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Linking High School and College English through Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) BONIFACIO T. CUNANAN Bulacan State University 2nd National Conference, Challenges of K -12 English Language Teaching May 20-21, 2013, Albertus Magnus Auditorium, College of Education University of Santo Tomas, Manila
Abstract To make it realistic, responsive, and relevant to the needs of society, revising and restructuring the curriculum is imperative. Curriculum revision opens possibilities like bridging information gaps, improving both human and non-human resources, and reviewing of practices and priorities. The impact of the K to 12 Program, being a major educational reform of the present administration, is far reaching inasmuch as it extends and expands basic education and streamlines tertiary education. In this perspective, this paper attempts to stand in the gap to link teaching of English in the high school and the college levels. Generally, it deals with the changes in teaching the language arts under the K to 12 Program and the perceived or projected needs of the Filipinos in the 21st century through a curriculum that is decongested, seamless, relevant and responsive, enriched, and learner-centered. Specifically, it shows how Task-based Approach can reset the mind frame of stakeholders, particularly English language teachers, as regards their new roles, preparation and use of teaching and learning materials, views on the nature of language, language learning and language teaching, assessment procedures, and standards in gauging learners’ competencies and proficiencies.
This presentation aims to discuss… • Changes in teaching the language arts under the K to 12 Program • Perceived needs of the Filipinos in the 21st century • Show how Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) change the mind and roles of ELT teachers • Preparation and use of teaching and learning materials • Views on the nature of language • New paradigms in language learning and teaching • Assessment procedures • Standards in gauging learners’ competencies and proficiencies
INTEGRATED LAGUAGE ARTS FRAMEWORK (K to 12 Program)
Presentation Outline (Based onNunan, 2004) Comparing Major Approaches to Language Curriculum Defining Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) Drawing the Framework for TBLT Identifying the Task Components of TBLT Classifying Tasks Discussing the Research Components of TBLT Grading and Sequencing of Tasks Giving Consideration to Learning Styles and Strategies The Place of Grammar within TBLT Assessing Students
Two Major Approaches to Syllabus Designs • (Wilkins, 1976) • Synthetic Approach • different parts of the language are taught separately and step by step • acquisition is a gradual process of accumulation of parts until the whole structure of the language has been built up • Analytic approach • begins with the analysis of the communicative needs of the learners • learners are confronted with naturalistic chunks of language which they analyze for themselves
Methods Using Analytic Approach • Content-based instruction (Brinton, 2003) • Project-based pedagogy (Ribe and Vidal, 1993) • Task-based language teaching (Nunan, 2004) • Organization of the learning experience • Transmission Model (a teacher-centered classroom) • Experiential Model ( alearning-by-doing classroom)
Comparison of Traditional and Communicative Approaches to Language Teaching
Defining TBLT • A task is… • a piece of work undertaken for oneself or for others, freely or for some reward like the hundred and one thing that people do in everyday life, at work, at play, and in between. (Long, 1985) • an activity or action which is carried out as the result of processing or understanding language (Richards, et al. 1986: 289) • any structured language learning endeavour which has a particular objective, appropriate content, a specified working procedure, and a range of outcomes for those who undertake the task (Breen (1987: 23) • a workplan that requires learners to process language pragmatically in order to achieve and outcome that can be evaluated in terms of whether the correct or appropriate propositional content has been conveyed. (Ellis, 2003)
Defining TBLT • A task is… • a piece of classroom work that involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing, or interacting in the target language while their attention is focused on mobilizing their grammatical knowledge in order to express meaning (Nunan, 2004) • real-world /target tasks are the uses of language in the world beyond the classroom; pedagogical tasks are those that occur in the classroom (Nunan, 2004)
Sample Activity • Pedagogical task: activation rationale • 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.)
Drawing the Framework for TBLT Real-world/ target tasks Pedagogical tasks Enabling skills Communicative activities Rehearsal tasks Activation tasks Language exercises
Identifying the Task Components of TBLT • Shavelson & Stern (1981) suggested that a task consists of: • Content – the subject matter to be taught • Materials – the things that learners can manipulate • Activities – the things that learners and teachers will do during a lesson • Goals – the teacher’s general aims for the task • Students – their abilities and interests should be considered • Social Community – the class as a whole
Identifying the Task Components of TBLT Candlin (1987) added the following components:
The Task Components of TBLT Goals are the vague, general intentions behind any learning task that provide a link between the task and the broader curriculum. Inputrefers to the spoken, written and visual data that learners work with in the course of completing a task. Procedure specifies what learners will actually do with the input that forms the point of departure for the learning task. Teacher and learner role refers to the part that learners and teachers are expected to play in carrying out learning tasks as well as the social and interpersonal relationships between the participants. Settings refers to the classroom arrangements specified or implied in the task.
