Linking High School and College English through Task

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Linking High School and
College English through
Task-based Language
Teaching (TBLT)
BONIFACIO T. CUNANAN
Bulacan State University
2nd National Conference, Challenges of K -12 English Language Teaching
May 20-21, 2013, Albertus Magnus Auditorium, College of Education
University of Santo Tomas, Manila
Abstract
To make it realistic, responsive, and relevant to the needs of society, revising
and restructuring the curriculum is imperative. Curriculum revision opens
possibilities like bridging information gaps, improving both human and nonhuman resources, and reviewing of practices and priorities. The impact of
the K to 12 Program, being a major educational reform of the present
administration, is far reaching inasmuch as it extends and expands basic
education and streamlines tertiary education. In this perspective, this paper
attempts to stand in the gap to link teaching of English in the high school
and the college levels. Generally, it deals with the changes in teaching the
language arts under the K to 12 Program and the perceived or projected
needs of the Filipinos in the 21st century through a curriculum that is
decongested, seamless, relevant and responsive, enriched, and learnercentered. Specifically, it shows how Task-based Approach can reset the mind
frame of stakeholders, particularly English language teachers, as regards
their new roles, preparation and use of teaching and learning materials,
views on the nature of language, language learning and language teaching,
assessment procedures, and standards in gauging learners’ competencies
and proficiencies.
This presentation aims to discuss…
• Changes in teaching the language arts under the K
to 12 Program
• Perceived needs of the Filipinos in the 21st century
• Show how Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)
change the mind and roles of ELT teachers
• Preparation and use of teaching and learning
materials
• Views on the nature of language
• New paradigms in language learning and teaching
• Assessment procedures
• Standards in gauging learners’ competencies and
proficiencies
INTEGRATED
LAGUAGE
ARTS
FRAMEWORK
(K to 12 Program)
Presentation Outline
(Based onNunan, 2004)
1.
Comparing Major Approaches to Language
Curriculum
2. Defining Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)
3. Drawing the Framework for TBLT
4. Identifying the Task Components of TBLT
5. Classifying Tasks
6. Discussing the Research Components of TBLT
7. Grading and Sequencing of Tasks
8. Giving Consideration to Learning Styles and
Strategies
9. The Place of Grammar within TBLT
10. Assessing Students
Two Major Approaches to Syllabus Designs
(Wilkins, 1976)
Synthetic Approach
- different parts of the language are taught
separately and step by step
- acquisition is a gradual process of accumulation of
parts until the whole structure of the language has
been built up
Analytic approach
- begins with the analysis of the communicative
needs of the learners
- learners are confronted with naturalistic chunks of
language which they analyze for themselves
Methods Using Analytic Approach
-
Content-based instruction (Brinton, 2003)
Project-based pedagogy (Ribe and Vidal, 1993)
Task-based language teaching (Nunan, 2004)
Content-based
instruction
integrates subject
matter from
disciplines
Project-based
pedagogy
is organized
around large-scale
projects
Task-based
language teaching
is organized
around things we
do in everyday life
Organization of the learning experience
-
Transmission Model (a teacher-centered classroom)
Experiential Model ( a learning-by-doing classroom)
Comparison of Traditional and Communicative
Approaches to Language Teaching
Key Concepts
Traditional
Communicative
Language is…
a system speech sounds,
vocabulary, and sentences.
a resource for creating and
exchanging meanings.
Learning consists habit formation, imitation,
of…
memorization, and
internalization of rules.
real communication,
simulation, and by doing.
A language
selection and sequencing of selection and sequencing
syllabus designed pronunciation, vocabulary, of communication tasks
through…
and grammar items.
that learners use in real life
situations.
