The Effect of Task-Based Language Teaching on

Developing Speaking Skills among the Palestinian
Secondary EFL Students in Israel and Their
Attitudes towards English
BY
Tareq Mitib Murad
Supervisor
Prof. Oqlah Smadi
Major: Curricula and Methods of Teaching English as a
Foreign Language
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Faculty of Education
Yarmouk University
September, 16, 2009
II
The Effect of Task-Based Language Teaching on
Developing Speaking Skills among the Palestinian
Secondary EFL Students in Israel and Their
Attitudes towards English
By
Tareq Mitib Saed Murad
MA in English Linguistics, the University of Haifa, 2000
A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for
the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Curricula and Instruction (TEFL)
at the Faculty of Education, Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan.
Approved by:
Examining Committee
Oqlah Smadi……………………………………………………Chairman
Prof. of applied linguistics, Yarmouk University.
Mahmoud AL-Khatib…………………………………………… Member
Prof. of sociolinguistics, Jordanian University.
Ahmad Odeh …………………………………………………......Member
Prof. of measurement and evaluation, Yarmouk University
Mahmoud AL-Shara’ah………………………………….............Member
Prof . of English literature, Yarmouk University
Khalaf AL Makhzomy……………………………………….…Member
Associate prof. of TEFL, Yarmouk University.
III
Dedication
To Allah, The Merciful, I dedicate this humble work.
To my parents who were very enthusiastic, proud and supporting through
my studying at different universities.
To my wife, Manal, for her patience in the difficult situations and for her
encouragement.
To my sons who are proud of me, and who insisted that their father
should achieve his childhood dream.
To my older daughter, Shifaa, who is physically disabled and from whom
I have learned patience and endurance in all difficult and unbearable
situations.
IV
Acknowledgements
After my thanks to Allah, The Almighty, for granting me the energy and
power to continue my efforts to prepare this research, I would like to
extend my thanks to my supervisor Prof. Oqlah Smadi who supervised,
guided and advised me during my study and without his fatherly help and
fruitful advice, this effort would not have been accomplished.
I would like also to thank the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and
Yarmouk University for providing me the opportunity to continue my
PhD studies.
I would like to express my special thanks to my colleagues in the
university with whom I spent a fruitful time which I will never forget in
my life.
I would like to express my special regards to my excellent lecturers in
the Faculty of Education at Yarmouk University in general, and in the
Department of curriculum and instruction in specific.
Thanks are also due to the examining committee members for agreeing to
take part in examining this dissertation.
Many thanks go to the judgment committee for their continuous and
sincere advice concerning my instructional program, attitudinal
questionnaire and speaking skill test.
I would also like to thank the principals of Bueina and Tamra High
schools, EFL teachers and eleventh grade students in the schools for their
cooperation while conducting this study.
Finally I would like to thank my faithful friends who helped, encouraged
and motivated me to continue this research and never give up.
V
Table of Contents
Subject Page
Title……………………………………………………………………….i
Examination Committee………………………………………………...ii
Dedication………………………………………………………………iii
Acknowledgement………… …………………………………………..iv
Table of Contents………… ………………………………………….….v
List of Tables…….. …………………………………………………….vii
List of Figures………………………………………………………...viii
List of Appendices………………………………………………….….ix
Abstract in English……………………………………………………...x
Chapter One: Introduction
Background of the study……………………………………….…………1
Statement of the Problem………………………………………………...8
Questions of the Study …………………………………………………9
Significance of the Study…… ………………………………………… 9
Definitions of Terms…….……………………………………………... 10
Limitations of the Study…..…………………………………………….13
Chapter Two: Review of related Literature
The Speaking Skill……………………………………………….……..14
Attitudes towards English…………………………………………….…23
TBLT- Theoretical Background………………………………………...30
Empirical studies on TBLT………………………………………….….53
Concluding Remarks………………………………………....................65
Chapter Three: Methods and Procedures
Subjects of the Study………………………………………………........67
Instruments of the Study……………………………………………......68
Validity and Reliability of the Study…………………………………..71
Data Collections………………………………………………………...76
Design of the Study……………………………………………..............77
Variables of the Study…………………………………………………..78
Statistical Analysis……………………………………………………78
Procedures of the Study…………………………………………………78
VI
Chapter Four: Findings of the Study
Findings related to the first question…………………………………..80
Findings Related to the Second Question………………………………86
Chapter Five: Discussions, Conclusions and Results
Discussion of Findings……………………………………………….....92
Conclusions……………………………………………………………101
Recommendations…………………………………………………….104
References……………………………………………………………105
Appendices……………………………………………………………118
Abstract in Arabic……………………………………………………156
VII
Lists of Tables
Table Page
Table 1: Distribution of the Subjects of the Study by School and Gender………68
Table 2: Specification for the Speaking Skill Test……..……….……………...…69
Table 3: The Reliability of the Attitudinal Questionnaire…………….………...…72
Table 4: The agreement Percentage of the Speaking Skill Test…………….…….73
Table 5: Means, Standard Deviations, Adjusted Means and Standard Errors of the
Students' Scores on the Pre and Post Tests According to the Teaching
Procedure and Students’ Gender……….………………………………..81
Table 6: Results of ANCOVA on the Total Score of the Speaking Test
Due to the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender………...……...…81
Table 7: Means, Standard Deviations, Adjusted Means and Standard Error
of the Students’ Scores on the Dimensions of the Pre and Post
Tests According to the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender………83
Table 8: Results of MANCOVA on the Dimensions of the Speaking Test
According to the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender……….….84
Table 9: The ANCOVA Results on each Dimensions of the Speaking
Separately According to the Teaching procedure and
Students’ Gender………………………………………………………84
Table 10: Means, Standard Deviations, the Adjusted Means and
Standard Deviations of the Pre and Post Students' Responses to the
Attitudinal Items According to the Independent
Variables of the Study................................................................................87
Table 11: Results of ANCOVA on the Total Score of the Attitudinal
Questionnaire Due to the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender......87
Table 12: Means and Standard Error of the Pre and Means, Standard Deviations of
Adjusted Post Students’ Responses to the Items of the Questionnaire
Dimensions According to the Independent Variables of the Study……...88
Table 13: The Intra Class Linear Correlation of the Dimensions of the
Attitudinal Questionnaire and the Results of Bartlett's Test According to
the Teaching procedure and students’ Gender………………….……….89
Table 14: The Results of MANCOVA on the Dimensions of the
Attitudinal Questionnaire According to the Teaching Procedure
and Students’ Gender…………………………………….....................90
Table 15: Result of ANCOVA on the Dimensions of the Attitudinal Questionnaire
According to the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender………..….91
VIII
List of Figures
Figure Page
Figure 1: The Interaction between the Variables of the Study……………………82
Figure 2. The Interaction between the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender
on the Dimension of Accuracy …………………………………….….85
IX
List of Appendices
Appendix Page
Appendix1: TBLT Designed program………………………………………...... 118
Appendix 2: The Attitudinal Questionnaire……………………….…………….150
Appendix 3: The Validation Committee……………………………………..…..153
Appendix 4: Rubric for Assessing Oral Social Interaction……………………...155
Appendix 5: The Speaking Skill Test……………………………………………156
Appendix 6: Abstract in Arabic…………………………………………159
X
ABSTRACT
Tareq, Mitib Murad. (2009). The Effect of Task-Based Language
Teaching (TBLT) on Developing Speaking Skills among the Palestinian
Secondary EFL Students in Israel and Their Attitudes towards English.
Ph.D. Dissertation, Yarmouk University. (Supervisor: Professor Oqlah
Smadi).
This objective of this study was to investigate the effect of a task-based
language teaching program on developing the speaking skills of
Palestinian secondary students and their attitudes towards English. The
students were in the eleventh grade (second secondary grade) during a
period of three months in which this study was conducted (January-
March) of the academic year 2008/2009.
The present study attempted to answer the following questions:
First, is there a statistically significant difference between the subjects'
mean scores on the English speaking test due to the interaction between
the teaching procedure (TBLT vs the conventional procedure) and
subjects' gender?
Second, is there a statistically significant difference between the subjects'
mean scores of the attitudes towards English due to the interaction
between the teaching procedure and subjects' gender?
The participants in the study are 91 eleventh grade students, 37 boys and
54 girls, from Bueina- Nujidat and Tamra High Schools. A task-based
XI
language teaching program was developed by the researcher for the
experimental group.
The following instruments were used in this study::
1. A pre-test of speaking skills and post-test to measure the effect of the
instructional program on developing the students' oral social interaction.
The test covered the dimensions of accuracy and fluency. A rubric for
assessing the students' oral social interaction was used to assess the
students' performance before and after implementing the designed
program.
2. A task-based program: The researcher designed an instructional
program based on TBLT principles and procedures.
3. An attitudinal questionnaire that consisted of four dimensions
(developmental, instrumental, integrative and travel motivations). The
questionnaire aimed at investigating the students' attitudes before and
after the implementation of the program.
The validity and reliability of the research instruments were validated.
ANCOVA and MANCOVA were used to analyze the findings of the
study. The findings of the study were the following:
Firstly, the TBLT program enhanced significantly the speaking skill of
the students of the experimental group and positively affected their
attitudes towards English. Secondly, the TBLT program improved the
girls' speaking skills more than the boys in the experimental group.
XII
Based on the results of the current study, it is recommended that EFL
teachers adopt the TBLT principles and procedures in their classroom
practices. In addition, it is recommended that the English inspectors set
up in-service and pre-service training programs to develop the Palestinian
EFL teachers' ability to use TBLT when designing and executing their
lesson plans. Finally, the researcher recommended that curriculum
designers incorporate TBLT principles and procedures in the students'
books and teachers' guides.
Key Words: Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT), language
attitude, speaking skill, task
1
Chapter One
Introduction
Background of the Study
English has attained increasing importance throughout the world in
general and in Israel in particular. Consequently, Arab parents and
educators have begun to be concerned about their children’s low level in
English,, and have begun to look for solutions to this problem (Amara
and Marai, 2002).
Amara and Marai (2002) considered English as the second language in
terms of importance in Israel, and it is formally the first foreign language
taught in both Jewish and Arab sectors. The same national curriculum is
used for both sectors, and supervised by the same personnel. It is taught
in the Arab schools starting from the fourth grade, and there is strong
pressure from many parents to start instruction even earlier. Amara and
Marai (2002) added that English is as important to the Arabs as it is to
other Israelis because of its status as the international language of science,
technology, commerce, tourism and communication. There is no distinct
English curriculum for Arab students, and the methods of study used in
the Arab sector are identical to those used in all streams of education:
general, religious and technological.
2
However, Arab students encounter unique problems in their study of
English. Many Israelis have regular contact with English-speaking
immigrants in the neighborhoods, English speaking relatives abroad, or
English speaking tourists who come to their cities, but few Arabs live in
direct contact with English speaking communities. The English language
is therefore foreign to many Arab students. It is the third language that
they study, and in contrast to Hebrew, the second language, which is
linguistically related to Arabic with similar phonology and morphology
and many cognate words. Few members of the adult community know
English, and the Arab schools do not have the high proportion of English
native or near native –speaking teachers. All these conditions make
English more difficult for Arab students.
English as a foreign language (EFL) is considered an integral part of the
Israeli matriculation examinations. Without a good mark in English, Arab
students cannot continue their academic studies in the universities or
colleges; and therefore their success in life will be very limited, especially
in a competitive country such as that which exists in Israel.
It appears that English is considered a ‘threat’ for Arab students living
in Israel. Amara and Marai (2002) believed that these students feel
uneasy about learning English, since they consider it difficult subject to
learn. Some of them suffer from high anxiety which causes examination
failure. Some students who finish high school education often receive low
3
grades in English. This causes students to be fearful of the Matriculation
examinations and creates a negative attitude toward English (Amara and
Marai, 2002).
Elazar (1993) stressed the idea that Israeli Arab students encounter
problems in learning English and a low percentage of them pass the
English examination in the matriculation. He attributed Arab students’
low achievement in English to the lack of exposure to English as a native
language. Arab students practice English formally in the classroom
setting. Most Arabs live in villages and rural communities. In addition,
few members of the adult community know English, and Arab Schools do
not have native or near native English speaking teachers.
According to Elazar (1993), all of these conditions affect Arab students’
proficiency in English, and for this reason English is considered a barrier
for entering higher education. Only 20% of Arab school graduates
continue their academic studies, and those who continue encounter
problems in their first year because they need English in their academic
performance; therefore, most of them usually need remedial courses in
English.
Spolsky and Shohamy (1999) attributed the low percentage of Arab
school graduates in universities and colleges to Israeli higher education
institutions. These institutions require a high level of proficiency in
English, ignoring the needs of some sectors such as the Arab sector
4
whose students encounter difficulties in English. This condition may
constitute a barrier for entrance to university.
In 1998, a new curriculum was approved for Israeli schools. Spolsky
and Shohamy (1999:181) argued that:
the circumstances today, and even in the foreseeable future, are quite different. More
and more pupils have extensive contact with English before beginning formal English
instruction or outside of school, whether through radio, television, computers, family,
travel, or meeting oversees visitors. Most pupils, at whatever age they start English in
school, have already learned words and phrases of the language.
Curriculum designers set new standards for English while taking these
standards into consideration. The new standards are extremely flexible,
and offer schools and teachers freedom to determine the appropriate
methodology to be used and the priority of the elements of the curriculum
(Amara and Marai, 2002). They added that the aim of the new curriculum
is to raise standards in the four domains of language learning: access to
information, social interaction, presentation and appreciation of literature,
culture and language. It is hoped that by the end of grade twelve students
will be able to use English freely in all skills of language in their social
interactions, in obtaining and presenting information, and in developing
appreciation of the English language and its literature.
The textbooks for English instruction are the same for Arabs and Jews.
There are no materials in the textbooks about the Arabs, and this,
according to (Amara and Marai, 2002) upsets the balance that exists in
the curriculum. In the existing textbooks, the Arab students learn about
5
Jews and Western culture, but they do not learn about themselves. The
researcher thinks that studying a subject that is familiar to the students
increases their interest in learning and the focus will be only on the
linguistic area. This is not the case in the Israeli textbooks that are
presently used in the Arab sector.