Classifying Tasks (Prabhu, 1987) • Information-gap activity • Transfer of given information from one person to another that calls for decoding and encoding of information • Reasoning-gap activity • Deriving some new information from given information through inference, deduction, partial reasoning, or perception of relationships or patterns • Opinion-gap activity • Identifying and stating a personal preference, feeling, or attitude in response to a situation
Discussing the Research Components of TBLT • Comprehensible Input and Comprehensible Output • Communication as Negotiation of Meaning • From Teaching Method to Learning Strategy
Grading and Sequencing of Tasks • beyond testing grammatical complexity • grading/gradation may be based on the complexity of the item, frequency in written or spoken English, or importance to the learner (Richards, Platt, & Weber, 1886)
Three Factors in Grading and Sequencing of Tasks Language factors: length or reading/listening passage, density of information, frequency of vocabulary, speed of spoken texts, number of speakers involved, and explicitness of information Learner factors: confidence, motivation, prior learning experience, learning pace, observed ability in language skills, cultural knowledge/awareness, and linguistic knowledge Procedural factors: relevance, complexity, amount of context provided, processibility of language of the task, amount of help available to the teacher, grammatical accuracy/fluency/complexity, time available to the learner, and follow-up/feedback
Giving Consideration to Learning Styles and Strategies • Learning style is a learner’s natural and preferred way of learning. • Learning strategy is the mental and communicative process a learner must use to complete a task successfully.
Learning Styles • Cognitive – the way people mentally organize ideas (field dependency, global vs. analytic) • Sensory – preferences like seeing, hearing, or manipulating (visual, auditory, tactile, kinaesthetic) • Personality – reflect introversion or extroversion (global vs. analytic or intuitive vs. active)
Learning Strategies Cognitive: classifying, predicting, inducing, taking notes, concept mapping, inferencing, discrimination, diagramming Interpersonal: co-operating, role playing Linguistic: conversational patterns, practicing, using context, summarizing, selective listening, and skimming Affective: personalizing, self-evaluating, and reflecting Creative: brainstorming
Seven principles for TBLT Principle 1: Scaffolding Lessons and materials should provide supporting frameworks within which the learning takes place. At the beginning of the learning process, learners should not be expected to produce language that has not been introduced either explicitly or implicitly. Principle 2: Task dependency Within a lesson, one task should grow out of, and build upon, the ones that have gone before.
Seven principles for TBLT Principle 3: Recycling • Recycling language maximizes opportunities for learning and activates the ‘organic’ learning principle. Principle 4: Active learning • Learners learn best by actively using the language they are learning.
Seven principles for TBLT Principle 5: Integration • Learners should be taught in ways that make clear the relationships between linguistic form, communicative function and semantic meaning. Principle 6: Reproduction to creation • Learners should be encouraged to move from reproductive to creative language use. Principle 7: Reflection • Learners should be given opportunities to reflect on what they have learned and how well they are doing.
The Place of Grammar within TBLT Focused vs. unfocused task Focused task – a particular structure is required in order for a task to be completed Unfocused task – learners are able to use any linguistic resource to complete a task Deductive vs. inductive approach Deductive approach – the teacher provides a grammatical rule/principle which they subsequently apply through various exercises Inductive approach – the learners work with samples of language containing the target structure and come to formulate the rule or principle for themselves, through a process of guided discovery
Assessing Students Assessment– judging how well learners are doing like student’s progress or achievement, a component of evaluation Evaluation– how well the curriculum is helping the learners achieve their goals that includes collection and analysis of data towards informed educational decisions - can be formal (involving external individuals) or relatively informal (involving classroom teachers) (Brown, 1995; Rea-Dickins & Germaine, 1993) - essential to successful education, it forms the basis for appropriate and effective decision-making (Genesee, 2001)
Higher Order Thinking Skills and Advanced Tasks WRITING FLYERS & BROCHURES
Tasks and Outputs are assessed by using: Evaluation Checklist