Classroom
activities
include…
drill, memorization,
repetition
role playing, simulations of
authentic language
experiences
Defining TBLT
A task is…
• a piece of work undertaken for oneself or for others, freely or
for some reward like the hundred and one thing that people do
in everyday life, at work, at play, and in between. (Long, 1985)
• an activity or action which is carried out as the result of
processing or understanding language (Richards, et al. 1986:
289)
• any structured language learning endeavour which has a
particular objective, appropriate content, a specified working
procedure, and a range of outcomes for those who undertake
the task (Breen (1987: 23)
• a workplan that requires learners to process language
pragmatically in order to achieve and outcome that can be
evaluated in terms of whether the correct or appropriate
propositional content has been conveyed. (Ellis, 2003)
Defining TBLT
A task is…
• a piece of classroom work that involves learners in
comprehending, manipulating, producing, or interacting in the
target language while their attention is focused on mobilizing
their grammatical knowledge in order to express meaning
(Nunan, 2004)
• real-world / target tasks are the uses of language in the world
beyond the classroom; pedagogical tasks are those that occur in
the classroom (Nunan, 2004)
Sample Activity
Pedagogical task: activation rationale
Work with three other students. You are on a ship that is sinking. You have to
swim to a nearby island. You have a waterproof container, but can only carry
20 kilos of items in it. Decide which of the following items you will take.
(Remember, you can’t take more than 20 kilos with you.)
• Axe (8 kilos)
• Box of novels and magazines (3
kilos)
• Cans of food (500 grams)
• Packets of sugar, flour, rice,
powdered milk, coffee, tea (each
packet weighs 500 grams)
• Bottles of water (1.5 kilos each)
• Medical kit (2 kilos)
• Short-wave radio (12 kilos)
• Portable CD player and CDs (4
kilos)
• Firelighting kits (500 grams each)
• Rope (6 kilos)
• Notebook computer (3.5 kilos)
• Waterproof sheets of fabric kilos)
(3 kilos each)
Drawing the Framework for TBLT
Real-world/ target tasks
Pedagogical
tasks
Rehearsal
tasks
Activation
tasks
Enabling skills
Language
exercises
Communicative
activities
Identifying the Task Components of TBLT
Shavelson & Stern (1981) suggested that a task
consists of:
• Content – the subject matter to be taught
• Materials – the things that learners can manipulate
• Activities – the things that learners and teachers
will do during a lesson
• Goals – the teacher’s general aims for the task
• Students – their abilities and interests should be
considered
• Social Community – the class as a whole
Identifying the Task Components of TBLT
Candlin (1987) added the following components:
 Goals
 Input
 Procedures
TASK
 Teacher role
 Learner role
 Settings
The Task Components of TBLT
Goals are the vague, general intentions behind any
learning task that provide a link between the task
and the broader curriculum.
Input refers to the spoken, written and visual data that
learners work with in the course of completing a task.
Procedure specifies what learners will actually do with the
input that forms the point of departure for the
learning task.
Teacher and learner role refers to the part that learners
and teachers are expected to play in carrying out
learning tasks as well as the social and interpersonal
relationships between the participants.
Settings refers to the classroom arrangements specified or
implied in the task.
Identifying the Task Components of TBLT
Task
Notion
(Context of
Culture/Situation)
Function
(Language Role)
Form
(Formal Feature)
Look at the map
Exchanging goods
with your partner.
and services
You are at the hotel.
Ask your partner for
directions to the bank.
Asking for and
giving directions
Wh-questions
Yes/No questions
Imperatives
Look at a set of ‘to
let’ ads, and decide
with three other
students on the most
suitable place to rent.
Exchanging goods
and services
Asking about and How much?
stating of prices
How many?
Yes/No questions
You are at a party.
Introduce your
partner to three
other people.
Socializing
Exchanging
Personal
information
Stative verbs
Demonstrative:
This
Yes/No
questions
Classifying Tasks (Prabhu, 1987)



Information-gap activity
Transfer of given information from one person to
another that calls for decoding and encoding of
information
Reasoning-gap activity
Deriving some new information from given
information through inference, deduction, partial
reasoning, or perception of relationships or
patterns
Opinion-gap activity
Identifying and stating a personal preference,
feeling, or attitude in response to a situation
Discussing the Research Components of
TBLT
 Comprehensible Input and Comprehensible
Output
 Communication as Negotiation of Meaning
 From Teaching Method to Learning Strategy
Grading and Sequencing of Tasks
 beyond testing grammatical complexity
 grading/gradation may be based on the
complexity of the item, frequency in written
or spoken English, or importance to the
learner (Richards, Platt, & Weber, 1886)
Three Factors in Grading and Sequencing of
Tasks
Language factors: length or reading/listening passage,
density of information, frequency of vocabulary, speed of
spoken texts, number of speakers involved, and explicitness
of information
Learner factors: confidence, motivation, prior learning
experience, learning pace, observed ability in language skills,
cultural knowledge/awareness, and linguistic knowledge
Procedural factors: relevance, complexity, amount of context
provided, processibility of language of the task, amount of
help available to the teacher, grammatical
accuracy/fluency/complexity, time available to the learner,
and follow-up/feedback
Giving Consideration to Learning Styles
and Strategies
 Learning style is a learner’s natural and
preferred way of learning.
