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  • Important for communicative language teaching Beginning teachers find them difficult (for students and to manage) Activities are often eliminated – especially because they often fall at the end of chapters
  • See if students can come up with the features of each: Guided Practice vs. Communicative Task teacher-controlled vs. learner-controlled pedagogical vs. real life, authentic analytic (one thing at a time) vs. synthetic/holistic (many things at once) closed (one right answer) vs. open (no single answer) focus on accuracy (getting it right) vs. focus on fluency (getting message through)
  • Jigsaw is linked to a website on jigsaw as it’s really not clearly defined in the online book.
  • Extended discourse, information gap, uncertainty, goal oriented, real time processing
  • As a group discuss both benefits and challenges of group work.
  • Task = (1) a classroom activity or exercise that has (a) an objective attainable 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
  • Make the goal clear from the beginning. Involve all participants equally. Make sure students are adequately prepared. Provide clear instructions and examples. Make an effort to mix groups. Assign activities that are relevant and interesting to students. Circulate, circulate, circulate. Teach group interaction skills. Hold group accountable for completing task on time.


  • 1.
    • [module 2]
  • 2.
    • Presents communicative activities in the context of communicative language teaching
      • 1. Defining Communication
      • 2. Challenges and Benefits of Communicative Tasks
      • 3. Defining Communicative Tasks
      • 4. Implementing Communicative Tasks
  • 3.
    • According to Dr. Blyth, why does he feel a need to focus on communicative activities?
    • As a class, discuss what students feel are the challenges and benefits of communicative activities.
  • 4.
    • Communication or practice?
      • Discuss the difference between guided oral practice and real communication. Which have you experienced more of as a learner?
      • How might you balance guided practice and real communication in your classroom?
  • 5.
    • Communicative Competence
      • What do Canale and Swain propose as the 4 different sub competencies?
      • How is grammatical competence different from the other competencies?
      • What is a jigsaw task ?
  • 6.
    • Models of communication
      • Have you had an idea and were unable to communicate it? Give an example or two…
      • Think about cases when you’ve been asked to speak as a learner: how much was merely repetition vs. actual communication?
    • How does Lee characterize communication in the classroom?
  • 7.
    • In your opinion, which of the four competencies as defined by Canale and Swain receive the most attention in foreign language education? Why?
    • Think about your own communicative competence in a second or third language. Are you equally strong in all four competencies?
  • 8.
    • As a learner what do you find most challenging about group work?
    • As a teacher what do you find most challenging about group work?
    • What about benefits?
  • 9.
    • What are some components of a task?
    • What are the benefits and challenges of tasks?
  • 10.
    • Have you ever attempted to teach a communicative task only to find out that your students are lacking the linguistic resources to complete the task? Have you ever come across a task that is too unstructured or too complicated?
  • 11.
    • Analyze a task
      • The teacher put the students in small groups of 3-4. Next, he gave each group some slips of paper with questions. Finally, he told them to take turns discussing the following questions:
        • What kind of food do you like?
        • What kind of food do your friends like?
        • What kind of food do your grandparents like?
      • The activity was a flop. How could it be modified or what changes could you propose?
  • 12. What guidelines are proposed for implementing communicative activities?
  • 13.
    • This chapter focused on:
      • Guided practice vs. communication
      • Communicative Competence
      • Design and implementation of tasks
  • 14.
    • Spruz reflection 3
      • Due by 9am Tuesday morning (1-2 paragraphs)
      • Interactions due by Friday 5pm
    • Read the Writing module by class Tuesday
    • Observation #1 due by class time (UF)