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Method of TELF

TASK-BASED LANGUAGE TEACHING: A COMMUNICATIVE


LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH

Compiled by:

MUHAJIRAH IDMAN
171052501029

ENGLISH EDUCATION
GRADUATE PROGRAM OF STATE UNIVERSITY OF MAKASSAR
2019
TASK-BASED LANGUAGE TEACHING: A COMMUNICATIVE
LANGUAGE TEACHING APPROACH

Muhajirah Idman
English Department – Graduate Program
Universitas Negeri Makassar

A. INTRODUCTION
The need to interact with other people triggers human to learn the other
language to get wider relation such as learning the foreign language especially
English. Then so, it is facilitated by educational sector to provide a language subject
in the school either teaching English as foreign language (EFL) or as second language
(ESL). EFL or ESL both are taught in the school have the same main goal that is to
make the students can use the language in communication or being communicative.
To help students communicate, the teacher need to provide rich and authentic
input. There can be many approaches to achieve it. Task-Based Language Teaching
TBLT is one of language teaching-approach that is used in teaching-learning process.
As an offshoot of communicative approach, TBLT helps the students produce
authentic language and communicate others.
TBLT offers an alternative for language teachers. In TBLT, teacher doesn’t pre-
determine what language will be studied, the lesson is based on around the
completion of a central task and language studied is determined by what happens as
the student complete it. Nunan (2004:4) defines task as 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, and in which the intention is to convey
meaning rather than to manipulate form.
The writer could take a note that task is a set of works which used to take the
learners along to the language target. Task is used to facilitate students to get
comprehension about the language target not only the form but also the language use.
Using the task-based teaching approach in teaching English as Foreign Language
(EFL) or English as Second Language (ESL) could decrease teacher dominancy in
the classroom, then so, students could be more study actively and attractively.
Link with the previous explanation, this paper will elaborate about Task-Based
Language Teaching (TBLT) and its implementation in English language teaching
process.

B. DISCUSSION
1. Description of TBLT
TBLT is an approach which offers students opportunities to actively engage in
communication in order to achieve a goal or complete a task. TBLT seeks to develop
students’ inter-language through providing a task and then using language to solve it.
It was first developed by N. Prabhu in Bangalore, Southern India. Prabhu
believed that students may learn more effectively when their minds are focused on the
task, rather than on the language they are using (Littlewood, 2004).
On the other hand, using tasks for teaching first appeared in the vocational
training practice of the 1950’s. Task focused here first derived from training design
concerns of the military regarding new military technologies and occupational
specialties of the period. Task analysis initially focused on solo psychomotor tasks
for which little communication or collaboration was involved. (Richards & Rodgers,
2001:225).
TBLT makes the performance of meaningful tasks central to the learning
process. Instead of a language structure or function to be learnt, students are
presented with a task they have to perform or a problem they have to solve.
(Harmer,2007:71). TBLT is motivated primarily by a theory of learning rather than a
theory of language. However, several assumptions about the nature of language can
be said to underlie current approaches to TBLT. These are: language is primarily a
means of making meaning.
In common with other realizations of communicative language teaching, TBLT
emphasizes the central role of meaning in language use. Skehan notes that in task-
based instruction (TBI), “meaning is primary… the assessment of the task is in terms
of outcome” and that task-based instruction is not “concerned with language display”
(Skehan 1998: 98).

2. Type of Learning Activity


There are many different views as to what constitutes a task. Consequently,
there are many competing descriptions of basic task types in TBLT and of appropriate
classroom activities. Breen gives a very broad description of a task (1987: 26): A
language learning task can be regarded as a springboard for learning work.
In a broad sense, it is a structured plan for the provision of opportunities for the
refinement of knowledge and capabilities entailed in a new language and its use
during communication. Such a work plan will have its own particular objective,
appropriate content which is to be worked upon, and a working procedure. A simple
and brief exercise is a task, and so also are more complex and comprehensive work
plans which require spontaneous communication of meaning or the solving of
problems in learning and communicating. Any language test can be included within
this spectrum of tasks.
All materials designed for language teaching - through their particular
organization of content and the working procedures they assume or propose for the
learning of content - can be seen as compendia of tasks. For Prabhu, a task is “an
activity which requires learners to arrive at an outcome from given information
through some process of thought, and which allows teachers to control and regulate
that process” (Prabhu 1987: 17). Reading train timetables and deciding which train
one should take to get to a certain destination on a given day is an appropriate
classroom task according to this definition. Crookes defines a task as “a piece of work
or an activity, usually with a specified objective, undertaken as part of an educational
course, at work, or used to elicit data for research” (Crookes 1986: 1). This definition
would lead to a very different set of “tasks” from those identified by Prahbu, since it
could include not only summaries, essays, and class notes, but presumably, in some
language classrooms; drills, dialogue readings, and any of the other “tasks” that
teachers use to attain their teaching objectives.
In the literature on TBLT, several attempts have been made to group tasks into
categories, as a basis for task design and description. Willis (1996) proposes six task
types built on more or less traditional knowledge hierarchies. She labels her task
examples as follows:
LISTING : Processes - Brainstorming, fact-finding.
ORDERING AND
: Processes - Sequencing, ranking, categorizing, classifying.
SORTING
: Processes - Matching, finding similarities, finding
COMPARING
differences.
PROBLEM : Processes - Analyzing real or hypothetical situations,
SOLVING reasoning, and decision making.
SHARING
: Processes - Narrating, describing, exploring and explaining
PERSONAL
attitudes, opinions, reactions.
EXPERIENCES
CREATIVE : Processes - Brainstorming, fact-finding, ordering and
TASKS sorting, comparing, problem solving and many others