 Learning strategy is the mental and
communicative process a learner must use
to complete a task successfully.
Learning Styles
o Cognitive – the way people mentally
organize ideas (field dependency, global vs.
analytic)
o Sensory – preferences like seeing, hearing,
or manipulating (visual, auditory, tactile,
kinaesthetic)
o Personality – reflect introversion or
extroversion (global vs. analytic or intuitive
vs. active)
Learning Strategies
Cognitive: classifying, predicting, inducing, taking
notes, concept mapping, inferencing,
discrimination, diagramming
Interpersonal: co-operating, role playing
Linguistic: conversational patterns, practicing, using
context, summarizing, selective listening,
and skimming
Affective: personalizing, self-evaluating, and
reflecting
Creative: brainstorming
Seven principles for TBLT
Principle 1: Scaffolding
Lessons and materials should provide supporting
frameworks within which the learning takes place. At the
beginning of the learning process, learners should not be
expected to produce language that has not been introduced
either explicitly or implicitly.
Principle 2: Task dependency
Within a lesson, one task should grow out of, and build upon,
the ones that have gone before.
Seven principles for TBLT
Principle 3: Recycling
• Recycling language maximizes opportunities for learning
and activates the ‘organic’ learning principle.
Principle 4: Active learning
• Learners learn best by actively using the language they are
learning.
Seven principles for TBLT
Principle 5: Integration
• Learners should be taught in ways that make clear the
relationships between linguistic form, communicative
function and semantic meaning.
Principle 6: Reproduction to creation
• Learners should be encouraged to move from reproductive
to creative language use.
Principle 7: Reflection
• Learners should be given opportunities to reflect on what
they have learned and how well they are doing.
The Place of Grammar within TBLT
Focused vs. unfocused task
Focused task – a particular structure is required in order for a
task to be completed
Unfocused task – learners are able to use any linguistic resource
to complete a task
Deductive vs. inductive approach
Deductive approach – the teacher provides a grammatical
rule/principle which they subsequently apply
through various exercises
Inductive approach – the learners work with samples of
language containing the target structure and come
to formulate the rule or principle for themselves,
through a process of guided discovery
Assessing Students
Assessment – judging how well learners are doing like student’s
progress or achievement, a component of evaluation
Evaluation – how well the curriculum is helping the learners
achieve their goals that includes collection and analysis of
data towards informed educational decisions
- can be formal (involving external individuals) or relatively
informal (involving classroom teachers) (Brown, 1995;
Rea-Dickins & Germaine, 1993)
- essential to successful education, it forms the basis for
appropriate and effective decision-making (Genesee,
2001)
Checklist for Evaluating Communicative Tasks
Goals & Rationale
reflects real-world and pedagogic rationale, nature of
language and learning and shows if the task appropriate to
the learners’ proficiency level
Input
Considers authenticity and appropriateness of the task
Procedures
Stimulates learners’ processing skills with emphasis on
aspects of forms
Roles & settings
Differentiates roles of teachers and learners, levels of
complexities in the classroom organization
Implementation
Encourages meaning negotiation and prompts genuine
communicative interaction
Grading &
Integration
Reflects the principles upon which tasks are sequenced and
incorporates exercises in learning-how-to learn
Assessment &
Evaluation
Measures how learners have performed with success and
utilizes realistic tasks in terms of resources and teacher
expertise
Higher Order Thinking Skills and Advanced
Tasks
WRITING FLYERS & BROCHURES
Tasks and Outputs are assessed by
using:
Evaluation Checklist
Question
and Answer
Linking High School
and College English
through Task-based
Language Teaching
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