Task Based Language Acquisition

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Most of the methods related to language teaching and learning took a structural approach to the organization of language. ALM, SW and CLL are among such methods .In these methods , the forms of language are presented as a series of discrete items and it is assumed that language learning is a process of gradual accumulation of parts (grammatical or lexical)until the whole structure is build –up . However, second language acquisition (SLA) research shows that there is no such direct relationship between input and the development of interlanguage in learners. Task- based language teaching (TBLT) is an extension of the principles of communicative language teaching. In CLT the syllabus is specified in terms of functions and notions .In fact…show more content…
Arguably, task designers should also consider the inter-relationship between conceptual and performance criteria. Long focuses on two psycholinguistic properties: the potential of a task type to encourage interlanguage negotiation work to promote interlanguage complexity and destabilization. He illustrate his position with three pairs of pedagogic tasks:
1. One-way/two way tasks
The former refers to an interaction which involves the giving of information from only one interlocutor to the other. The latter requires exchanges of information between participants in order to complete a given task. A task in which learners have to ask their teacher for information about a certain character in order to write a text afterwards is one-way. In contrast, in a two way task each member, for example, listens to different tapes of an interview between a policeman and four suspects; individuals have information which the other members lack but need if the crime is to be solved.
Long argues that two-way tasks generate more negation work than one-way tasks. However, Gass and Varonie (1985) present results that do not show any significant difference between both types of tasks. The explanation they suggest concerns shared
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Divergent tasks will encourage more lengthened sentences and more complex language. Another characteristic is that learners tend to use more clause-chaining and clause-integrating when involved in divergent tasks.
In an interesting study, Duff (1986) focuses on two types of tasks: problem-solving tasks (PS) and debates (D). She defines PS as convergent or " shared-goal tasks", and divergent or " independent-goal tasks". In PS , learners asked to select from several alternatives, in order to agree on a solution to the problem. A fairly typical example includes survival exercises, such as the following:
You are at the North Pole. Your tractor and radio transmitter have broken down and you cannot repair them. You have to walk 100 miles (160 km) to the nearest camp. You have enough warm clothing and boots; you also have the following things on the tractor, but you can't carry them all. What will you take? Choose carefully- it 's a matter of life and death.

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