The gap in achievements in English between the Arab and Jewish
students reaches alarming levels. Only 40% of students in the Arab sector
reached a satisfactory level of achievement (that is the required level),
and only 10% reached an advanced level. However, 60% of the Arab
students failed in the examination, compared to 15% among Jewish
students (Amara and Marai, 2002).
Although researchers and educators agree that Arab school graduates
are not proficient in English (Amara, 2002; Spolsky and Shohamy, 1999;
Elazar, 1993), few studies have been conducted to examine procedures,
approaches and strategies of teaching and learning to improve students’
achievements in English. To the researcher's best knowledge all previous
studies focused on students’ weaknesses and the reasons for them. Few
studies have been conducted designed to offer solutions to the problem
and improve the students’ proficiency in English.
The Inspectorate for teaching English is concerned about Arab students’
achievements in English. In 1998, a new curriculum was approved in
Israeli schools including the Arab sector (Spolsky and Shohamy, 1999).
6
In the new curriculum, it was suggested to teach according to domains
rather than skills. Four domains are proposed: social interaction, access to
information, presentation and appreciation of literature, culture and
language.
The concept of social interaction was added to the new curriculum
when the English advisory committee recognized that English is a
language for communication. The domain of social interaction aims to
produce graduates who can conduct conversations and written
communication with other English speakers wherever they live regardless
of their native language. It does not take on the goal of producing near-
native speakers of English, but merely strives to enable speakers of
Hebrew, Arabic and other languages to function comfortably in English
whenever it is appropriate (Ministry of Education, 2002).
The standards of the domain of social interaction call for students to
interact effectively in English orally and in writing in varied social
contexts with people from varied linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
Students should be proficient in maintaining effective communication,
and using appropriate written communication for a wide range of social
contexts. They should interact by using rich vocabulary and complex
syntactic structures accurately (Ministry of Education, 2002).
The new curriculum focuses on speaking skills through the domain of
social interaction. This is because speaking skills are extremely important
7
when teaching EFL. Graham-Mar (2004) claimed that the importance of
teaching speaking skills stems from the fact that human beings have been
acquiring language through speaking and listening long before they began
reading and writing. . Our brains are well programmed to learn language
through sound and speech.
Brown and Yule (1983) believed that many language learners regard
speaking skills as the criteria for knowing a language. They defined
fluency as the ability to communicate with others much more than the
ability to read, write, or comprehend oral language. They regarded
speaking as the most important skill students acquire. Students assess
their progress in terms of their accomplishments in spoken
communication.
The researcher proposed using a procedure based on the use of tasks as
the core unit of planning and instruction in language teaching called
Task-Based language Teaching (TBLT) to enhance the speaking ability
of EFL learners. TBLT puts tasks at the center of the methodological
focus. It views the learning process as a set of communicative tasks that
are directly linked to the curricular goals they serve (Brown, 2001).
Richards and Rodgers (2001) emphasized that the role of tasks has
received further support from some researchers in second language
acquisition who are interested in developing pedagogical application of
second language acquisition theory (e.g., Long and Crookes, 1991).
8
Statement of the Problem
Many studies have been conducted that have investigated the effect of
TBLT on developing the reading ability of the learners (e.g., Skehan,
1998; Foster and Skehan, 1996; Willis, 1996; among others), but few
have examined the effect of this procedure on the speaking skills of EFL
learners (Birjandi and Ahangari, 2008 and Hitutozi, 2008).
Speaking in an L2 has occupied a unique position throughout much of
the history of language teaching. It has begun to emerge as a branch of
teaching, learning, and testing in its own right only in the last two
decades has, but rarely focuses on the production of spoken discourse
(Carter and Nunan, 2001). Due to the difficulty of studying speaking, it
was easier for teachers, methodologists, applied linguists and linguists to
focus on written than spoken language.
Arab students are no exception and have difficulty with the English
language.. This is reflected in their achievement in the matriculation
examination; their scores are usually very low in all English language
skills, especially in speaking. Arab students usually hesitate to speak
English because they have problems using accurate, fluent and complex
language.
In order to enhance the speaking ability of Arab EFL students, the
researcher proposed using a procedure based on the use of tasks as the
9
core unit of planning and instruction in language teaching called Task-
Based language Teaching (TBLT).
This study aimed to investigate the effects of using TBLT on
developing the speaking skill of the Arab EFL students in secondary
schools in Israel, and their attitudes towards English.
Research Questions
The present study attempted to answer the following questions:
1. Is there a statistically significant difference between the subjects' mean
scores on the English speaking skills test due to the interaction between
the teaching procedure (TBLT vs the conventional procedure) and
subjects’ gender?
2. Is there a statistically significant difference between the subjects' mean
scores in the attitudes towards English due to the interaction between the
teaching procedure and subjects’ gender?
Significance of this Study
The significance of this study stems from the following factors:
1. It attempts to examine the effect of using Task-based Language
Teaching (TBLT) for developing the speaking skills of Palestinian
students at the secondary school level. In addition, the findings may lead
to a change in the students’ attitudes towards English.
10
2. This study may provide EFL teachers with a specific language
teaching procedure which they can use in their classroom to enhance their
students’ achievement in English in the matriculation examinations.
3. The research results can be presented to EFL teachers, learners and
decision-makers in order to enhance the students’ performance in English
as a foreign language.
Definitions of Terms
The following terms have the associated meanings in the dissertation:
Task- Based Language Teaching (TBLT)
TBLT refers to teaching a second/foreign language that seeks to engage
learners in interactionally authentic language use by having them perform
a series of tasks. It aims to both enable learners to acquire new linguistic
knowledge and to procedurize their existing knowledge.
The main characteristics of TBLT are the following (Ellis, 2003):
- 'Natural' or 'naturalistic' use of language
- Learners- centered rather than teacher controlled learning
- Focus on form (attention to form occurs within the context of
performing the task; intervention while retaining 'naturalness').
- Tasks serve as the means for achieving natural use of language.
- Traditional approaches are ineffective.
The details of the research procedure are presented in Chapter Two..
11
Secondary Stage
It is the third schooling stage in Israel which begins by the beginning of
tenth grade and ends by the end of twelfth grade.
Textbook Teaching Procedure for Speaking
Each unit in the textbook includes one activity for speaking. This
activity provides an opportunity for the students to relate to the theme of
the text as well as to engage in social interaction. The teacher should
encourage students to express themselves and accept individual answers
that the students can justify. If the teacher wishes to assess the students'
oral skills, he/she should take into account content, use of English,
clarity, participation, attitude, fluency and accuracy (Wilson, 2003).
The teachers' guide does not specify a technique to teach the speaking
skill. This is left to the teacher.
Language Attitudes
These are the attitudes which speakers of different languages or
language dialects have towards each other's languages or their language.
Expressions of positive or negative feelings towards a language reflect
impressions of linguistic difficulty or simplicity, ease or difficulty in
learning, degree of importance, elegance and social status. Attitudes
towards a language may also reveal what people feel about the speakers
of that language.
12
Language attitudes also have an effect on SL or FL learning. The
measurement of language attitudes provides information that is useful in
teaching and language planning (Richards, Platt and Platt, 1997). In the
present study, students' attitudes are measured by their responses to the
attitude questionnaire that was developed by the researcher.
Speaking Skills
Speaking in a second language (L2) involves the development of a
particular type of communication skills. Because of its circumstances of
production, oral language tends to differ from written language in its
typical grammar, lexical and discourse patterns. In addition, some of the
processing skills needed in speaking differ from those involved in reading
and writing (Bygate, 2002). In the present study this is measured by the
students' scores on the speaking test.
Task
The researcher has adopted Ellis’ (2003:16) definition:
A work plan that requires learners to process language pragmatically in order to
achieve an outcome that can be evaluated in terms of whether the correct or
appropriate propositional content has been conveyed. To this end, it requires them to
give primary attention to meaning and to make use of their own linguistic resources,
although the design of the task may dispose them to choose particular forms. A task is
intended to result in language use that bears resemblance, direct or indirect, to the
language is used in the real world. Like other language activities, a task can engage
productive or receptive, and oral or written skills and also various cognitive
processes.
13
Research Limitations
The current study has the following limitations:
1. The study was limited to Arab EFL students in secondary schools in
Israel.
2. The study was limited to the use of Task-Based Language Teaching.
3. The study was also limited to investigating speaking skills.
4. The time limit of the study may affect the oral production of the
students. If the study time had been longer, the results might have been
different.
14
Chapter Two
Review of Related Literature
This chapter begins with a definition of speaking skills and their
importance in learning English as a foreign language. The second section
defines students’ attitudes towards English and how students' positive
attitudes enhance leaning. The researcher then reviews additional studies
that dealt with students' attitudes towards English. The last section deals
with Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT). This section consists of
two sub-sections: theoretical and practical. From the theoretical
standpoint, the researcher attempts to shed light on the TBLT, and to
clarify its developments in theory and practice. The objectives, principles
and advantages of TBLT are also emphasized in this section. The
practical subsection consists of brief reports about relevant studies.
Speaking Skills
Of the four language skills (listening ,speaking, reading and writing),
speaking seems intuitively the most important. People who know a
language are referred to as 'speakers of that language, as if speaking
included all other types of skills, and many, if not most foreign language
learners are primarily interested in learning to speak (Ur, 2006).
Speaking is an interactive process of constructing meaning that involves
producing, receiving and processing information (Brown, 1994; Burns
15
and Joyce, 1997). Its form and meaning are dependent on the context in
which it occurs, including the participants themselves, their collective
experiences, the physical environment, and the purposes for speaking.
Speaking requires that learners not only know how to produce specific
points of language such as grammar, pronunciation, or vocabulary
(linguistic competence), but also they understand when, why and in what
ways to produce language (sociolinguistic competence) (Cunningham,
1999).
Swain (1985), an important contributor of immersion- based evidence,
was led to consider whether other factors beside input might affect
language competence. In particular she proposed the “comprehensible
output hypothesis”, that is, to learn to speak we have actually to speak.
Swain argued that knowing that one will need to speak makes one more
likely to attend to syntax when one is listening.
Levelt (1989) identified three autonomous processing stages in speech
production: (1) conceptualizing the message, (2) formulating the
language representation, and (3) articulating the message.
Wilson (1997) claimed that children who can translate their thoughts
and ideas into words are more likely to succeed in school. Students who
do not develop good listening and speaking skill will have life-long
consequences because of their deficit. He also pointed out that speaking
skills do not need to be taught as a separate subject. These skills can
16
easily be integrated into other subject matter. This is because, students
learn talking, clarify thoughts by talking, comprehend better with
discussion of reading, write better after talking during writing
conferences, develop confidence by speaking in front of peers, and
provide a window to their own thinking through their talk.
Skehan (1998) distinguished three aspects of production: (1) fluency; (2)
accuracy and (3) complexity. This may also involve a greater willingness
to take risks, and use fewer controlled language subsystems. This area has
also taken a greater likelihood of restructuring that is development in the
inter-language system.
Speaking in L2 has occupied a peculiar position throughout much of the
history of language teaching, and only in the last two decades has it
begun to emerge as a branch of teaching, learning and testing in its own
right, rarely focusing on the production of spoken discourse (Bygate,
2002).
Graham- Marr (2004) mentioned many reasons for focusing on
listening and speaking when teaching English as a foreign language, not
least of which is the fact that we as humans have been learning languages
through our ears and mouth for thousands upon thousands of years, far
longer we as humans have been able to read. Although not a set
curriculum in most schools, speaking skills have been found to be a
fundamental skill necessary for a child success in life.
17
Brown and Yule (1983) began their discussion on the nature of spoken
language by distinguishing between spoken and written language. They
pointed out that for most of its history; language teaching has been
concerned with the teaching of written language. This language is
characterized by well- formed sentences which are integrated into highly
structured paragraphs. Spoken language, on the other hand, consists of
short, often fragmentary utterances, in a range of pronunciations. There is
often a great deal of repetition and overlap between one speaker and
another, and speakers frequently use non-specific references. Brown and
Yule (1983) also pointed out that the loosely organized syntax, the use of
non-specific words and phrases, and the use of fillers such as 'well' and
'ahuh' make spoken language feel less conceptually dense than other
types of language such as expository prose. They suggested that, in
contrast with the teaching of written language, teachers concerned with
teaching the spoken language must confront the following types of
questions:
- What is the appropriate form of spoken language to teach?
- From the point of view of pronunciation, what is a reasonable model?
- How important is pronunciation?
- Is it any more important than teaching appropriate handwriting in the foreign
language?
- If so, why?
- From the point of view of the structures taught, is it all right to teach the spoken
language as if it were exactly like the written language, but with a few 'spoken
expression' thrown in?
- Is it appropriate to teach the same structures to all foreign language students, no
matter what their age is or their intentions in learning the spoken language?
- Are those structures which are described in standard grammars, the structures which
our students should be expected to produce when they speak English?
18
- How is it possible to give students any sort of meaningful practice in producing
spoken English?
(Brown and Yule, 1983: 3)
Brown and Yule (1983) also drew a useful distinction between two basic
language functions. These are the transactional function, which is
primarily concerned with the transfer of information, and the interactional
function, in which the primarily purpose of speech is the maintenance of
social relationships.
Nunan (1992) mentioned another basic distinction when considering the
development of speaking skills: distinguishing between dialogue and
monologue. The ability to give an uninterrupted oral presentation is quite
distinct from interacting with one or more other speakers for transactional
and interactional purposes. While all native speakers can and use
language interactionally, not all native speakers have the ability to
extemporise on a given subject to a group of listeners. Brown and Yule
(1983) suggested that most language teaching is concerned with
developing skills in short, interactional exchanges in which the learner is
only required to make one or two utterances at a time.
The interactional nature of language was examined by Bygate (1996).
Bygate distinguished between motor-perceptive skills, which are
concerned with correctly using the sounds and structures of the language,
and interactional skills, which involve using motor-perceptive skills for
the purposes of communication. Motor-perceptive skills are developed in
19
the language classroom through activities such as model dialogues,
pattern practice, and oral drills and so on. Bygate (1996) suggested that,
in particular, learners need to develop skills in the management of
interaction as well asI in the negotiation of meaning. The management of
the interaction involves such things as when and how to take the floor,
when to introduce a topic or change the subject, how to invite someone
else to speak, how to keep a conversation going and so on. Negotiation of
meaning refers to the skill of making sure the person you are speaking to
has correctly understood you and that you have correctly understood
them.
