Task based language teaching is also known as Task based instruction developed by British applied linguist All Wright (1970s) and N.S. Prabhu (1979).It believes that activities that are essential for language learning. Tasks are used as the core unit of planning and instructions in language teaching. The main aim of this language learning is an approach where the planning of learning materials and teaching sessions are based around doing a task. In education a task refers to an activity where communication is necessary; for example; deciding something, solving a problem, designing or organising something, or telling someone to do something. For Richards (2001), a task is an activity or goal that is carried out using language such as finding to a solution to a puzzle, reading a map and giving directions or reading a set of instructions and assembly a toy.
Before even stepping into the classroom and using a task based activity, it is important to have a firm objective in mind; why are you using this activity? What do you want your students to learn and accomplish through it? Some task based activities are mentioned as below.
The present generation are interested in travelling to new places especially the grade 10 students make the historical or religious visit as their part of learning, so why not let them help plan a trip for you? It makes the tour interesting also because as saying well planning is half done and on the other hand it guides them also.
For this activity, divide the students into group and provide local map to each group of students. At the beginning of the class, you should ask each group what information they need from you in order to plan the perfect trip. This might include the number of days you wish to travel , your budget and what you like to do while on the road or on free time .on the base of map the students prepare the plan present their trip to the entire class. As homework our students could write two or three days’ journal entries.
A dangerous moment
Ask a question to the students where students felt danger? Describe a situation to a partner .Tell him/her what happened. Give an account of how you felt when you were in danger and afterwards, make students to listen and draw a picture to show what happened to your partner .Show him/her your picture when you have finished it.
Information gap activities
Information gap activities are those that involve the transfer of information from one person to another, from one form to another or from one place to another. For example, two students might have different schedules, but they want to find time to get together to have tea. They need to get relevant information from each other to determine when they are both free, as well as when the available times coincide with when a tea house is open. This type of activity allows students to request information, ask for clarification and negotiate both meaning, particularly when misunderstandings occur, and appropriate conclusions to the task.
The Farewell Party
Ask students to brainstorm what type of party they would throw for a friend who is moving away and what they would need for it .Discuss with the students and prepare a shopping list. For this task, you will need to assign your students a number of questions to resolve: They will need to decide when is the best time for the party, what they will do at the party, what kind of farewell present(s) to buy for your mutual friend and what other food or drinks would be appropriate to bring. Who is bringing what to the party? At the end, each group will present its party plan and everyone will decide who has planned the best party. Once you have been assured that everyone has done this step correctly, you can divide the class into small groups and start the second stage: planning the actual party !
Conclusion and recommendations for language teachers
Task-based learning has developed prominently in the last two decades and has remained a potentially productive approach for a number of ESL/EFL teachers although some researchers still examine the powerfulness of TBL Buyukkarco, 2009). Task-based approach, as Lin (2009) states, represents a trendy concept in language teaching. The purpose of teaching is not to assist learners in obtaining scheduled targets but to provide them with the context and conditions where language acquisition can take place. The teachers’ roles have also been altered from instructor to establishers of study setting, assistants, guides, and advocates of the learning activities.
Learners are the subjects in the classroom, which indicates that they are the key figures in the learning process. They are not empty vessels to be filled by the teachers any more but torches to be lit via offering appropriate learning settings and tasks. The pedagogical benefits of task-based teaching of EFL are numerous. Task-based approach has blocked the distance between class and real life and has altered the malpractice in which teachers totally isolated traditional foreign language teaching from real life. Task-based approach assists learners in internalizing language skills in a natural way and shows learners how to sort out the problems that they encounter in real life (Lin, 2009). At this juncture, language teachers aiming at infusing task-based approach into their language classrooms should attribute prominence to the following points for the effective implementation of task-based pedagogy (Ellis, 2009).
- The tasks must be adapted to the linguistic proficiency levels of the students (e.g. if the students have restricted proficiency, tasks should first be of the input supplying rather than output-producing type).
- Tasks should be trialled to provide that they contribute to suitable L2 use and revised within the framework of experience.
- For TBLT to work, teachers should have an overt comprehension of what a task is.
- Teachers and students should be made familiar with the purpose and logic behind doing tasks (e.g. they should comprehend that tasks contribute to incidental learning of the kind that will pave the way for the development of their communicative skills).
- Principally, the teachers engaging in teaching a task-based course must be engaged in the design of the task materials.
Carless, D. (2002). Implementing task-based learning with young learners. ELT Journal, 56(4), 389-396.
Ellis, R. (2000). Task-based research and language pedagogy. Language teaching research, 4(3), 193-220.
Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based language learning and teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ellis, R. (2009). Task-based language teaching: sorting out the misunderstandings. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 19(3), 221-246.
(Thapa involve as an English Teacher at Nirmal Multiple campus, Hetauda, Makawanpur)