Pica, Kanagy, and Falodun (1993) classify tasks according to the type of
interaction that occurs in task accomplishment and give the following classification:
 Jigsaw Tasks
 Information-gap Tasks
 Problem-solving Tasks
 Decision-making Tasks
 Opinion exchange Tasks
Other characteristics of tasks have also been described, such as the following:
 one-way or two-way: whether the task involves a one-way exchange of
information or a two-way exchange
 convergent or divergent: whether the students achieve a common goal or
several different goals
 collaborative or competitive: whether the students collaborate to carry out a
task or compete with each other on a task
 single or multiple outcomes: whether there is a single outcome or many
different outcomes are possible
 concrete or abstract language: whether the task involves the use of concrete
language or abstract language
 simple or complex processing: whether the task requires relatively simple or
complex cognitive processing
 simple or complex language: whether the linguistic demands of the task are
relatively simple or complex
 reality-based or not reality-based: whether the task mirrors a realworld activity
or is a pedagogical activity not found in the real world

3. The Framework for TBLT Instruction


a. Pre-Task
 Use materials such as picture/text/song etc. to lead into the topic.
 Brainstorming, comparing ideas, sharing experiences.
 Provide elicit vocabulary.
 Provide a model, exploit role-play.
 Do a similar task
 Allow the students time to plan.
b. Cycle Task
 Pair work and small group work versus the whole class.
 Introduce a surprise element.
 Set a time for completing the task.
 Vary the number of participants.
 Tell students they will have to present a report to the whole class.

c. Post-Task
 Students give a report.
 Repeat the task (e.g. students switch groups)
 Consciousness-raising activities.
 Students listen to a recording or watch a clip of fluent speakers doing the
same task, and compare their tasks with theirs.
 Teacher gives feedback and evaluates the success of the task.
For more details, the procedures depicted in the table below:
Pre-Task Introduction to topic and task: Teacher explores
the topic with the class, highlights useful words and
phrases, helps students understand task instructions
and prepare.
Cycle Task Task: Students do the task, in pairs or small groups.
Teacher monitors.
Planning: Students prepare to report to the whole
class (orally or in writing) how they did the task,
what they decided or discovered.
Report: Some groups present their reports to the
class, or exchange written reports and compare
results. (Students receive feedback on their level of
success on completing the task).
Post-Task Analysis: Students examine and discuss specific
features of the text or transcript of the recording.
Practice: Teacher conducts practice or new words,
phrases and patterns occurring in the data, either
during or after the analysis. (Willis 1996: 38)

4. Implementation of TBLT in ELT

Lesson Plan
I. Subject English
II. Class 2nd Grade of Senior High School
III. Topic Short story
IV. Time 90 minutes
V. Course description This course prepares students to be able telling
the story effectively and confidently in English
through the story of “the crying stone”.
VI. Course objectives After completing the course, the students are
able:
 To recognize the construction of the story
 To realize the sequence words in the story
 To describe and illustrate the character in the
story
 To understand about the message of the story
 To be able telling the story orally.
VII. Materials and equipment a. Handout
b. Work sheet
VIII. Procedures/activities
1. Teacher explains about what class will be discussed.
2. Teacher spread out the handbooks.
3. Teacher read the story in front of the class (it might be changed by using
recorder or native speaker)
4. Students read the story out loud with one line each student until the whole class
gets his/her turn.
5. Teacher splits the students into groups.
6. Students are asked to identify the features of the story i.e. characters, settings,
and linguistics features by filling out the work sheet.
7. Students are, then, asked to discuss about the characteristics of each character in
the story.
8. Students present their works in group, then other groups ask to compare their
works and give comment about the other groups works.
9. Teacher asks the students to reveal the message of the story.
10. Teacher asks the students to present the story in front of the class orally.
11. The last stage, students conclude the material that has already learnt.

C. CONCLUSSION
The mainly goal of learning a language is to implement it communication.
Therefore, to achieve it someone should engage his/herself into a situation to use the
language. Likewise in teaching-learning process, the students are taught a language in
order they can communicate using that particular language, in this case, English
language.
Many attempts are undertaken by the teacher to trigger and to encourage the
students to use the target language. Link with this situation, TBLT approach comes to
be an option that could be applied in the teaching-learning process. The reason is this
approach is focused on the use of authentic language through doing the meaningful
task using the target language. So, the students can use the target language in real-life
context rather than playing with the form of the language.
Then, the students also can feel convenient during the teaching-learning process
because of the students will work together mostly as a group, that they can mingle
and enjoy it. With the result that TBLT is an approach that compatible to be
implemented in teaching-learning process to engage the students into the target
language.
REFFERENCES
Branden, Kriss Van den. Task Based Language Education From theory to practice
Ellis, R. (2003). Task-Based language and Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University
Press.
Littlewood, William. The Task-Based Approach :Some Questions and Suggestions
Nunan, David. 2004. Task-Based Language Teaching. New York: Cambridge
University Press.
Prabhu, N.S. (1987). Second Language Pedagogy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Richards, Jack C. - Rodgers, Theodore S. (2001), Approaches and Methods in
Language Teaching, Cambridge University Press.
Skehan, P. (1998). Task-Based Instruction. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 18,
268-286.