Nunan (1996) added that one can apply the bottom-up/top- down
distinction to speaking. The bottom up approach to speaking suggests that
speakers start with the smallest unit of language, i.e. individual sounds,
and move through mastery of words and sentences to discourse. The top-
down view, on the other hand, suggests that speakers start with the larger
chunks of language, which are embedded in meaningful contexts, and use
their knowledge of these contexts to comprehend and use correctly the
smaller elements of language.
Nunan (1996) claimed that a successful oral communication should
involve developing:
- The ability to articulate phonological features of the language comprehensibly;
- Mastery of stress, rhythm, intonation patterns; an acceptable degree of fluency;
- Transactional and interpersonal skills;
- Skills in taking short and long speaking turns;
20
- Skills in the management of the interaction;
- Skills in negotiating meaning;
- Conversational listening skills (successful conversations require good listeners as
well as good speakers);
- Skills in knowing about and negotiating purposes for conversations;
- Using appropriate conversational formulae and fillers.
Oral Communication Skills in Pedagogical Research
Brown (2001) asserted that a review of the current issues in teaching
oral communication will help to provide some perspective to moral
practical considerations as the following:
Conversational discourse
Brown claimed that when someone asks you "Do you speak English?"
they are usually implying: “Are you able to carry on a reasonably fluent
conversation?” The benchmark of successful language acquisition is
almost always the demonstration of an ability to accomplish pragmatic
goals through interactive discourse with other speakers. The goals and
the procedures for teaching conversation are extremely diverse,
depending on the student, teacher, and overall context of the class. Recent
pedagogical research on teaching conversation has provided some
parameters developing objectives and techniques.
Teaching pronunciation
There has been some controversy over the role of pronunciation work in
a communicative, interactive course of study. Because the overwhelming
majority of adult learners will never acquire an accent-free command of a
foreign language, the language programs should emphasize whole
21
language, meaningful contexts, and automaticity of production should
focus on these tiny phonological details of language.
Accuracy and fluency
Accuracy and fluency are both important goals to pursue in
communicative language teaching. While fluency may be an initial goal
in many communicative language courses, accuracy is achieved to some
extent by allowing students to focus on elements of phonology, grammar,
and discourse in their spoken output.
Affective factors
One of the major obstacles learners have to overcome in learning to
speak is the anxiety generated by the risk of blurting things out that are
wrong, or incomprehensible. Because of the language ego that informs
people that "you are what you speak", learners are reluctant to be judged
by listeners.
The interaction effect
The greatest difficulty that learners encounter in attempting to speak is
not the multiplicity of sounds, words, phrases, and discourse forms that
characterize any language, but rather the interactive nature of most
communication. As Nunan (1996) notes, Conversations are collaborative,
which presents a further complication in interactive discourse. He calls
this the interlocutor effect or the difficulty of a speaking task as gauged
22
by the skills of one's interlocutor. In other words, one learners’
performance is always colored by that person (interlocutor) he or she is
talking to.
Microskills of Oral Communication
Brown (2001: 272) mentioned these Microskills of communication:
1. Produce chunks of language of different length.
2. Orally produce differences among the English phonemes and allophonic variants.
3. Produce English stress patterns, words in stress and unstressed positions,
rhythmic structure, and intonational contours.
4. Produce reduced forms of words and phrases.
5. Use an adequate number of lexical units (words) in order to accomplish
pragmatic purposes.
6. Produce fluent speech at different rates of delivery.
7. Monitor your own oral production and use various strategic devices- pauses,
fillers, self-corrections, backtracking- to enhance the clarity of the message.
8. Use grammatical word classes (nouns, verbs, etc.), systems (e.g., tense,
agreement, and pluralization), word order, patterns, rules, and elliptical forms.
9. Produce speech in natural constituents – in appropriate phrases, pause groups,
breath groups, and sentences.
10. Express a particular meaning in different grammatical forms.
11. Use cohesive devices in spoken discourse.
12. Accomplish appropriately communicative functions according to situations,
participants, and goals.
13. Use appropriate registers, implicature, pragmatic conventions, and other
sociolinguistic features in face-to-face conversations.
14. Covey links and connections between events and communicate such relations as
main idea, supporting idea, new information, given information, generalization,
and exemplification.
15. Use facial features, kinesics, body language, and other nonverbal cues along with
verbal language to convey meanings.
16. Develop and use a battery of speaking strategies, such as emphasizing key
words, rephrasing, providing a context for interpreting the meaning of words,
appealing for help, and accurately assessing how well your interlocutor is
understanding you.
23
Attitudes towards English
Attitudes towards English in general refer to the state of emotion and
thought relating to the English language and the culture of English-
speaking people. The attitude towards the English language implies the
students' feelings, prejudice, or fears about the learning of English as a
second language (Spolsky, 2000).
Brown (1994:169) asserted that:
Attitudes, like all aspects of the development of cognition and affect in the
human beings, developed early in childhood and are the results of parents' and peers'
attitudes, contact with people who are 'different' in any number of ways, and
interacting affective factors in the human experience. These attitudes form a part of
one's perceptions of self, of others and of the culture in which one is living.
Ellis (1985) encountered a problem in defining attitudes and motivations
because these cannot be directly observed, but have to be inferred from
what the person actually does. He adopted Schuman's (1978) definition of
attitude. Schuman defined 'attitude' as a social factor influenced by
variables such as 'size of learning group', and 'motivation' as an affective
factor alongside 'culture shock'. Ellis also defined motivation in terms of
L2 learner's overall goal of orientation, and attitude as the persistence
shown by the learner in striving for a goal.
Brown (1994) stated that L2 learners benefit from positive attitudes and
that negative attitudes may lead to decreased motivation and in all
likelihood, to unsuccessful attainment of proficiency due to decreased
input and interaction. Therefore, teachers should be aware that every
24
learner has both positive and negative attitudes towards English.
According to Gardner and Lambert (1972), motivation to learn a second
language is based on positive attitude towards the second language
community and upon a desire to communicate with valued members of
that community and to become similar to them. This latter desire is
integrative motivation, which constitutes a support for language learning.
An instrumental orientation is associated with a desire to learn L2 for
pragmatic gains such as getting a better job or a higher salary.
Dornyei (2001) believed that the role of orientation is to help arouse
motivation and direct it towards a set of goals with either a strong
interpersonal quality (integrative orientation) or a strong practical quality
(instrumental orientation). Gardner (1985) developed the
Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) to measure L2 learners'
motivation. The test battery consists of a multi-component motivation
test made up of approximately 120 items concerned with such variables
as attitudes towards French Canadians and learning French, interest in
foreign languages, orientation to learn French, French class anxiety,
parental encouragement, motivation intensity, desire to learn French and
a motivation index.
Considerable research has been done in the areas of students’ attitudes
and motivations. The researcher was selective in this respect. Gardner and
Lambert's (1972) categorized learner's motivation into two types:
25
"Instrumental" which stresses "the practical value and advantages of
learning a new language", and "integrative", which stresses "a sincere and
personal interest in the people and culture represented by the other
group". In addition to Gardner and Lambert's integrative and instrumental
classifications, Al-Abed-Al Haq and Smadi (1996) added a third type of
motivation which they called "religious motivation" in which learners
learn a foreign language for religious purposes. Such learning could be
compulsory [fard ayn] or optionally [fard kifaya].
Cooper and Fishman (1977) mentioned a fourth type of motivation
which they termed "developmental". Developmental motivation refers to
motivation relating to personal development or personal satisfaction.
Students' learning goals are also broken up into different motivation
clusters, the definition of which varies depending upon the socio-cultural
setting in which the data was gathered (Clement, Dornyei and Noel1994).
Thus new motivation clusters have been identified such as intrinsic and
extrinsic motivations. Extrinsic motivation, like instrumental orientation,
refers to the desire to learn a second/foreign language because of some
pressure of reward from the social environment (such as career
advancement or course credit). Internalized reasons for learning an L2
(such as guilt or shame) and/or personal decision to do so, and its value
for the chosen goals (Noels, Clement, and Pelletier, 2001). Intrinsically
motivated students like integratively motivated ones, learn an L2 because
26
of the inherent pleasure in doing so; they are expected to maintain their
effort and engagement in the L2 learning process, even when no external
rewards are provided (Oxford and Shearin, 1994; Noels et al., 2001).
When a learner has no extrinsic or intrinsic goals for learning a language,
motivation increases.
In conclusion, both integrative and instrumental orientations and
intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as well as religious and developmental
motivations contribute to the learning of a second/ foreign language.
Nevertheless, the importance of each type varies from one context to
another. Likewise, students in different contexts may be motivated to
learn a second/foreign language by different orientation (Liu, 2007).
Previous studies revealed a correlation between positive attitudes and
successful language learning. Widdows and Voller (1991) investigated
Japanese college students' motives, needs, and attitudes toward studying
English. They found that students were the most interested in developing
speaking and listening skills but that many college English classes
neglected to teach to these needs.
Abed Al-Hafez (1994) demonstrated that Jordanian English majors at
Yarmouk University were instrumentally motivated to learn English, and
that there was no significant correlation between the subjects' attitudes
and motivations and their levels of achievement in the English courses.
27
Moreover, the results demonstrated that males showed more integrative
motivation to study English than females.
Abo Rabia (1996) examined the attitudes of 126 Arab students in the
Canadian and Israeli 'melting pot'. Their results revealed that their
motivation towards learning L2 was instrumental in nature. The results
also revealed that female students showed higher integrative motivation.
Noels et al. (2000) also found a strong correlation between instrumental
motivation and Self-Determination Theory, which deals with students'
need for competence, satisfactory social connections, and autonomy.
Yashima (2002) found that motivated students have greater self-
confidence in their second language, resulting in a greater willingness to
communicate.
An investigation conducted by Masgoret and Gardner (2003) focused
on the relationship of L2 achievement to five attitude/motivation
variables. Their results clearly demonstrated that the correlation between
achievement and motivation was uniformly higher than that between
achievement and integrativeness, and that this correlation was somewhat
lower than between achievement and attitudes toward the learning
situation.
Yashima, Zenuk and Shimizu (2004) investigated Japanese adolescent
learners' willingness to communicate in English as an L2, Their results
showed that those who had higher scores in willingness to communicate
28
tended to communicate more in the classroom and to ask questions or talk
to teachers more frequently outside class.
Moreover, gender has been an important perspective in second
language learning investigations, and has highlighted females to show
more interest, positive behaviors and performances in comparison to the
males (Dornyei and Shoaib, 2005). These gender differences are due to
students' levels of motivations and attitudes toward language learning.
Liu (2007) investigated Chinese third-year undergraduate non-English
majors' attitudes towards English, e.g., their English-learning
orientations. The statistical analyses reveal that these students had
positive attitudes towards learning English and were highly motivated to
learn the language as well. This could be attributed to the fact that the
rapid development of economy in China in recent years has yielded an
increasingly high demand of university graduates with high English
competency in various fields such as education, market, business and
science and technology.
Chan, Jung, Masaki and Park (2007) asserted that students who have
been learning a language via a variety of traditional approaches but are
subsequently introduced to task-based teaching. Such students initially
tend to have negative attitudes toward TBLT, but when using and
experiencing tasks, they may overcome their original judgments and react
more favorably towards TBLT practices. They also suggested that
29
attitudes affect various aspects of TBLT, and more research is needed that
specifically investigates attitudes and reactions towards TBLT. They
added that no studies of TBLT address attitudes at the administration
level or higher, such as the governmental/policy level, which points to
another potential area of exploration. By looking at these different levels,
more interest may be garnered for TBLT teacher training and in-service
support. They also added that in order to see more empirically-driven
effects of learner attitudes on second language acquisition and
instructional outcomes, future research should be conducted in terms of
the degree to which positive attitudes towards TBLT and self-perceptions
may actually influence language development. In closing, students
commonly have positive attitudes towards TBLT, once they become
familiar with how it works in the classroom. However, if teachers are
constrained, either by examinations, lack of training, or lack of support,
their attitudes towards TBLT have a tendency to be more negative. In
addition, if instructors are already accustomed to one method of teaching
and are required to switch to another, they are inclined to have
unenthusiastic reactions toward TBLT, particularly if they do not receive
sufficient assistance. It would therefore appear that if teachers are
provided with TBLT training and in-service help, positive attitudes
towards TBLT may develop accordingly.
Task-Based Language Teaching
30
Theoretical Background
Task-based language teaching is not a new concept. Prabhu (1987) used
a task-based approach with secondary school classes in Bengalore, India,
in his Communicational Teaching Project, beginning in 1979. American
Government Language institutions switched to task-based instruction
(TBI) for foreign language for adults in the early 1980s. Other teachers
and institutions throughout the world are following the TBLT (Shehadeh,
2005). Why, then, are teachers making this change to TBLT?
Shehadeh believed that the answer to this question is often because they
realize that most language learners taught through methods that
emphasize mastery of grammar do not achieve an acceptable level of
competency in the target language. Language learning in the classroom is
usually based upon the belief that language is a system of wordings
governed by a grammar and a lexicon. However, it is more productive to
see language primarily as a meaning system. Halliday's (1975)
description of his young son's acquisition of his first language is
significantly entitled 'learning how to mean'.
Apart from highly gifted and motivated students, most learners working
within a structure-based approach fail to attain a useable level of fluency
and proficiency in second language (L2) even after years of instruction
(Skehan,1996). In India, Prabhu (1987: 11) notes that the structure-based
31
courses required "a good deal of remedial re-teaching which, in turn, led
to similarly unsatisfactory results".
American government language institutions found that with task-based
instruction and authentic material, learners made far more rapid progress
and were able to use their new foreign language in real-world
circumstances with a reasonable level of efficiency after quite short
courses. They were able to operate an effective meaning system, i.e. to
express what they wanted to say, even though their grammar and lexicon
were often far from perfect (Lever and Willis, 2004).
