDOTE TELLING

Each type involves different cognitive processes. The top three types increase in cognitive complexity from left to right, but are generally cognitively less challenging than the three at the bottom. These may involve more complex cognitive operations or combinations of simpler task types. For example, taking the topic "cats," a listing task might be: List three reasons why people think cats make good pets. A comparing task might be to compare cats and dogs as pets. A problem-solving task could be to think of three low budget solutions to the problem of looking after a cat when the family is absent.

? An experience sharing or anecdote telling task could involve sharing stories about cats. ? It is always a good idea to record two or three pairs of fluent speakers doing (and reporting) the tasks, so that you can choose the best recording, transcribe it, and use it in class to illustrate features of spontaneous and planned language. Working with real data is exciting; there are always discoveries to be made, and here the risk is reduced by having time to prepare for what crops up in the recording.

The advantages of TBL
Task-based learning has some clear advantages ?Unlike a PPP approach, the students are free of language control. In all three stages they must use all their language resources rather than just practising one pre-selected item. ?A natural context is developed from the students' experiences with the language that is personalized and relevant to them. With PPP it is necessary to create contexts in which to present the language and sometimes they can be very unnatural. ?The students will have a much more varied exposure to language with TBL. They will be exposed to a whole range of lexical phrases, collocations and patterns as well as language forms.

– The language explored arises from the students' needs. This need dictates what will be covered in the lesson rather than a decision made by the teacher or the course book. – It is a strong communicative approach where students spend a lot of time communicating. PPP lessons seem very teacher-centered by comparison. Just watch how much time the students spend communicating during a taskbased lesson. – It is enjoyable and motivating.

Scenarios
? Work with three other students. You are on a ship that is sinking. You have to swim to a nearby island. You have a waterproof container, but can only carry 20 kilos of items in it. Decide which of the following items you will take. (Remember, you can’t take more than 20 kilos with you.)

Scenario Task continued
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Waterproof sheets of fabric (3 kilos each.) Notebook computer (3.5 kilos) Rope (6 kilos). Firelighting kits (500 grams each) Portable CD player and CDs (4 kilos.) Short-wave radio (12 kilos) Medical kit (2 kilos.) Bottles of water (1.5 kilos each) Packets of sugar, flour, rice, powdered milk, coffee, tea. (Each packet weighs 500 grams) ? Cans of food (500 grams each) ? Box of novels and magazines (3 kilos) ? Axe (8 kilos)

VII: Conclusion:

Together speaking or silently
Activate Skills purposefully communicative, cognitive and

interpersonal
Knowledge from all domains of experience


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