DESIGNING TASKS FOR DEVELOPING
SKILLS IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM
FUNDACIÓN UNIVERSITARIA LUIS AMIGÓ
DEPARTAMENTO DE IDIOMAS...
INTRODUCTION
2
One of the most challenging tasks constantly
facing language teachers is how to capture
the interest and to...
WHAT A TASK IS - DEFINITION
Nunan (1989) defines “task” as: a
piece of classroom work which
involves learners in comprehen...
IMPORTANT FEATURES
Skehan (1998) lists feature of “task” as
some work where:
meaning is primary;
relationship to comparabl...
WHAT IS TASK-BASED LEARNING?
Task- based learning is an overall approach
to language learning that views the “tasks”
learn...
CHARACTERISTICS
1. An emphasis on learning to communicate through
interaction in the target language.
2. The introduction ...
TASK ANALYSIS
7
KINDS OF TASKS
Today, many researchers make an
important distinction between target
tasks, which students need to
accompli...
TARGET TASKS
- Filling out a form,
- Buying a pair of shoes,
- Making an airline reservation,
- Borrowing a library book,
...
TARGET TASK - DEFINITION
So by target task is meant the hundred and
one things people do in everyday life, at
work, at pla...
PEDAGOGICAL TASKS - DEFINITION
Actions carried out as the result of processing or
understanding language. It is any struct...
EXAMPLES
Drawing a map while listening to a tape, listening
to an instruction and performing a command.
These tasks may or...
TARGET AND PEDAGOGICAL TASKS
For instance, a target task might be:
The learner will listen to a movie review and
decide wh...
WHAT IS IMPORTANT?
A task-based curriculum then, with its supporting
instructional materials, specifies what the learner
n...
ROLE OF TEACHER
Task-based language teaching requires
the teacher to organize classroom
activities around those practical ...
WHAT IS NEEDED?
It has been argued that it is important to
incorporate authentic data into the classroom.
However, if lear...
SEQUENCING AND INTEGRATING
TASKS
Even tasks can be sequenced in a number and
variety of ways, it is also important to
inte...
PSYCHOLINGUISTIC PROCESSING
APPROACH
Nunan (1985) suggests that tasks and
activities can be graded according to the
cognit...
STEPS
PROCESSING/COMPREHENSION
Listen/read no response
Listen/read non verbal response
Listen/read verbal response
PRODUCT...
TASK CONTINUITY
Chaining activities together to form a sequence,
where successful completion of previous
activity is a pre...
A PLACE TO LIVE
Step 1: Learners listen to a taped telephone
conversation in which the line is not working
properly and th...
A PLACE TO LIVE
Step 3: Learners can do a listening and note-
taking exercise in which they show what they
have heard.
Tas...
A PLACE TO LIVE
Step 1: Reading “Renting an Apartment”- provides
background information.
Step 2: Questionnaire – learner s...
INTERACTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
Two approaches in which communicative tasks are
sequenced around problem situations:
Socio-dra...
SOCIODRAMA - STEPS
1. Topic is introduce by teacher.
2. Presentation of new vocabulary.
3. Presentation of dilemma – focus...
TASK BASED LEARNING VIDEO
Here in this link there is an example of
a task work in a language classroom.
http://www.youtube...
CREATING TASKS
As already discussed, the starting point for
a design should be the goals and objectives.
The next step is ...
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
martha.duquede@amigo.edu.co
28
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  1. 1. DESIGNING TASKS FOR DEVELOPING SKILLS IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM FUNDACIÓN UNIVERSITARIA LUIS AMIGÓ DEPARTAMENTO DE IDIOMAS MARTHA DUQUE SEPTEMBER 11, 2010
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION 2 One of the most challenging tasks constantly facing language teachers is how to capture the interest and to stimulate the imagination of their students so that they will be more motivated to learn.
  3. 3. WHAT A TASK IS - DEFINITION Nunan (1989) defines “task” as: a piece of classroom work which involves learners in comprehending, producing or interacting in the target language while their attention is principally focused on meaning rather than form.