In recent years a number of researchers, syllabus designers and
educational innovators have called for a move in language teaching
toward task-based approaches to instruction (Prabhu, 1987; Nunan, 1989,
Longand Crooks, 1991; Ellis, 2003).
Since the advent of communicative language teaching and the belief that
language is best learned when it is being used to communicate messages,
the communicative task has ascended to a position of prominence as a
unit of organization in syllabus design. Nunn (2006), for example,
proposed a task-based unitary framework because it “leads to student-led
holistic outcomes in the form of written reports, spoken presentations and
substantial small-group conversations that lead to decision-making
outcomes” (p.70). This interest in the task has been motivated to a
considerable extent by the fact that ‘task’ is seen as a construct of equal
32
importance to second language acquisition (SLA) researchers and to
language teachers (Pica,1997).
The rise of task-based language teaching has led to a variety of different
interpretations of what exactly constitutes a task. Central to the notion of
a communicative task is the exchange of meanings. Willis (1996) defined
task as an activity where the target language is used by the learner for a
communicative purpose (goal) in order to achieve an outcome. Here the
notion of meaning is subsumed in ‘outcome’. Likewise, for Nunan (2006)
tasks have a non-linguistic outcome. He defines task as a piece of
classroom work that involves learners in comprehending, 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 task should also have a sense of completeness, being able to
stand alone as a communicative act in its own right with a beginning,
middle and an end (p.17).
There are two main sources of evidence which justify the use of tasks
in language classes. Lynch and Maclean (2000) said that the first source
of justifications for Task-Based Learning is what it might be termed the
ecologic alone: the belief that the best way to promote effective learning
is by setting up classroom tasks that reflect as far as possible the real
world tasks which the learners perform, or will perform. Task
33
performance is seen as rehearsal for interaction to come. The second
source of evidence comes from SLA research. “ Those arguing for TBL,
drawing on SLA research, have tended to focus on issues such as
learnability, the order of acquisition of particular L2 structures, and the
implications of the input, interaction and output hypotheses” (Lynch and
Maclean,2000,p.222).
TBLT is also discussed from a psycholinguistic perspective. From this
perspective, “…a task is a device that guides learners to engage in certain
types of information-processing that are believed to be important for
effective language use and/or for language acquisition from some
theoretical standpoint” (Ellis, 2000, p.197). It assumes that while
performing the tasks, learners engage in certain types of language use and
mental processing that are useful for acquisition. Ellis (2006) asserts that
“tasks reduce the cognitive or linguistic demands placed on the learner”
(p.23).
The underlying theoretical position adopted by task-based researchers
who work in this tradition derives from what Lantolf (1996) has called
the ‘computational metaphor’. Lantolf comments: “It quickly became
regularized as theory within the cognitive science of the 1970s and 1980s.
Mainstream cognitive science so strongly believes in the metaphor – in
effect, to be in mainstream cognitive science means that many people find
it difficult to conceive of neural computation as a theory, it must surely be
34
a fact” (p.724). This metaphor underlies the work on task-based
learning/teaching of Long’s Interaction Hypothesis (cited in Ellis 2000),
Skehan’s Cognitive Approach (1996), which is based on the distinction
between two types of processing that learners can engage in (lexical
processing and rule-based processing), and Yule’s model of
Communicative Effectiveness (Ellis,2000).
A more recent trend within the communicative approach considers how
attention can be profitably channeled through the instructional choices
that are made (Schmidt, 1995). The assumption is that learners have
limited attention capacities available to them and that the different
components of language production and comprehension compete for such
limited capacities. Therefore the choice to devote attention to one area
may well be at the expense of other areas. A central choice in this regard
is between devoting attention to form or meaning. The last 20 years have
seen a protracted debate in language teaching concerning the relative
merits of focusing on accuracy and form as opposed to focusing on
fluency and meaning. “Most current research in SLA hypothesized that
some level of attention to form is needed for language acquisition to take
place” (Radwan, 2005:70). A number of proposals have been made as to
how some attention may be focused on form. This can be done through
task design (Fotos and Ellis, 1991), pre-task and post-task activities, and
consciousness-raising activities (Willis, 1996).
35
There are also researchers who oppose TBLT. Seedhouse (1999) argued
that the interaction that results from tasks is often impoverished and can
lead to fossilizations. He also argued that 'task-as a workplan' has weak
construct validity because the interaction that transpires when learners
perform a task (i.e. the 'task-as-process') frequently does not match that
intended by designers of the task. Moreover, Sheen (1994) characterizes
TBLT as requiring that any treatment of grammar take the form of quick
corrective feedback allowing for minimal interruption of the task activity.
Swain (2001) claims that beginning learners need to be taught grammar
because they will not be able to shift attention to code features in
interaction if their knowledge of basic grammar is so limited that they
cannot produce discourse to shift from. TBLT is only suitable for
'acquisition-rich contexts’.
Rationale for Task-Based Language Teaching
Ellis (2003) reports that task- based language teaching is a form of
teaching that treats language primarily as a tool for communicating rather
than as a subject for study or manipulation. It is clear that if learners are
to develop the competence they need in order to use a second language
easily and effectively in the kinds of situations they meet outside the
classroom, they need to experience how language is used as a tool for
communication within it. 'Task' serves as the most obvious means for
organizing teaching along these lines.
36
TBLT proposes the use of tasks as a central component in language
classroom because it provides better contexts for activating learner
acquisition processes and promoting L2 learning (Shehadeh, 2005).
TBLT is therefore based on a theory of language learning rather than a
theory of language structure. Richards and Rodgers (2001: 228) suggest
that because the reason for this is that "tasks are believed to foster
processes of negotiation, modification, rephrasing, and experimentation
that are at the heart of second language learning".
Feez (1998: 17) summarizes the following basic assumptions of TBLT:
- The focus of instruction is on process rather than product.
- Basic elements are purposeful activities and tasks that emphasize communication
and meaning.
- Learners learn language by interacting communicatively and purposefully while
engaged in meaningful activities and tasks.
- Activities and tasks can be either those that learners might need to achieve in real
life, or those that have a pedagogical purpose specific to the classroom.
- Activities and tasks of a task-based syllabus can be sequenced according to
difficulty.
- The difficulty of a task depends on a range of factors including the previous
experience of the learner, the complexity of the tasks, and the degree of support
available. (Richards and Rodgers, 2001: 224).
Defining the Term 'Task'
The term task can mean different things to different people (Leaver and
Willis, 2004). Just as there are weak and strong forms of communicative
language teaching, there are different definitions of the word 'task'. Most
of the definitions include mention of achieving or arriving at an outcome,
or attaining an objective. The definitions also show that tasks are
meaning focused. In other words, learners are free to use whatever
language they want in order to convey their intended meaning and to
37
sustain the interaction. Prabhu (1987:2) defines a task as "an activity
which requires learners to arrive to an outcome from given information
through some processes of thought and which allowed teachers to control
and regulate that process was regarded as a task". Nunan (1999: 10)
defines task as "a piece of classroom work which involves learners in
comprehending, manipulating, producing or interacting in the target
language while their attention is principally focused on meaning rather
than form".
Willis (1996:53) asserted that task is a goal-oriented activity with real
outcome; this implies that a task is "a goal- oriented activity which
learners use language to achieve a real outcome. In other words, learners
use whatever target language resources they have in order to solve a
problem, do a puzzle, play a game or share and compare experiences".
Skehan (1998:95) says that task is "an activity in which: meaning is
primary; there is some communication problem to solve; there is some
sort of relationship to comparable real world activities; task completion
has some priority; and the assessment of task performance is in terms of
task outcome".
Ellis (2003:16) mentioned six criterial features of a task:
- A task is a workplan. A task constitutes a plan for learning activity.
This workplan takes the form of teaching materials. The actual activity
that results may or may not match that intended by the plan.
38
- A task involves a primary focus on meaning. A task seeks to engage learners in
using language pragmatically rather than displaying language. It seeks to develop L2
proficiency through communicating. Thus, it requires a primary focus on meaning.
- A task involves real-world processes of language use. The workplan may require
learners to engage in language activity such as that found in the real-world, for
example, completing a form, or it may involve them in language activity that is
artificial, for example, determining whether two pictures are the same or different.
- A task can involve any of the four language skills. The workplan may require
learners to (1) listen or read a text and display their understanding, (2) produce an
oral or written text, or (3) employ a combination of receptive and productive skills.
- A task engages cognitive processes. The workplan requires learners to employ
cognitive processes such as selecting, classifying, ordering, reasoning and evaluating
information in order to carry out the task.
- A task has a clearly defined communicative outcome. The workplan stipulates the
non-linguistic outcome of the task, which serves as the goal of the activity for the
learners. The stated outcome of a task serves as the means of determining when
participants have completed a task.
Types of Tasks
Ellis (2003) classified tasks into the following types
Unfocused Tasks
An unfocused task is one that encourages learners to use English freely
without concentrating on just one or two specific forms (i.e., a replication
activity).
Pedagogic (rehearsal, activation)
Pedagogical tasks have a psycholinguistic basis in SLA theory and
research but do not necessarily reflect real-word tasks. For example, four
students are given pictures and must describe them to the rest of the class.
The other students ask the four students questions about their pictures,
and a student then tries to tell a story. Pedagogic tasks can be:
Rehearsal tasks
39
The following tasks of pair-work role play are examples of rehearsal
tasks.
A: You are a passenger calling to reconfirm a reservation. Use the e-
ticket (provided separately) to check the details of your flight.
B: You are an airline employee. Use the information sheet (provided
separately) to answer your partner's questions.
Activation tasks
The teacher gives pairs of students two different pictures, and then asks
each one to talk to their partner about the differences between the
pictures.
Real-world tasks
Tasks are everywhere in everyday life. Washing our face is a task, as is
preparing breakfast, going to work by car, etc. Tasks are a part of our
lives to such an extent that there is hardly any activity that cannot be
called a task.
Focused Tasks
A focused task (Ellis, 2003) is either a consciousness-raising activity that
focuses on examining samples of language to explore particular features.
These are sometimes called "meta-cognitive" activities. Examples of this
are classifying the uses of a verb plus – "ing" forms that appear in a
reading text or identifying phrases from a spoken transcript containing the
preposition in and categorizing them into time, location, or other, or a
40
task used because it is likely to encourage the comprehension of, and/or
the use of, particular language forms (i.e., a citation or simulation
activity).
Long and Crooks (1991) provided an example by using a split-
information quiz with facts derived from a written report about company
sales over the last half year. This report on company sales contained a
large number of noun and verb expressions of increase and decrease,
including the use of past simple and present perfect verb forms. Learners
had to obtain information from each other in order to complete the graph
representing sales trends. The follow-up exercise entailed reading the full
report in detail in order to check the figures in their graph. Most of this
work plan involved receptive skills of listening to others reading out their
information and reading the text to check results. In doing so, students
were obliged to focus on the meaning of the expressions of quantity and
increase and decrease.
Willis (1996: 149) listed the following types of tasks of TBLT:
1. Listing: Including a brainstorming and fact-finding, the outcome is a
completed list or draft mind map. This type of task can help train
students' comprehension and induction ability.
2. Ordering, sorting: Including sequencing, ranking and classifying, the
outcome is a set of information ordered and sorted according to specific
41
criteria. These types might foster comprehension, logic and reasoning
ability.
3. Comparing: This type of task includes matching, finding similarities,
or differences. The outcome can be appropriately matched or assembled
items. This type of task enhance students' ability of differentiation.
4. Problem solving: This type of task includes analyzing real situations,
reasoning, and decision-making. The outcome involves solutions to the
problem, which can then be evaluated. These tasks help promote students'
reasoning and decision-making abilities.
5. Sharing experience: These types of tasks include narrating, describing,
exploring and explaining attitudes, opinions, and reactions. The outcome
is usually social. These tasks help students to share and exchange their
knowledge and experience.
6. Creative tasks: These include brainstorming, fact finding, ordering and
sorting, comparing and many other activities. The outcome is an end
product that can be appreciated by a wider audience. Students cultivate
their comprehensive problem-solving abilities as well as their reasoning
and analyzing abilities.
These tasks are listed from easy to difficult, and all of them reveal the
recognition process of students. The tasks in TBLT should be applicable
to real life to help students accomplish the tasks and show their
42
communicative competence in classroom teaching and real life situations
(Willis, 1996: 149).
TBLT Methodology
Ellis (2003) asserted that the design of a task-based lesson involves
consideration of the stages or components of a lesson that has a task as its
principal component. Various designs have been proposed (for example,
Prabhu, 1987; Skehan 1996). However, they all have in common three
principal phases, these phases reflected the chronology of a task-based
lesson. Thus the first phase is 'pre-task' and concerns the various activities
that teachers and students can undertake before they start the task; such as
whether students are given time to plan the performance of the task. The
second phase, the 'during task' phase, centers on the task itself and affords
various instructional options, including whether students are required to
operate under time pressure. The final 'post-task' phase involves
procedures for following up on the task performance.
The pre-task phase
The purpose of the pre-task phase is to prepare students to perform the
task in ways that will promote acquisition. Skehan (1996) refers to two
broad alternatives available to the teacher during the pre-task phase:
An emphasis on the general cognitive demands for task, and/or an
emphasis on linguistic factors, attentional capacity is limited, and it is
needed to both linguistic and cognitive demand, then engaging in
43
activities which reduce cognitive load will release attentional capacity for
the learner to concentrate more on linguistic factors. These alternatives
can be tackled procedurally in one of four ways:
(1) Supporting learners in performing a task similar to the task that will
perform in the during task phase of the lesson;
(2) Asking students to observe a model of how to perform a task;
(3) Engaging learners in non-task activities designed to prepare them to
perform the task
(4) Strategic planning of the main task performance.
Performing a similar task
The use of a 'pre-task' is a key feature of the Communicational Teaching
Project (Prabhu, 1987). It was carried out as an activity involving the
entire class with the teacher, and involved the learners in completing a
task of the same type and content as the main task. Thus, it served as a
preparation for performing the main task individually. For example, if the
main task involving talking about clothes and appearance of individuals
or groups; the teacher may talk to the students about how they dress and
how this affects their personalities.
