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Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT). Martin Weren, Hillcrest High School. TPDL participant 2011. ….TPDL? Teacher Professional Development in Languages, which involves… Language Learning In-class visits and support Pedagogy (EDPROFST, Uni of Auckland). Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT).

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Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

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Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Martin Weren, Hillcrest High School.

TPDL participant 2011.

….TPDL?

Teacher Professional Development in Languages, which involves…

Language Learning

In-class visits and support

Pedagogy (EDPROFST, Uni of Auckland)


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Overview:

Where have we come from as language teachers?

Where are we going?

What is TBLT?

What is TBLT not?

Acknowledgements


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Overview:

If during the course of this presentation you reflect on aspects of your own language teaching and ask yourself how you can do things differently and better, Martin will be a happy man.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Where have we come from as language teachers?

In the beginning there was….


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Where have we come from as language teachers?

In the beginning there was….

Grammar-translation methodology


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Where have we come from as language teachers?

Grammar-translation methodology

Audio-lingual method


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Where have we come from as language teachers?

Grammar-translation methodology

Audio-lingual method

Communicative method


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Let’s assume that most of us in NZ are familiar with, and use, the communicative method (CLT).

What are some features/characteristics of this method?


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Let’s assume that most of us in NZ are familiar with, and use, the communicative method.

What are some features/characteristics of this method?

What are some of the benefits of CLT?


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

CLT draws on authentic materials and concepts that relate to the real world outside the classroom

CLT focuses on learners as active participants in their own learning. They become autonomous learners.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

CLT takes the view that language exists for purposes of real communication in the real world.

Strategic competence is the ability to make up for gaps in knowledge by making the best use of resources available to them – they negotiate meanings.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

This all sounds great.

So, what’s the problem?

Is there a problem?

Is there more than one problem?


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Or, why is TBLT being considered as an alternative to CLT?


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Or, why is TBLT being considered as an alternative to CLT?

“Weak” CLT came from residues of grammar-translation.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Or, why is TBLT being considered as an alternative to CLT?

“Weak” CLT came from residues of grammar-translation.

Weak CLT techniques known as PPP (classic lesson structure).


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Presentation: The teacher draws learners’ attention to a specific form or structure.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Practice: Once the rules have been made explicit, the grammatical structure is practised by various activities.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Production: Learners engage in open practice, free of teacher control, where the focus is on meaning, such as a role play where the target structure or function has to be used.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

A crucial weakness is that the approach tends to produce boring lessons.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

That was “weak” CLT.

Is/was there another CLT?


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

(Hint: What’s the opposite of “weak”?)


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

STRONG CLT


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Stop right there!

Strong is not necessarily better than weak.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

In “strong” CLT there was an emphasis on communication that negated any role for grammar; an anything-goes-as-long-as-you-get-the-message-across approach to 2LT.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

In “strong” CLT there was a premise that all that was required for learners was input in the TL.

Purely communicative lessons can be very enjoyable for students, but….


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Purely communicative lessons can be very enjoyable for students, but….

…comprehensible 2L input is necessary, but insufficient.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

So CLT, at least in its weakest and strongest forms, is found wanting.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

So CLT, at least in its weakest and strongest forms, is found wanting.

A communicative approach is required which can reconcile fluency (with its implications for motivation and communication) with accuracy (with its implications for proficiency).


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Guess what comes next


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

So CLT, at least in its weakest and strongest forms, is found wanting.

TBLT makes this reconciliation a possibility


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Learners learn to communicate by communicating.

The most effective way to teach a language is by engaging learners in real language use in the classroom.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Scenarios that reflect real-world language use are set up by designing tasks – discussions, problems, games and so on – which require learners to use language for themselves.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

A task is an activity in which a person engages in order to attain an objective, and which necessitates the use of language….


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

…Using language is a means to an end: by understanding language input and by producing language output i.e. by interacting with other people in real-life situations through the use of language, the goals that the learner has in mind can be (better) achieved.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Ellis says that for a LL activity to be called a task it must satisfy several criteria:


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Ellis says that for a LL activity to be called a task it must satisfy several criteria:

The primary focus should be on “meaning” (learners should be mainly concerned with processing the semantic and pragmatic meaning of utterances)


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Ellis says that for a LL activity to be called a task it must satisfy several criteria:

The primary focus should be on “meaning”;

There should be some kind of “gap” (i.e. a need to convey information, to express an opinion or to infer meaning)


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Ellis says that for a LL activity to be called a task it must satisfy several criteria:

The primary focus should be on “meaning”;

There should be some kind of “gap”;

Learners should largely have to rely on their own resources (linguistic and non-linguistic) in order to complete the activity


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Ellis says that for a LL activity to be called a task it must satisfy several criteria:

The primary focus should be on “meaning”;

There should be some kind of “gap”;

Learners should largely have to rely on their own resources (linguistic and non-linguistic) in order to complete the activity

There is a clearly defined outcome other than the use of language


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

There is a clearly defined outcome other than the use of language (i.e. the language serves as the means for achieving the outcome, not as an end in its own right).


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

The primary focus should be on “meaning”;

There should be some kind of “gap”;

Learners should largely have to rely on their own resources (linguistic and non-linguistic) in order to complete the activity

There is a clearly defined outcome other than the use of language (i.e. the language serves as the means for achieving the outcome, not as an end in its own right).


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

TBLT & the NZC

TBLT is only implicit in the new learning area.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Ellis’ Principles:

In Principle 2, tasks are presented. Such tasks provide students with opportunities for interaction, thinking, problem solving, and genuine social interactions.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

So….

How could this look in the classroom, or Give us some examples of tasks.


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

So….

How could this look in the classroom, or Give us some examples of tasks.

From Dave Willis and Jane Willis: “Doing Task-based Teaching”, OUP 2007


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Give us some examples of tasks.

1 Earthquake safety


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Give us some examples of tasks.

2 Text puzzle: profits and media


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Give us some examples of tasks.

3 Family values


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Give us some examples of tasks.

4 Guess what animal this is


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Give us some examples of tasks.

5 “Moulin Rouge” movie trailer comparison


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Give us some examples of tasks.

6 Junk we carry around with us


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Give us some examples of tasks.

7 Giving directions


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Give us some examples of tasks.

8 A new cafeteria


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Give us some examples of tasks.

9 Radio talk show: Healthy teens?


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Give us some examples of tasks.

10 Scientific presentation: Atmosphere and weather


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Give us some examples of tasks.

11 Creating a newspaper


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Give us some examples of tasks.

12 Fictitious marriage scenario


Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

These notes are based on presentations from Dr Martin East (University of Auckland)


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