  4. 4. IMPORTANT FEATURES Skehan (1998) lists feature of “task” as some work where: meaning is primary; relationship to comparable real-world activities is important; task completion has some priority; assessment of tasks is in terms of outcome. 4
  5. 5. WHAT IS TASK-BASED LEARNING? Task- based learning is an overall approach to language learning that views the “tasks” learners do as central to the learning process. The learning process is seen as a set of communicative tasks that are directly linked to curricular goals. Nunan (1991: 279) outlines five characteristics of a task-based approach to language learning: 5
  6. 6. CHARACTERISTICS 1. An emphasis on learning to communicate through interaction in the target language. 2. The introduction of authentic texts (teaching materials) into the learning situation. 3. The provision of opportunities for learners to focus not only on language, but also on the learning process itself. 4. An enhancement of the learner’s own personal experiences as important contributing elements to classroom learning. 5. An attempt to link classroom language learning with language activation outside the classroom." 6
  7. 7. TASK ANALYSIS 7
  8. 8. KINDS OF TASKS Today, many researchers make an important distinction between target tasks, which students need to accomplish beyond the classroom, and pedagogical tasks, which form the basis of the classroom activity during the learning process. 8
  9. 9. TARGET TASKS - Filling out a form, - Buying a pair of shoes, - Making an airline reservation, - Borrowing a library book, - Taking a driving test, - Typing a letter - Making a hotel reservation, - Writing a check, - Finding a street destination - And so on…. 9
  10. 10. TARGET TASK - DEFINITION So by target task is meant the hundred and one things people do in everyday life, at work, at play, and in-between. These are the kinds of things that individuals typically do outside of the classroom. The ultimate rationale for language teaching is to enable learners to accomplish these activities successfully in the real world using the target language. 10
  11. 11. PEDAGOGICAL TASKS - DEFINITION Actions carried out as the result of processing or understanding language. It is any structured language learning endeavor which has a particular objective, appropriate content, a specified working procedure, and a range of outcomes for those who undertake the task. 11
  12. 12. EXAMPLES Drawing a map while listening to a tape, listening to an instruction and performing a command. These 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 a variety of different kinds of tasks in language teaching is said to make language teaching more communicative. 12
  13. 13. TARGET AND PEDAGOGICAL TASKS For instance, a target task might be: The learner will listen to a movie review and decide whether or not to if s/he likes to see the movie. Its related pedagogical task might be: The learner will listen to an aural text about a movie and answer questions afterwards on whether given statements are true or false. 13
  14. 14. WHAT IS IMPORTANT? A task-based curriculum then, with its supporting instructional materials, specifies what the learner needs to do with the English language in terms of target tasks and organizes a set of pedagogical tasks intended to reach those goals. According to Brown (1994), in task-based instruction, the priority is not the bits and pieces of language, but rather the functional purposes for which the language must be used. 14
  15. 15. ROLE OF TEACHER Task-based language teaching requires the teacher to organize classroom activities around those practical tasks that language users will engage in when they are “out there" in the real world. 15
  16. 16. WHAT IS NEEDED? It has been argued that it is important to incorporate authentic data into the classroom. However, if learners only ever encounter unnatural dialogues and listening texts, the task of learning the language will be made more difficult. (Nunan, 1999). The reality is, that in EFL contexts, learners need both authentic AND non-authentic data. Both provide learners with different aspects of the language. 16
  17. 17. SEQUENCING AND INTEGRATING TASKS Even tasks can be sequenced in a number and variety of ways, it is also important to integrate the tasks with other exercises or activities which are designed to help learners to develop the enabling skills they need to communicate successfully , or to develop skills or strategies on how-to-learn. 17
  18. 18. PSYCHOLINGUISTIC PROCESSING APPROACH Nunan (1985) suggests that tasks and activities can be graded according to the cognitive and performance demands made upon the learner. In order to achieve the objectives of a given task, activities can be made progressively more demanding, for example moving from comprehension based activities to controlled production activities and then engage learner in real communicative interaction. 18
  19. 19. STEPS PROCESSING/COMPREHENSION Listen/read no response Listen/read non verbal response Listen/read verbal response PRODUCTION Listen/read repeat/copy Listen/read carry out drill Listen/read respond meaningful INTERACTION Listen/read rehearse Listen/read role play Listen/read solve problems/come to conclusions 19
  20. 20. TASK CONTINUITY Chaining activities together to form a sequence, where successful completion of previous activity is a pre-requisite for succeeding ones. Activities, then, are sequenced not only according to their complexity, but also by learning themes and learning pathways. Check the following example: 20
  21. 21. A PLACE TO LIVE Step 1: Learners listen to a taped telephone conversation in which the line is not working properly and the callers have to use the language to show that they have not heard correctly what the other person on the phone is saying. As a result, the callers have to repeat some expressions, and, in doing so, they expresss lack of understanding in different ways. Step 2: Learners can do a True/False exercise to make sure that they have caught the gist of the conversation. 21
  22. 22. A PLACE TO LIVE Step 3: Learners can do a listening and note- taking exercise in which they show what they have heard. Task: Learners are then given a partial or “defective” dialog in the form of a telephone conversation of the same kind they have already experienced. Here they can make use of expression to show they haven’t heard and to ask for repetition, using the notes they have taken down. 22
  23. 23. A PLACE TO LIVE Step 1: Reading “Renting an Apartment”- provides background information. Step 2: Questionnaire – learner scan previous reading to find or infer specific information. Step 3: Writing – gap filling exercise related to reading. Step 4: Reading – Learners read some renting advertisements. Step 5: Note-taking – Learner is required to extract specific information and list it in a table. Task 1: Discussion – Learners express their own preferences for one or other of the apartments. Task 2: Controlled writing task – Using the previous advertisements as model, learners are required to write their own advertisement. 23
  24. 24. INTERACTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING Two approaches in which communicative tasks are sequenced around problem situations: Socio-drama and strategic interaction. Both approaches allow the teacher to build in exercises, which enable the learner to develop vocabulary, structures, and discourse as well as interactive skills. 24
  25. 25. SOCIODRAMA - STEPS 1. Topic is introduce by teacher. 2. Presentation of new vocabulary. 3. Presentation of dilemma – focus on a conflict. 4. Discussion of situation and selection of roles. 5. Audience preparation – specific tasks. 6. Performance – role-play solutions suggested. 7. Discussion of situation and selection of new role-players. 8. Next performance – solutions using new strategies. 9. Summary – teacher guides students to summarize what was presented. 10. Follow-up – written exercise, extended discussion, aural comprehension exercises or reading exercise. 25
  26. 26. TASK BASED LEARNING VIDEO Here in this link there is an example of a task work in a language classroom. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QirhNeIwQ0w 26
  27. 27. CREATING TASKS As already discussed, the starting point for a design should be the goals and objectives. The next step is selecting or creating input for learners to work with. Consider the roles of teacher and students during the task. Organize setting to improve classroom management skills. When monitoring the task it is a good idea to keep record of the groups interactions and use these notes not only for corrections, but also for assessing the process of the task. 27
  28. 28. THANK YOU VERY MUCH! martha.duquede@amigo.edu.co 28

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