Providing a model
An alternative to this first example is to ask the students to observe a
model of how the task can be performed without requiring them to
undertake a trial performance of the task. This involves presenting them
44
with an oral text to demonstrate an 'ideal' performance of the task. Both
Skehan (1996) and Willis (1996) suggested that 'observing' others
perform a task can help reduce the cognitive load on the learner.
Non-task preparation activities
There are a variety of non-task preparation activities that teachers can
choose from. These center on reducing the cognitive or linguistic
demands placed on the learner. Activating learners' content schemata or
providing them with background information serves as a means of
defining the topic of a task. Examples of this are brainstorming and mind
maps.
Strategic planning
Learners should be given time to plan how they will perform the task.
This can be distinguished from other pre-task options in that it does not
involve students in a trial performance of the task or observing
a model. Planning can be carried out individually, in groups, or with the
teacher.
The task cycle
Richards and Rodgers (2001) asserted that the task is undertaken by
students (in pairs or groups) and gives students a chance to express
themselves and say whatever they want to say. This may be in response to
reading a text or listening to a recording. The teacher should move about
the classroom and monitor students’ activities, encouraging everyone's
45
attempts at communication in the target language. Moreover, the teacher
should help students to formulate what they want to say, but not intervene
to correct errors. The emphasis should be placed on spontaneous,
exploratory speaking and confidence-building within the privacy of the
small group. Success in achieving the goals of task increases students'
motivation.
Planning
- Planning prepares students for the next stage, when they are asked to
report briefly to the whole class how they performed the task and what
the outcome was.
- Students draft and rehearse what they want to say or write.
- The teacher circulates among the students, offering them advice about
language, suggesting phrases and helping them polish and correct their
language.
- Emphasis is placed on clarity, organization, and accuracy, as
appropriate for an open representation.
- Individual students often take the opportunity to ask questions about
specific language items.
Report
- The teacher asks some pairs or groups of students to report briefly to the
entire class so that every student can compare findings, or begin a survey.
46
- The teacher runs the discussion, comments on the content of the
students' reports, rephrase, but does not make corrections in public.
Post-task
-The students listen to an authentic recording of fluent speakers
performing the same task, and compare it to the ways in which they
performed the task.
Analysis
- The teacher establishes some language-focused task, based on the texts
students have read or on the transcripts of the recordings they have heard.
- Examples include the following:
Students find words and phrases related to the title of the paragraph or
text.
Students read the transcript, find words ending with s or 's, and tell what
the s means.
Students find all the verbs in the simple past tense and tell which ones
refer to past time and which do not.
Students underline and classify the questions in the transcript.
- The teacher helps students begin and then they continue on their own or
in pairs or groups.
- The teacher offers help and the students can ask questions.
47
- The teacher then reviews the analysis in complete form. The teacher
also writes a list of relevant language items on the board. Students
respond and make notes.
Practice
Students carry out practice activities as needed, based on the language
analysis work already written on the board, or use examples from the text
or transcript. Practice activities may consist of any of the following:
Choral repetition of the phrases identified and classified
Memory challenging games based on partially erased examples
Using lists already on blackboard for progressive deletion
Sentence completion, matching the past tense verbs with the subject or
objects in the text
Kim's game (in teams) with new words and phrases.
Teacher's Role
Willis (1996) assigned the following roles for the teachers in the
framework for TBLT:
In the pre-task, the teacher should:
Present and define the topic.
Use activities to help students memorize/learn some useful words and
phrases.
Ensure that students comprehend the task instructions.
Play recordings of others performing the same task or a similar one.
48
In the task cycle, the teacher should:
act as monitor and motivate students.
ensure that the purpose of the report is clear.
Act as a language advisor.
help students review oral reports.
act as chairperson; selecting who will speak next
- Offer brief feedback on content and form.
- play a recording of others doing the same or similar task.
In the post-task (language focus), the teacher should:
review each analysis activity with the whole class.
bring other useful words, phrases and patterns to students' attention.
Review language items from the report stage.
conduct practice activities after analysis activities where necessary, to
build confidence.
Students' Role
Willis (1996) assigned the following roles for the learners in the
framework of TBLT:
In the pre-task, students should:
Write down useful words and phrases from the pre-task activities and/or
the recording.
spend a few minutes preparing for the task individually.
In the task cycle, the students should:
49
Perform the task in pairs or small groups.
prepare to report how they performed the task and what they discovered
to the class
Rehearse what they will present to the entire class.
present their spoken reports to the class.
In the post-task (language focus), the student should:
Perform consciousness-raising activities to identify and process specific
language features from the task and transcript.
ask about other features they noticed.
practice words, phrases and patterns from the analysis activities.
enter useful language items in their language notebooks.
Ellis (2007) mentioned some pedagogical problems that occur during the
implementation of TBT and suggested a solution for each problem. Those
are:
1. Teachers often believe that teaching using TBLT is not possible with
beginners. The suggested solution is that teachers need to understand that
TBLT is input-based, and that it is possible to initially increase
proficiency through a series of situational tasks.
2. Students may be unwilling to risk communication 'freely'. Ellis
suggested that teachers should allow planning time and train the learners.
3. Students will resort to communicating in their L1. Ellis claimed that
50
this is arguably not a problem; As proficiency develops, learners
automatically begin to use L2 more.
4. Teachers may not fully understand the principles or TBLT or have the
proficiency to teach 'communicatively'. Ellis claimed that more effective
teacher training may solve this problem. Ellis also mentioned some
problems with educational system that may emerge during the
implementation of TBLT however; she suggests the following solutions
for these problems:
1. Placing emphasis on 'knowledge learning'. To solve this problem, she
claims that educational philosophy needs to be changed.
2. Examination system. To solve this problem, Ellis claims that more
communicative tests need to be developed.
3. Large classes. Ellis claimed that teachers may use group work or
develop tasks suited to large classed
TBLT and communicative language teaching
TBLT stems directly from the Communicative language teaching method
(CLT) (Leaver and Willis, 2004). It began to take form in the early 1970s
as a reaction to focus-on-form language teaching methods used at the
time. As such, CLT has utilized insight from a number of fields of
knowledge. The concepts of competence and performance are associated
with Chomsky's (1965) Transformational-Generative Grammar theory.
Furthermore, from the standpoint of anthropology and sociolinguistics,
51
Hymes' disagreement with Chomsky on the boundaries of competence led
to a redefinition of this concept which, from his perspective, should
comprise language use (performance) as well. Thus focusing on language
in actual performance, Hymes devised an interdisciplinary (Hayes Jacobs,
1989) model of communicative competence.
Communicative language teaching has also received important
contributions from the field of psycholinguistics. For instance, Krashen
(1985) suggested through his input + 1 theory hypothesis that exposure to
authentic language is fundamental for language acquisition. It can be said
that CLT emerged from an invisible, interdisciplinary movement. A
version of this, known as task-based language teaching, began to
materialize approximately two decades ago. Regarding the issue of
paradigm shifting, Hermans (1999) claimed the existence of an invisible
school of thought which mainly unnoticed establishes or changes theory
paradigm.
Moskowitz (1977) gave examples of what she called 'humanistic
exercises' for language learning, which in fact, have all the characteristics
of tasks defined by Ellis (2003). For example, “identity cards” require
students to wear cards that give some personal information about
themselves, such as 'three adjectives that describe you'. The students
circulate while the teacher plays music. When the music stops they
choose a partner and talk about the information written on their “identity
52
cards”. Moskowitz discussed the affective and linguistic purposes of such
tasks. One of the affective purposes of 'identity cards' is enable a new
group of students to become acquainted, while the linguistic purpose is to
practice asking and answering questions. There was no attempt to focus
students' attention on the linguistic purpose; however, Moskowitz
envisaged these humanistic tasks as supplementing and reinforcing
traditional materials, i.e. as contributing to task-supported language
teaching.
53
Empirical Studies on TBLT
It appears that Prabhu's Communicational Teaching Project in
Bengalore (Prabhu, 1987) was a major milestone in the process of
"changing winds and shifting sands" (Brown, 2000: 13) towards this new
language teaching paradigm (Leaver and Willis, 2004). In reality, the
results of this project indicated that TBLT might represent a promising
alternative to existing methods of the 1980s, as suggested by Tarone and
Yule (1989)
Reports on the Bangalore Project indicated that a syllabus organized
around problem-solving tasks and feedback can effectively accomplish,
and in many respects improve on, what a traditional linguistic syllabus
provides.
Since the implementation of the Bangalore project (Bretta and Davis,
1985) a considerable amount of research findings have provided a
reasonably firm basis for adopting of TBLT in the L2 classroom. These
researches are presented chronologically in this section.
Cathcart in Chaudrun (1988: 98) was one of the language oriented
researchers who performed TBLT with empirical examinations. After
observing eight Spanish-speaking kindergarten children in various
activities for a year, Cathcart pointed out that "an increase in utterance
length or complexity was found in those peer-peer interactions".
54
The results of a study conducted by Rulon and McCreary’s (1986),
which compared between teacher-fronted and group work negotiation for
meaning also endorse the reliability of TBLT. The point they made was
that through group work focused on meaning, interaction is promoted,
and, eventually L2 learning ensues.
Fotos and Ellis (1991) demonstrated that the adoption of "task-based
language teaching" to communicate about grammar is conducive to both
learning and communication. They also found that communicative
grammar-based tasks helped Japanese college-level EFL learners increase
their knowledge of difficult grammatical rules and facilitated the
acquisition of implicit knowledge.
Bygate (1996) found evidence that repetition of a task affected
accuracy in some interesting ways that were consistent with this account.
Without any prior warning or indication that the task was to be repeated,
and without any use of reference to the task in class of repeating a video
narrative task, the speaker showed significant adjustments to the way she
spoke. According to several experienced judges, her lexical selection,
selection of collocates, selection of grammatical items, and her ability of
self- correct were better when the task was repeated. During the first
performance, the speaker was likely to have been more taxed by the task
of holding meanings in memory, transferring the meanings into words
and articulating them, under time pressure. During the second
55
performance, the speaker was likely to have been able to take advantage
of the familiarity of the content and with the processes of formulating the
meanings, and was able to devote more attention to the lexico-
grammatical selection. Bygate also concluded that repetition of similar
tasks is more likely to provide a structured context for mastery of form-
meaning relations than is a random sequencing of tasks.
Pica-Porter, Paninos and Linnel (1996) investigated the effect of
interaction during the implementation of a task on promoting the process
of comprehension between L2 students. The participants of this study
were sixteen English-speaking intermediate students of French as a
foreign language at the University of Hawaii. The findings of this study
showed that the language produced by participants during the simulation
was typical of negotiation for meaning. The results also indicated that the
interaction between L2 students offer data of considerable quality, but
may not provide the necessary input that would result in reconstruction of
the learners' language. The study concluded that L2 students can be a
source of modified and limited input and the interaction between them is
not as rich as the interaction between native speakers and non-native
speakers. Pica et al. (1996) recommended that negotiation for meaning
may have a beneficial role when used in combination with other
pedagogical principles that promote language acquisition.
56
Studies based on experiments with tasks requiring justifications
indicated that these generate highly complex utterances. By the same
token, results from comparisons between interactive and monologic tasks
showed that the former produces much more precision and complexity,
whereas the latter generates more fluency (Skehan and Foster, 1997.)
In several studies conducted by Foster and Skehan (1996, 1999),
Mehnert (1998) and Ortega (1999), it was verified that task planning
produces positive influence on these two aspects of learner's
performance.
Jaccobs and Navas (2000) investigated the clarity of three task categories
for a group of Philippines teachers of English as a second language
working in the Philippines. The goal was to shed lights on the usefulness
of these classifications as intervention points to be included in language
teacher education. Thirty three in-service teachers of English in the
Philippines participated in this study; they were attending a course on
language instruction at the Philippines Normal University in Manila. The
findings of the study showed that the term "task-based language teaching"
was fairly new to most participants; most participants seemed to feel that
the categories were at least moderately useful in their teaching.
Foster and Skehan (1996) compared the effects of (1) meaning/form-
focused strategic planning, (2) undetailed strategic planning and (3)
minimal strategic planning on EFL learners' speech in three experimental
57
tasks: personal information exchange, oral narrative, and decision
making. They found that, under the meaning/form-focused strategic
planning, speech was more complex and fluent (for all three tasks), and
more accurate (for two of the three tasks) than speech under minimal
strategic planning condition. In addition, they found that the
meaning/form-focused strategic planning condition promoted
significantly higher speech complexity and higher fluency than the
undetailed strategic planning condition.
Carless (2001) explored the implementation of task-based teaching in
three primary classrooms in Hong- Kong. He reviewed six issues
(teachers' understanding of tasks, their attitudes, and the classroom time
available for task-based teaching, teacher preparation of resources, the
influence of textbook and topics, and the language proficiency of
students) which were found to impact on how teachers approached the
implementation of the communicative tasks in their classroom. The
subjects of this case study were three female English teachers
implementing task-based innovation over a seven month period in their
own primary one or primary two classrooms with students aged six to
seven. The findings in terms of the six issues which emerged from the
data indicated that there was a certain amount of interplay between
different issues. For example, the most positive the teacher attitude
towards task-based teaching, the more likely he/she is to take time to
58
prepare supplementary task-based materials or to create classroom time
for carrying out activities.
Swain and Lapkin (2001) reported on a study in which two
communicative tasks (dictogloss vs jigsaw), similar in content but
different in format, were used with adolescents studying French. These
students remain non-native-like in their spoken and written French, even
after some eight years of comprehensible input. In this study they asked
the students to carry out two contrasting tasks; one class did jigsaw tasks
while the other did dictogloss tasks. In both cases, the tasks were
preceded by a short lesson on French pronominal verbs as an input
enhancement activity. Their goal was to examine the data for instances of
second language learning during task performance. The results showed
that one task is not better than another for pedagogical purposes. The
value of a task depends upon the instructional goals of the teachers. Both
tasks generated a similar and substantial proportion of form-focused
language-related episodes. Another important result, the dictogloss
enhances accuracy in the production of pronominal verbs and led students
to notice and reproduce complex syntactic structures. The jigsaw task led
to a greater range of vocabulary use and language related episodes,
suggesting that perhaps its open-ended nature might inspire greater
linguistic creativity.
59
Bugler and Hunt (2002) proposed how tasks can be used as a basis for
teaching and gave detailed account of a twelve-week long task-based
learning project. The project, which was called "student-generated action
research", required an entire twelve-week semester to complete. They
implemented their project at a major private Japanese university with
approximately 340 first year students enrolled in a second-semester
speaking course. The project required the students to work in groups of
two to four persons and to choose a topic they were interested in. The
groups then designed a questionnaire that would be used to investigate
the opinions that a specific target group holds about the chosen topic. The
findings indicated that learners who participated in the task-based project
found the experience to be rewarding, intrinsically interesting, and
educationally beneficial. Thus, the final product was generally of a high
level.
In his study based on interviews with teachers, teacher educators, and
ministry officials, Nunan (2004) indicated that TBLT emerged as a
central concept from a study of curriculum guidelines and syllabi in the
Asia-Pacific countries including Japan, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong,
Korea and Malaysia
Lopez (2004) conducted an experiment based on task-based instructions
instead of presentation-practice-production (PPP) approach for teaching
English in two classes in a private school in the south of Brazil. He found
60
that students using task-based instructions (TBI) learned English more
effectively because they were using the language to do things- to access
information, solve problems, and to talk about personal experiences. The
students who were exposed to real language were able to deal with real-
life situations when they encountered them outside the classroom. He also
concluded that teachers who come from a different background, as far as
teaching approaches are concerned, should be trained before using TBLT
in the classroom.
Muller (2005) introduced task-based learning to a small class of weak
students at a private English school in Japan, to give them more
opportunities to speak. The researcher adapted a vocabulary-focused
lesson from the Presentation Practice Production (PPP)-based textbook
that he was using. He adopted Willis's (1996) task structure in his classes
as follows: Performing a communicative task, planning a report of the
performance, and reporting the task results to the class. In order to
incorporate tasks with a clear link to each unit of the textbook, Muller
listed vocabulary from each textbook unit, assigned topics to the
vocabulary lists, listed tasks following Willis's (1996) task-types and
decided in which weeks each unit would be covered. He concluded that
although the task and the subsequent planning and report stages did not
fulfill the criteria or features of task-based lessons found in literature, his
approach did not show how TBL could be used as a starting point for use
61
with low-level learners who may not be ready for the full version. As
these students progressed they would gradually be able to tackle tasks,
planning, and reporting sessions that are less restricted and more
demanding while working with the familiar task- plan- report framework.
Al Nashash (2006) investigated the effect of a task-based program for
teaching English language productive skills on the development of first-
year secondary grade female students' oral and written skills at a
secondary school in Amman. The results showed that task-based
language teaching through the designed program based on the procedures
and principles of TBLT improved the learning of communicative
speaking and writing skills somewhat better than the conventional
method of teaching.
Lochana and Deb's (2006) project in a school run by the Basaveshwara
Education Society in India also revealed evidence in support of a task-
based approach to language teaching and learning. They developed an
experiment in which non-task-based textbook activities were converted
into task-based ones in order to test two hypotheses: (1) ' Task-based
teaching enhances the language proficiency of the learners' and (2) 'Tasks
encourage learners to participate more in the learning processes'. Their
findings suggest that TBL is beneficial to learners not only in terms of
proficiency enhancement but also in terms of motivation.
62
Joen and Jung (2006) explored EFL teachers' perceptions of TBLT in
Korean secondary school context. The data for their study were collected
through questionnaires from a total of 228 teachers at 38 middle and high
schools in Korea. The overall findings of their study revealed that despite
a higher level of understanding of TBLT concepts, many Korean EFL
teachers retain some fear of adopting TBLT as an instructional method
because of perceived disciplinary problems related to classroom practice.
They also concluded that teachers had their own reasons to use or avoid
implementing TBLT. Based on the overall findings, they gave three
important implications for teachers and teacher trainers: First, since
teachers' views regarding instructional approach have a great impact on
classroom practice, it is necessary for the teacher, as a practical controller
and facilitator of learners' activities in the classroom, to have a positive
attitude toward TBLT in order for it to be successfully implemented.
Second, given the research finding that teachers lack practical application
knowledge of task-based methods or techniques, teachers should be given
the opportunity to acquire knowledge about TBLT related to planning,
implementing, and assessing. They suggested that teacher education
programs, which aim at in-depth training about language teaching
methodologies, should properly deal with both the strengths and
weaknesses of TBLT as an instructional method ranging from basic
principles to specific techniques. Third, when taking into account that one
63
of the major reasons teachers avoid implementing TBLT is deeply related
to a lack of confidence, much consideration should be given to
overcoming potential obstacles that teachers may come across in a task-
based classroom. They also recommended that teachers consider
alternative solutions for classroom management such as leveled tasks,
peer assessment, and a variety of various task types including two-way
information gap activities as well as one-way activities such as simple
asking and answering.
Aljarf (2007) investigated the effect of TBLT on 52 female EFL
students at the college of language at King Saud University, Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia. The students were in their third semester of college and
were enrolled in a two-hour speaking course. The students were taught
using TBLT principles, instructions, and procedures and were pre and
post-tested. The results showed that the students could speak fluently
using correct grammar and pronunciations, and could easily generate
ideas. The success of this improvement was due to efficient task-based
instructions.
Suxiang (2007 explored the effects of combining task-based language
teaching with online English language teaching on Chinese university
non-major English graduate students. He examined whether this
combination promoted the students' interest in English learning and if it
improved the students' basic skills in listening, speaking, reading and
64
writing. The results of the study showed that the students' interest in
English gradually increased, and it stimulated the students' potential
ability in English learning, particularly their reading, writing, speaking
and listening.
Hitutozi (2008) investigated Liberal Arts TEFL undergraduates from the
Federal University of Amazonas. A study was designed and implemented
to experiment with clustered tasks as a means of maintaining peer-peer
oral/aural interaction in the classroom levels. The results indicated that
the learners were kept engaged in the meaningful interactions in the
classroom for an extended period of time. A key assumption underlying
the experiment is that the longer learners use the target language to
communicate in the classroom the more their interlanguage is enhanced.
Birjandi and Ahangari (2008) examined the effects of task repetition
and task type on fluency, accuracy, and complexity. The researchers
assigned 120 students to six groups. The results and the analysis of
variance indicated that task repetition and task type, as well as the
interaction between these variables, resulted in significant differences in
subjects’ oral discourse in terms of fluency, accuracy and complexity.
Reports of research findings such as these are likely to encourage
teachers to feel comfortable applying TBL to their classrooms. It also
fulfills fundamental conditions for learning a second language, namely
65
exposure, meaningful use, motivation, and language analyses, as pointed
out by Willis (in Willis and Willis, 1996).
Narita (2008) conducted a research an elementary school in Japan
where she taught English as a foreign language. The classes were given
lessons and activities in which they experienced realistic communicative
situations such as shopping tasks and an interview tasks. The results
showed that many students had a feeling of contentment and strong
willingness to continue to study English in the future after completing the
tasks.
Concluding Remarks
In summary, research findings show that TBLT offers an opportunity
for authentic learning in the classroom. Moreover, TBLT not only
emphasizes meaning over form, but also caters to learning the form. In
addition, TBLT is intrinsically motivating and may be compatible with a
learner-centered educational philosophy. At the same time, it allows for
teacher input and direction. Finally, it caters to the development of
communicative fluency while paying attention to accuracy, and can be
used alongside a more traditional procedures.
Therefore, TBLT motivates students and promotes higher levels of
proficiency. It also creates a low-anxiety learning environment in which
students can utilize their ideas and practice their language to develop
confidence. Teachers can provide timely guidance, which leads to higher
66
retention rates. Despite that TBLT is labor intensive and high
maintenance, it develops a cooperative learning community among
students.
The current study is similar to others from the standpoint of the steps
and framework of processes used to analyze the effects of TBLT on the
students' achievements and performance in learning a foreign language,
but it differs from the studies cited here in several aspects:
1. The current research focused on the effect of TBLT on the students'
speaking skills, which are considered the most important skill in learning
English as a foreign language.
2. Few studies have been conducted on the effects of task-based
language teaching on language skills in general, and on the speaking
skills in particular. There has also been only limited research in the
Israeli context in general, and in the Palestinians context in Israel in
particular. Therefore, the current research is unique since it examines
the effects of TBLT on the speaking skills of Palestinian EFL secondary
students living in Israel and their attitudes towards English. Its results and
implications will no doubt be very beneficial to policy-makers, school
principals, and EFL teachers.
67
Chapter Three
Methods and Procedures
This chapter presents the methods and procedures that the researcher
followed to pinpoint the effect of Task-based language teaching on
developing the speaking skills of the subjects and examines their attitudes
towards English. The chapter begins with a description of the research
subjects and research instruments, and concludes with a description of the
research procedures and statistical measures that were used to analyze the
data of the study.
The Research Subjects
Two Arab schools were deliberately chosen from the Arab secondary
schools in the lower Galilee in Northern Israel. Each school population
consisted of Palestinian boys and girls who studied together in the same
classes. These schools were deliberately selected from many Arab high
schools in the region because the EFL teachers in these schools are
qualified, veteran teachers who are experienced in EFL teaching methods.
Moreover, the researcher had easy access to these institutions. These
schools are:
1. Bueina-Nujidat High School: The student body consists of 450 boys
and girls from three different villages in the lower Galilee. They are
distributed in fifteen classes.
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2. Tamra High School: The student body consists of 422 boys and girls
from Tamra Town in the lower Galilee. They are distributed to fifteen
classes.
Four sections of the eleventh grade in the two schools were selected
randomly. Two of them constituted the experimental group, while the
other two represented the control group. Table 1 presents the distribution
of the subjects.
Table 1: Distribution of the Research Subjects by School and Gender
School
No. of Students No. of Subjects in Both Groups
Boys Girls
Experimental Group Control Group
Boys Girls Boys Girls
Bueina 21 32 14 16 6 17
Tamra 16 22 10 10 7 11
Total 37 54 24 26 13 28
Instruments of this Study
The researcher used the following instruments to achieve the purpose of
the study:
The speaking test
The speaking test was designed and developed by the researcher, and
includes oral questions and evaluation rubrics. The oral questions
consisted of three types of questions:
- Biographical such as "where do you live?" and "How large is your
family"?
69
- Guided questions such as "What is your favorite subject? Why? "Do you
like to study English only? Why?
- Open questions such as: "In your opinion, what should the school do to
help you study English? "Why do you think most Arab students do not
like English? (Appendix 5:159).
The purpose of the speaking test was to assess the participants' speaking
skills before and after the implementation of the instructional program in
order to detect the effect of the program on the participants' speaking
skills. The participants were pre and post-tested orally, and were then
tape- recorded by two EFL teachers who evaluated them after each session
according to an evaluation scheme presented by the researcher. The
evaluation rubrics for the speaking test were adopted from Ur (2006) and
validated by a panel of experts to suit the local context. Table 2 presents
the specifications and the weight of fluency and accuracy in the oral social
interaction test.
Table 2: The Specifications for the Speaking Skills Test
Accuracy Fluency
Little or no language production 1 Little or no communication 1
Poor vocabulary, mistakes in basic grammar,
very strong foreign accent
2
Very hesitant and brief
utterances, sometimes difficult
to understand
2
Adequate but limited vocabulary, makes
obvious grammar mistakes, slight foreign
accent
3
Gets ideas across, but hesitantly
and briefly
3
Good range of vocabulary, occasional
grammar slips, slight foreign accent
4
Effective communication in
short turns
4
Wide vocabulary appropriately used,
virtually no grammar mistakes, native like or
slight foreign accent
5
Easy and effective
communication, uses long turns
5
70
The following procedures were carried out for the preparation and
administration of this test:
1. The test was prepared by the researcher and validated by a panel
which consisted of EFL teachers, instructors and lecturers in the College
of Sakhnin for Teacher Education (See appendix 3:153).
2. The researcher and the EFL teachers who carried out the test held a
training session in which they discussed the questions in the speaking test
and the evaluation rubrics and agreed on the content and the procedures
of the test and its evaluation.
3. The teachers held individual sessions with the students who
participated in the study. The teachers met with each student for ten
minutes, during which they asked questions from the speaking skills test.
Each session was tape-recorded. After each session the teachers evaluated
the student's speaking performance according to the evaluation scheme
(Appendix 4: 155). This procedure was conducted before and after the
implementation of the instructional program.
The attitudinal questionnaire
The questionnaire was designed to examine the participants’ attitudes
towards English before and after the implementation of the TBLT
program. The attitudinal questionnaire was used by Liu (2007) to
examine Chinese students' motivation to learn English as a foreign
71
language at a tertiary level. Liu used some items that were originally
developed by Gardner (1985).
This questionnaire consisted of items about students' attitudes towards
learning English. The questionnaire was designed in the form of a 5-
point Likert scale ranging from "Strongly Disagree" to "Strongly Agree"
with values 1-5 assigned to each alternative. The questionnaire had four
dimensions: developmental orientation (items 1-7), integrative orientation
(items 8- 20), instrumental orientation (items 21-36), and travel
orientation (items 37-42). The survey for travel orientation was adopted
mainly because some participants are highly exposed to computers and to
the Internet and some of them participated in summer schools in England.
For this reason it was thought that they might be specifically motivated to
learn English through travel. (See Appendix 2).
The questionnaire was administered to the participants in both groups
before and after the implementation of the instructional program.
Validity and reliability of the Research Instruments
A panel of judges consisting of nine academic college instructors and
three high school teachers were asked to evaluate the attitudinal
questionnaire items in light of the context in which it was used. The
instructional program and the speaking test and its evaluation scheme
were also validated by the same panel (See Appendix 3).
72
Both the speaking skills test and the attitudinal questionnaire were
tested on a pilot group. This group consisted of ten students randomly
selected from the section of the target grade at the assigned schools who
were not members of two specified groups who participated in the study.
A technique of a test-retest was used to ensure the reliability of the
research instruments. The period between the test and the re-test was two
weeks. The correlation coefficient of the test was calculated using
Pearson's Correlation Coefficient and was found (87%) for the attitudinal
questionnaire and (85%) for the speaking skills test, which was
considered statistically acceptable for the current study.
Table 3 presents the reliability of the questionnaire while Table 4
presents the agreement percentage of the speaking skills test.
Table 3: Reliability of the Attitudinal Questionnaire
Questionnaire
And its dimensions
Stability Index
(Pearson)
Consistency Index
(Cronbach's Alpha)
N of
Items
Developmental Orientation 0.71 0.65 7
Integrative Orientation 0.63 0.73 13
Instrumental Orientation 0.65 0.83 16
Travel Orientation 0.66 0.71 6
Whole 0.70 0.85 42
73
Table 4: The Agreement Percentage of the Speaking Skill Test
Oral Test
Stability Index
(Pearson)
Accuracy 0.85
Fluency 0.89
Overall 0.87
The Instructional Program
To achieve the aim of the study, an instructional program to teach
speaking by TBLT was designed by the researcher (see Appendix 1).
General objectives
The program was basically designed to be an instructional syllabus for
developing the oral social interaction skills of students in the
experimental group. Fluency and accuracy were the priority in this
program. There was direct teaching of grammar generalizations during
the last two phases of the TBLT framework (while and post- task).
By the end of the program students will be able to:
- interact effectively orally in English in various social contexts with
people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
This will be accomplished through fluency and accuracy.
Students will exhibit communicative ability (fluency), and will be able to:
understand questions, interact fluently, and provide elaborate answers.
Students will exhibit accuracy and will be able to use complex language
structures such as relative and conditional clauses correctly.
74
Students will be able to use a rich vocabulary and pronounce words
correctly.
Description of the Program:
EFL teachers face a problem when designing course materials. Many
institutions require students to purchase a textbook which is often based
on Presentation Practice Production (PPP) procedure based textbooks.
There is no way that teachers can construct their own curriculum, and
they therefore use the textbook to provide their syllabus. TBLT may be a
preferable alternative to PPP (Skehan, 1996), and teachers therefore have
the option of adapting class textbooks to TBLT.
This program was designed on the basis of TBLT procedures and
principles. Textbooks for teaching English as a foreign language are
based on PPP syllabus. Therefore, the researcher adapted materials found
in the traditional textbooks to fit the procedures and principles of TBLT.
This program focused on speaking skills.
To create a design of TBLT, the researcher developed a plan to be
followed when adapting the tasks found in advance through more relevant
activities (henceforth, Targets).
Skehan (1996: 22) advises that educators must balance the three goals of
'accuracy', 'complexity restructuring', and 'fluency' when using TBLT.
Willis (1996), suggests three stages in a cycle that concentrates on
75
fluency first (in the task), complexity restructuring next (in planning), and
finally combines accuracy with fluency (in the report).
Context
Teaching oral social interaction for EFL students in Israel is the same in
both Jewish and Arab schools. It is intended to make students interact
effectively in English with people from varied linguistic and cultural
backgrounds in varied social contexts. This should be achieved at the end
of the proficiency level (high school). In both high Bueina-Nujidat and
Tamra schools English classes are held for forty five minutes four times a
week, forty eight classes per semester (three months). Both schools are
under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Ministry of Education. The program
was designed to cater to the eleventh grade students' level of English. The
students are 17 years old and the classes are heterogeneous. The
population is 872 students. The sample consisted of 91 subjects. 50
subjects made up the experimental group and 41 made up the control
group. The TBLT program was implemented in the experimental group.
Method
The researcher adopted Willis' (1996) task structure in the classes as
follows:
Performing a communicative task
Planning a report of the performance
Reporting the task results to the class
76
Willis's structure encouraged focus on fluency (communication) during
the task phase, then form (restructuring for complexity and accuracy)
during the planning and the reporting phases.
In order to incorporate tasks with a clear link to each chosen unit for the
program, the researcher took the following steps:
1. Listing vocabulary from each textbook unit.
2. Assigning topics to the vocabulary lists.
3. Listing tasks following Willis's (1996) task types.
4. Deciding in which weeks each unit would be covered. (For further
information (Appendix 1: 120).
Data Collection
Prior to the beginning of the study, the subjects were administered the
pretest and the attitudinal questionnaire. The intervention process then
began. The subjects in the experimental group were taught English
speaking using the TBLT program, while the participants in the control
group were taught the same material conventionally. The post-test and the
attitudinal questionnaire were also administered at the conclusion of the
study.
Design of the Study
The current study adopted the quasi-experimental deign in terms of
using one experimental group and one control group. These groups were
chosen randomly from eleventh grade classes from the two schools. They
77
were judgmentally random. The experimental group was taught using the
task-based program (TBP) designed by the researcher and the control
group was taught using the conventional method of teaching used by
teachers of EFL at these schools. Both the experimental and the control
groups were pre-tested and posttested in their speaking skills and their
attitudes towards English.
The experimental group (two sections) was taught by two trained EFL
teachers: one male and female, while the control group (two sections) was
also taught by two teachers: one male and one female. Each EFL teacher
had a BA degree in English literature and linguistics and was a certified
teacher.. All teachers had at least 10 years of teaching experience.
Research Variables
The study has two dependent variables: They are the subjects' mean
scores on the speaking skill test and the mean scores of their responses to
the items of the attitudinal questionnaire, whereas the independent
variables are the students' gender and the instructional program.
Statistical Analysis
To answer the research questions, the speaking skills test and the
attitude questionnaire were administered as a pre-test and a post-test.
Covariance (ANCOVA, MANCOVA) were used to test the difference in
adjusted mean scores between the two groups to find out if they were
statistically significant. The adjusted post scores were also calculated.
78
Research Procedures
The study was carried out in the following manner:
1. Permission to conduct the study was obtained from the school
principals.
2. The relevant literature was reviewed to establish the theoretical
background of the study.
3. The TBLT program was prepared and validated.
4. The speaking skills test and the attitudinal questionnaire were prepared
and validated.
5. A training session was held that included the researcher and the EL
teachers who implemented the instructional program and who tested and
evaluated the participants. The teachers were trained in the principles and
procedures of TBLT.
6. A pilot study was conducted on ten students from the target population
who did not participate in the study. This is to ensure the reliability of the
instrument.
7. The speaking test and the attitudinal questionnaire were administered
before and after the study. The results of both instruments were
statistically analyzed.
8. The designed program was applied for a period of three months.
9. The findings of the study were analyzed and discussed.
79
10. The researcher wrote and produced the dissertation according to the
guidelines presented in the guide for writing theses and dissertations at
Yarmouk University.
80
Chapter Four
Research Findings
The purpose of the current study is to investigate the effect of an
instructional program based on the TBLT principles and procedures on
the students’ speaking skill and their attitudes towards English. The
findings of the study are presented in this chapter according to the
research questions.
Findings related to the first research question
Is there a statistically significant difference between the subjects' mean
scores on the English speaking skill test due to the interaction between
the teaching procedure and gender?
To simplify presenting the findings related to this question, the
researcher divided it as follows:
a. The scores of students on the speaking skills test according to the
independent variables of the study: The researcher calculated the means,
the standard deviations of the adjusted means and the standard error of
the students’ scores on the pre and post-test according to the teaching
procedure and students’ gender. The results are presented in Table 5.
81
Table 5
Means, Standard Deviations, Adjusted Means and Standard Errors of the
Subjects' Scores on the Pre and Post Tests According to the Teaching
Procedure and Students’ Gender
Group Gender N
Pretest of Overall
Speaking Test (Covariate)
Posttest of
Overall Speaking Test
Mean
Std.
Dev.
Mean
Std.
Dev.
Adj.
Mean
Std.
Error
Control Male 13 4.654 1.51 5.077 1.44 5.850 0.17
Female 28 5.804 1.25 5.893 1.31 5.661 0.11
Total 41 5.439 1.42 5.634 1.39 5.755 0.10
Experimental Male 24 6.083 1.52 7.292 1.33 6.816 0.12
Female 26 5.192 1.18 7.077 1.23 7.379 0.12
Total 50 5.620 1.42 7.180 1.27 7.097 0.08
Total Male 37 5.581 1.65 6.514 1.73 6.333 0.10
Female 54 5.509 1.25 6.463 1.40 6.520 0.08
Table 5 shows that there are observed differences between the adjusted
means of both groups according to the teaching procedure and students’
gender. The researcher used ANCOVA to find the significance of these
differences. The results are presented in Table 6.
Table 6
Results of ANCOVA on the Total Score of the Speaking Test Due to
Teaching Procedure and Subjects’ Gender
Source
Sum of
Squares
Degree
Freedom
Mean
Square
F Sig.
Partial
q
2
Overall Speaking Test (Covariate) 120.366 1 120.366 344.589 0.000 80.0%
Group 36.567 1 36.567 104.686 0.000 54.9%
Gender 0.729 1 0.729 2.086 0.152 2.4%
Group*gender 2.580 1 2.580 7.387 0.008 7.9%
Error 30.040 86 0.349
Total 210.725 90
Table 6 shows that there is a statistically significant difference (u = 0.05)
between the two adjusted means of the students’ scores on the post -test
attributed to the teaching procedure in favor of the members of the
experimental group. Table 6 also shows that there is no statistically
significant difference (u = 0.05) between the two adjusted means of the
82
students scores on the post test due to the students’ gender. The Table
also shows that there are statistically significant differences at (u = 0.05)
between the adjusted means of the students’ scores on the post-test
attributed to the interaction between the teaching procedure and students’
gender. Figure 1presents this interaction.
Estimated Marginal Means of Overall
Figure 1: The Interaction between the Variables of the Study
Figure 1 shows that there is a significant difference between girls and
boys in the experimental group in favor of the girls. Figure 1 also shows
an observed difference between the boys and the girls in the control group
in favor of the boys. In addition, the figure shows that there is a
significant difference between the achievement of boys and girls in the
experimental group and boys and girls in the control group in favor of the
experimental group.
b. The dimensions of the speaking test:
The researcher calculated the means, the standard deviations, the
adjusted means and the standard error of the students’ scores on the two
dimensions of the pre and post tests according to the teaching procedure
and students’ gender. The results are presented in Table 7.
83
Table 7
Means, Standard Deviations, Adjusted Means and Standard Error of the
Students’ Scores on the Dimensions of the Pre and Post- Tests According
to the Teaching Procedure and Subjects’ Gender
Dimension Group Gender
Pretest of
Speaking Test
(Covariate)
Posttest of
Speaking Test
Mean
Std.
Dev.
Mean
Std.
Dev.
Adj.
Mean
Std.
Error
Accuracy Control Male 2.462 0.85 2.769 0.83 3.108 0.12
Female 2.946 0.55 2.929 0.66 2.813 0.08
Total 2.793 0.69 2.878 0.71 2.960 0.07
Experimental Male 3.083 0.79 3.708 0.81 3.467 0.09
Female 2.596 0.62 3.615 0.70 3.794 0.09
Total 2.830 0.74 3.660 0.75 3.630 0.06
Total Male 2.865 0.86 3.378 0.92 3.287 0.07
Female 2.778 0.60 3.259 0.76 3.303 0.06
Fluency Control Male 2.308 0.72 2.308 0.75 2.662 0.10
Female 2.857 0.77 2.964 0.74 2.861 0.07
Total 2.683 0.79 2.756 0.80 2.761 0.06
Experimental Male 3.000 0.82 3.583 0.65 3.358 0.07
Female 2.596 0.63 3.462 0.65 3.604 0.07
Total 2.790 0.75 3.520 0.65 3.481 0.05
Total Male 2.757 0.85 3.135 0.92 3.010 0.06
Female 2.731 0.71 3.204 0.74 3.232 0.05
Table 7 shows that there are observed differences between the adjusted
means of the students’ scores on the two dimensions of the test.
The researcher used MANCOVA to analyze the speaking test
dimensions according to the independent variables of the study. The
results are presented in Table 8.
84
Table 8
Results of MANCOVA on the Dimensions of the Speaking Test
According to the Teaching Procedure and Subjects’ Gender
Effect
MANCOVA
Test
Value F
Hypothesis
degree
freedom
Error
degree
freedom
Sig.
Partial
q
2
Accuracy (Covariate) Wilks' Lambda 0.671 20.632 2 84 0.000 0.329
Fluency (Covariate) Wilks' Lambda 0.588 29.408 2 84 0.000 0.412
Group Hotelling's Trace 1.483 62.299 2 84 0.000 0.597
Gender Hotelling's Trace 0.093 3.911 2 84 0.024 0.085
Group*gender Wilks' Lambda 0.897 4.828 2 84 0.010 0.103
Table 8 shows that there is a significant effect for the teaching procedure
and students’ gender and the interaction between them (u = 0.05) on the
dimensions of the speaking test. The researcher used ANCOVA to find
the effect of the research variables on each dimension separately,. The
results are presented in Table 9.
Table 9
ANCOVA Results on each Dimensions of the Speaking Separately According to
the Teaching procedure and Subjects’ Gender
Dependent
Variable
Source
Sum of
Squares
Degree
freedom
Mean
Square
F Sig.
Partial
q
2
Accuracy
Accuracy (Covariate) 6.654 1 6.654 36.417 0.000 30.0%
Fluency (Covariate) 1.124 1 1.124 6.149 0.015 6.7%
Group 9.135 1 9.135 49.996 0.000 37.0%
Gender 0.005 1 0.005 0.028 0.867 0.0%
Group*gender 1.782 1 1.782 9.754 0.002 10.3%
Error 15.531 85 0.183
Total 61.385 90
Fluency
Accuracy (Covariate) 0.864 1 0.864 6.716 0.011 7.3%
Fluency (Covariate) 7.074 1 7.074 54.965 0.000 39.3%
Group 10.531 1 10.531 81.824 0.000 49.0%
Gender 1.018 1 1.018 7.913 0.006 8.5%
Group*gender 0.010 1 0.010 0.076 0.783 0.1%
Error 10.940 85 0.129
Total 59.187 90
Table 9 shows that there is a statistically significant difference (u =
0.05) between the two adjusted means of the students’ scores on the two
dimensions (accuracy and fluency) due to the teaching procedure in favor
of the experimental group. In addition, the table shows that there is a
statistically significant difference (u = 0.05) between the two adjusted
85
means of the students’ score on the dimension of fluency due to the
students’ gender in favor of the girls. Finally, the results show that there
is a statistically significant difference (u =0.05) between the means of
students’ scores on the dimension of accuracy due to the interaction
between the teaching procedure and students’ gender. This interaction is
presented in Figure 2.
Estimated Marginal Means of Accuracy
Figure 2: The Interaction between the Teaching Procedure and
Students’ Gender on the Dimension of Accuracy.
Figure 2 shows that there is a significant difference between the
achievement of boys and girls in the experimental group in favor of the
girls, while there is a significant difference between the achievement of
boys and girls in the control group in favor of the boys.
Findings related to the second research question
86
Is there a statistically significant difference between the subjects' mean
scores of the attitudes towards English due to the teaching procedure and
subjects' gender?
To simplify presenting the findings related to the question, the
researcher divided them into two parts as follows:
a. The total score of the students’ attitudes towards English according to
the independent variables of the study: To measure the students’ attitudes
towards English, the researcher calculated the means and standard
deviations of the students’ responses to the attitudinal questionnaire items
before and after implementing the TBLT program. The post adjusted
means and the standard errors were also calculated. The results of
analysis are presented in Table 10.
87
Table 10
Means, Standard Deviations and the Adjusted Means and Standard Errors
of the Pre and Post Subjects' Responses to the Attitudinal Questionnaire
Items According to the Independent Variables of the Study
Group Gender N
Pretest of Overall
Attitudes (Covariate)
Posttest of
Overall Attitudes
Mean
Std.
Dev.
Mean
Std.
Dev.
Adj.
Mean
Std.
Error
Control Male 13 2.304 0.20 2.531 0.28 2.587 0.09
Female 28 2.280 0.24 2.428 0.21 2.502 0.06
Total 41 2.287 0.22 2.461 0.24 2.544 0.06
Experimental Male 24 2.487 0.21 4.039 0.48 3.955 0.07
Female 26 2.418 0.16 4.124 0.38 4.093 0.06
Total 50 2.451 0.19 4.083 0.43 4.024 0.05
Total Male 37 2.423 0.22 3.509 0.84 3.271 0.06
Female 54 2.346 0.22 3.244 0.91 3.297 0.04
Table 10 shows that there is an observed difference between the two
post adjusted means of the students' responses according to the teaching
procedure and students’ gender. The researcher used ANCOVA to find
the significance of the observed difference,. The results are presented in
Table 11.
Table 11
Results of ANCOVA on the Total Score of the Attitudinal Questionnaire
Due to the Teaching Procedure and Subjects’ Gender
Source
Sum of
Squares
Degree
freedom
Mean
Square
F Sig.
Partial
q
2
Overall Attitudes (Covariate) 2.128 1 2.128 20.586 0.000 19.3%
Group 39.644 1 39.644 383.590 0.000 81.7%
Gender 0.014 1 0.014 0.139 0.710 0.2%
Group*gender 0.257 1 0.257 2.485 0.119 2.8%
Error 8.888 86 0.103
Total 70.493 90
Table 11 shows that there is a statistically significant difference at (u =
0.05) between the adjusted means of the post students’ responses in favor
of the students in the experimental group. The size effect (81.7) indicates
88
that the instructional program affected positively the overall attitudes of
the students towards English, while gender was not significant (0.2).
b. The researcher calculated the means, the standard deviation of the
adjusted means and the standard error of the students' pre and post
responses to the items of the questionnaire dimensions according to the
independent variables of the study. The results are presented in Table 12.
Table 12
Means, Standard Deviations, Standard Errors and the Adjusted Means of the
Pre and Post Subjects’ Responses to the Items of the Questionnaire Dimensions
According to the Independent Variables of the Study
Dimension Group Gender
Pretest of Questionnaire
Dimensions (Covariate)
Posttest of
Questionnaire Dimensions
Mean
Std.
Dev.
Mean
Std.
Dev.
Adj.
Mean
Std.
Error
Developmental
Orientation
Control Male 2.253 0.38 2.418 0.37 2.417 0.11
Female 2.097 0.39 2.270 0.45 2.334 0.08
Total 2.146 0.39 2.317 0.43 2.376 0.07
Experimental Male 2.280 0.37 4.196 0.52 4.145 0.09
Female 2.275 0.35 4.401 0.35 4.380 0.08
Total 2.277 0.36 4.303 0.45 4.263 0.06
Total Male 2.270 0.37 3.571 0.98 3.281 0.07
Female 2.183 0.38 3.296 1.15 3.357 0.06
Integrative
Orientation
Control Male 2.331 0.19 2.503 0.31 2.547 0.12
Female 2.368 0.25 2.514 0.25 2.547 0.08
Total 2.356 0.23 2.510 0.27 2.547 0.07
Experimental Male 2.417 0.31 3.686 0.54 3.676 0.09
Female 2.479 0.28 3.825 0.53 3.777 0.08
Total 2.449 0.29 3.758 0.53 3.726 0.06
Total Male 2.387 0.28 3.270 0.74 3.112 0.07
Female 2.422 0.27 3.145 0.78 3.162 0.06
Instrumental
Orientation
Control Male 2.293 0.22 2.572 0.44 2.657 0.10
Female 2.288 0.41 2.433 0.32 2.521 0.07
Total 2.290 0.36 2.477 0.37 2.589 0.06
Experimental Male 2.604 0.30 4.245 0.55 4.107 0.08
Female 2.373 0.30 4.228 0.40 4.218 0.07
Total 2.484 0.32 4.236 0.47 4.162 0.05
Total Male 2.495 0.31 3.657 0.96 3.382 0.06
Female 2.329 0.36 3.297 0.97 3.370 0.05
Travel
Orientation
Control Male 2.333 0.37 2.615 0.67 2.690 0.14
Female 2.280 0.39 2.411 0.32 2.508 0.10
Total 2.297 0.38 2.476 0.46 2.599 0.09
Experimental Male 2.569 0.59 4.069 0.66 3.955 0.11
Female 2.571 0.38 4.167 0.51 4.131 0.10
Total 2.570 0.49 4.120 0.58 4.043 0.07
Total Male 2.486 0.53 3.559 0.96 3.323 0.09
Female 2.420 0.41 3.256 0.98 3.319 0.07
Table 12 shows that there are observed differences between the adjusted
means of the post students’ responses according to the teaching procedure
89
and students’ gender. In order to find out if ANCOVA or MANCOVA is
more suitable, the researcher conducted an intra-class linear correlation
between the dimensions of the questionnaire. The researcher also used the
Bartlett’s test to reveal the significance of the correlation between each
dimension of the attitudinal questionnaire. The results are presented in
Table 13.
Table 13
The Intra Class Linear Correlation of the Dimensions of the Attitudinal
Questionnaire and the Results of Bartlett's Test According to the
Teaching Procedure and Subjects’ Gender
Pearson
Correlation
Developmental
Orientation
Integrative
Orientation
Instrumental
Orientation
Travel
Orientation
Developmental Orientation 1
Integrative Orientation 0.83 1
Instrumental Orientation 0.89 0.87 1
Travel Orientation 0.85 0.83 0.92 1
Bartlett's Test
of Sphericity
Likelihood Ratio Approx. Chi
2
Degree freedom Sig.
0.000 103.141 9 0.000
Table 13 shows that there is a significant proportion (u = 0.05) between
the elements of the residual matrix and the elements of the identity matrix
on the dimensions according to the teaching procedure and students’
gender. This fact obliged the researcher to use the MANCOVA; The
results are presented in Table 14
90
Table 14
The Results of MANCOVA on the Dimensions of the Attitudinal
Questionnaire According to the Teaching Procedure and Subjects’
Gender
Effect
MANOVA
Test
Value F
Hypothesis
degree
freedom
Error
degree
freedom
Sig.
Partial
q
2
Developmental Orientation(Covariate) Wilks' Lambda 0.817 4.494 4 80 0.003 18.3%
Integrative Orientation (Covariate) Wilks' Lambda 0.890 2.461 4 80 0.052 11.0%
Instrumental Orientation (Covariate) Wilks' Lambda 0.702 8.483 4 80 0.000 29.8%
Travel Orientation (Covariate) Wilks' Lambda 0.928 1.559 4 80 0.193 7.2%
Group Hotelling's Trace 6.120 122.404 4 80 0.000 86.0%
Gender Hotelling's Trace 0.016 0.327 4 80 0.859 1.6%
Group*gender Wilks' Lambda 0.948 1.090 4 80 0.367 5.2%
The results show that there is a statistically significant effect (u = 0.05)
attributed to the task-based program, while there is no significant effect
(u = 0.05) for the gender variable and the interaction between the
teaching procedure and students’ gender. To find out the effect of the
variables of the study on each dimension separately, ANCOVA was used.
The results are presented in Table 15.
91
Table 15
Result of ANCOVA on the Dimensions of the Attitudinal Questionnaire
According to the Teaching Procedure and Subjects’ Gender
Dependent
Variable
Source
Sum of
Squares
Degree
freedom
Mean
Square
F Sig.
Partial
q
2
Developmental
Orientation
Developmental (Covariate) 2.663 1 2.663 16.275 0.000 16.4%
Integrative Orientation (Covariate) 0.111 1 0.111 0.679 0.412 0.8%
Instrumental Orientation (Covariate) 0.207 0.207 1.264 0.264 1.5%
Travel Orientation (Covariate) 0.142 1 0.142 0.866 0.355 1.0%
Group 64.048 1 64.048 391.400 0.000 82.5%
Gender 0.113 1 0.113 0.693 0.407 0.8%
Group*gender 0.502 1 0.502 3.067 0.084 3.6%
Error 13.582 83 0.164
Total 106.105 90
Integrative
Orientation
Developmental (Covariate) 0.014 1 0.014 0.081 0.777 0.1%
Integrative Orientation (Covariate) 1.734 1 1.734 9.767 0.002 10.5%
Instrumental Orientation (Covariate) 0.003 1 0.003 0.016 0.898 0.0%
Travel Orientation (Covariate) 0.049 1 0.049 0.278 0.599 0.3%
Group 25.023 1 25.023 140.968 0.000 62.9%
Gender 0.049 1 0.049 0.279 0.599 0.3%
Group*gender 0.052 1 0.052 0.292 0.591 0.4%
Error 14.733 83 0.178
Total 52.027
90
Instrumental
Orientation
Developmental(Covariate) 0.023 1 0.023 0.170 0.682 0.2%
Integrative Orientation (Covariate) 0.353 1 0.353 2.586 0.112 3.0%
Instrumental Orientation (Covariate) 3.152 1 3.152 23.069 0.000 21.7%
Travel Orientation (Covariate) 0.022 1 0.022 0.164 0.686 0.2%
Group 44.520 1 44.520 325.824 0.000 79.7%
Gender 0.003 1 0.003 0.021 0.885 0.0%
Group*gender 0.304 1 0.304 2.223 0.140 2.6%
Error 11.341 83 0.137
Total 85.993 90
Travel
Orientation
Developmental (Covariate) 0.099 1 0.099 0.390 0.534 0.5%
Integrative Orientation (Covariate) 0.167 1 0.167 0.657 0.420 0.8%
Instrumental Orientation (Covariate) 1.211 1 1.211 4.774 0.032 5.4%
Travel Orientation (Covariate) 0.786 1 0.786 3.098 0.082 3.6%
Group 37.507 1 37.507 147.816 0.000 64.0%
Gender 0.000 1 0.000 0.001 0.976 0.0%
Group*gender 0.636 1 0.636 2.507 0.117 2.9%
Error 21.060 83 0.254
Total 86.059 90
Table 15 shows that there is a significant difference (u = 0.05) between
the adjusted means of the post students’ responses to the items of the
questionnaire dimensions according to the teaching procedure in favor of
the experimental group. The size effect for the teaching procedure related
to each dimension (82.5% for the developmental orientation, 62.9% for
integrative orientation, 79. 7% for the instrumental orientation and 64%
for travel orientation) proves that TBLT affected positively the students’
attitudes towards English on the dimensions of the questionnaire.
92
Chapter Five
Discussion, Conclusions and Recommendations
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an
instructional program, based on the Task-Based Language Teaching
(TBLT), on developing the speaking skills of Palestinian secondary EFL
students living in Israel and their attitudes towards English. For this
purpose, the researcher conducted the current study on a sample of two
groups: an experimental group taught by the task- based program (TBP)
and a control group taught conventionally. The discussion of the findings
is presented according to the questions of the study.
Discussion of the findings related to the first research question
The first question tried to examine the effect of the TBLT program on
the students’ speaking skills test.
Table 6 shows that there is a statistically significant difference (u =
0.05) between the two adjusted means of the students’ scores due to the
teaching procedure in favor of the experimental group. The results can be
explained by the fact that the TBLT program emphasized the fluency of
the participants rather than the bits and pieces of the linguistic
competence of the learners. In task based learning, the tasks are central to
the learning activity. The method is based on the belief that students can
learn more effectively when their minds are focused on the task, rather
93
than on the language they are using. Learning to speak and to understand
the language automatically in a vast variety of situations requires
intensive exposure to language and unlimited interaction with language
users. Furthermore, TBLT enables the teachers to improve the students’
communicative skills, to provide opportunities for native like interactions,
to practice making oral representations immediately after getting enough
meaning. Unlike the conventional approach which moves the learner
from accuracy to fluency, the most important feature of task-based
framework, like any other communicative focused activities, is that it
moves the learner from fluency to accuracy. In TBLT class, the
atmosphere is comfortable, cooperative and non-threatening.
Consequently, less confident students who normally refuse to speak in
public want to perform because they benefit from the core activity so
much that all the psychological barriers such as stress, anxiety and fear
are put away.
The program included various speaking activities, exercises and
instructions which focused on the process rather than the product. In
addition the activities were purposeful and the tasks emphasized
communication and meaning. The students also learned English by
interacting communicatively and purposefully while engaged in
meaningful activities and tasks were either those that the students need to
94
achieve in real life, or those that had a pedagogical purpose specific to the
classroom.
Students were able to understand questions, interact fluently and give
extended answers in the designed tasks and activities. This process
enhanced students' fluency. