Task-Based Instruction in
Arabic Basic and Post-Basic Curricula
Tarek Elgendy
Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center
Curriculum Development Division
Arabic LEARN Conference
September 2010
 Tasks
 Task/Function-based instruction
 Authentic material and real-life tasks.
 Thematic/Function-driven scope and
Role of grammar in functionally
driven courses.
Task-Based Instruction and
Communicative Language Teaching
 Emphasizes communication
through interaction.
Active involvement in the task
Pairs or small groups
What is a Task?
 Nunan (1989) defined a task as “any classroom
work which involves learners in comprehension,
manipulating, producing, or interacting in the
target language while their attention is principally
focused on meaning rather than form.” (p.10)
 “An activity which requires learners to use
language, with emphasis on meaning, to attain
an objective.” Bygate, Skehan, Swain (2001)
Parameters of Task Activity
Skehan’s (1998) summary of such parameters:
 Meaning is primary
 Learners are not given other people’s meaning
to regurgitate
 There is some sort of relationship to comparable
real-world activities
 Task completion has a priority
 The assortment of tasks is done in terms of
outcome (p.147)
Parameters of Task Activity
 “A task is goal oriented
 A task involves a primary focus on meaning
 The participants choose the linguistic resources
needed to complete the task
 A task has a clearly defined outcome.”
Rod Ellis
Role of teachers
 Make performance of tasks the
objective of any activity
The use of authentic tasks is as
important as the use of authentic
Develop multi-step activities
Less use of drills, exercises, one-step
activities, loose activities
Arabic Basic Curriculum
Organization and Design of ABC
Outline of the ABC
Semester III
Semester I & II
Military Topics
• Vocabulary in Context
• Grammar in Context
Unit 14
• Vocabulary in Context
• Grammar in Context
Topic Presentation B
Chapter 4
Chapter 3
Chapter 2
Chapter 1
Chapter 5
Chapter 4
Chapter 3
Chapter 2
Chapter 1
Topic Presentation A
• Vocabulary in Context
• Grammar in Context
Unit 13
Unit 12
Unit 11
Unit 10
Unit 9
Unit 8
Unit 7
Unit 6
Unit 5
Unit 4
Unit 3
Unit 2
Unit 1
Topic Presentation C
‫‪ABC Scope and Sequence‬‬
‫قواعد اللغة‬
‫وظائف اللغة‬
‫نصب الفعل‬
‫الهوايات التي‬
‫التعبير عن‬
‫‪ Expressing‬في مكان مفتوح‬
‫أحب َ‬
‫أحب أن َ‬
‫‪Role of Grammar‬‬
‫‪Role of grammar in TBI: Facilitating the‬‬
‫‪learners’ performance of the task‬‬
‫‪The goal of embedding grammar in the‬‬
‫‪topic is to help achieve functional,‬‬
‫‪cognitive, or emotional objectives.‬‬
‫الهدف من نسج قواعد اللغة مع الموضوع هو تيسير أداء‬
‫وظائف تربوية معينة‪ ،‬يمكن أن تكون أهداف الدرس أهداف‬
‫أدائية مثل طلب وجبة في مطعم أو إدراكية مثل استيعاب‬
‫مفهوم معين أو عاطفية مثل شعور المتعلمين باإلنجاز أو‬
‫اكتساب الثقة‪.‬‬
Ways for Presenting Grammar:
Explicit/Deductive ‫ استنتاجي‬/‫شرح صريح‬
Implicit/Deductive ‫ استنتاجي‬/ ً‫مفهوم ضمنا‬
Inductive/Implicit ً‫ مفهوم ضمنا‬/ ‫حثي‬
Inductive/Explicit ‫شرح صريح‬/‫حثي‬
Unit Design
Semester 1 - Unit 5: Touring the Arab World
 Chapter 21: Planning for the Trip
 Chapter 22: First Leg of the Trip
 Chapter 23: Touring Egypt
 Chapter 24: Last Leg of the Trip
 Chapter 25: Morocco to Kuwait
ABC_Ch. Components_Sample
 Setting and Objectives –
 Getting Started –
 Vocabulary in Context
• Nile River Cruise – p23.11
• At the Post Office – p23.29
ABC_Unit Components_Sample
 Grammar in Context
• Present Tense Verbs in the
ccusative Case -
ABC_Main Components_Sample
Language in Use  Culmination of chapter theme,
vocabulary, and grammar
 A military-driven problem-solving
 Four-skills integration, task-based
 Presented in real-life situations, using
authentic materials
 Learner-focused classroom
Peripheral Components
Cultural Note How do Arabs Say it? Functioning in the Real World –
Strategy Notes
Computer-assisted language
games Self-Evaluation Teacher’s Note
Arabic Post-Basic Curriculum
Arabic PB Course Design
6 wks
6 wks
6 wks
6 wks
2 ~ 2+
1+ ~ 2
1+ ~ 2
2 ~ 2+
6 wks
6 wks
6 wks
6 wks
2+ ~ 3
2+ ~ 3
3 ~ 3+
3 ~ 3+
Topical Domains (FLO)
Geography, Culture and Society, Politics
& Economy, Military & Security,
Technology & Science
APBC Interface
Example of Main Page
Sample of Peripheral Page
Main Activities
 Introduction _
Spark interest, not deep, not for
discussion, Ex. Ask for a view point or
 Warm-Up _
Vocabulary about the topic, enough
socio/cultural background to start with.
Main Activities
 Reading _
 Listening _
 Grammar Review _ _ _
 Mini-Projects _ _
 HW _
 TTT _
 Arabic Sayings _
 Cultural Hints _
Peripheral Pages
 Objectives _
 Key Vocabulary _
 Resources _
 Teacher Guide _
 Recap_
ABC and APBC are:
 TB Driven
 Contemporary
 Level-driven
 FLO-oriented
 Student-centered
 Standardized
 Nunan, D. (1989)> Designing tasks for the
communicative class. Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press.
 Skehan, P. (1998). Task-based instruction.
Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 18, 26886.
 Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based language learning
and teaching. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
[email protected]
(831) 229-7111
This presentation is authorized by the
Defense Language Institute Foreign
Language Center and the Department
of Defense. Contents of this
presentation are not necessarily the
official views of, or endorsed by, the
U.S. Government, Department of
Defense, Department of the Army, or
the Defense Language Institute
Foreign Language Center

Task-Based Instruction in Basic and Post