Tasked-Based Learning Teaching TBLT

Posted by | April 5, 2013 | Uncategorized

An ESL job board and blog without an article on Tasked-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) or Tasked-Based Language Learning (TBLL) if you prefer of course it’s not possible and hence this post. This massive branch of  Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) (love the sheer number of TESOL acronyms, don’t you?) deals with tasks. “TASKS are activities where the target language is used by the learner for a communicative purpose (goal) in order to achieve an outcome”  so says Jane Willis. Get some free Tasked-Based Teaching lesson plans from her site. So what are some types of tasks you ask? Well how about the following:

  • Sharing personal experiences
    • exploring and explaining
    • attitudes, opinions, reactions
  • Creative Tasks
    • ordering and sorting
    • comparing
    • problem solving and many others
    • brainstorming
    • fact-finding
  • Problem solving
    • reasoning
    • decision making
    • analysing real situations
    • analysing hypothetical situations
  • Comparing
    • matching
    • finding similarities
    • finding differences
  • Ordering and sorting
    • categorising
    • classifying
    • sequencing
    • ranking
  • Listing
    • brainstorming
    • fact-finding

The structural framework of Tasked-Based Learning Teaching

Source: http://www.languages.dk/

Source: http://www.languages.dk/

A bit more of an explanation of Tasked-Based Language Learning Professor Rod Ellis

According to Prof. Ellis, a task has four main characteristics:

  1. A task involves a primary focus on (pragmatic) meaning.
  2. A task has some kind of ‘gap’ (Prabhu identified the three main types as information gap, reasoning gap, and opinion gap).
  3. The participants choose the linguistic resources needed to complete the task.
  4. A task has a clearly defined, non-linguistic outcome.

If you want to really get into this you can read his methodology of task-based teaching.

How about an example of one of these great Task-Based Learning Teaching classes? Here we see English language students do a task based communicative class room activity where they prepare and present a news story “live on air”.

One more just to make sure you’ve got it and are feeling confident and ready to start getting tasks incorporated into your classes.

Video from Cochise College showing a class using Task-Based Teaching in an ESL classroom.

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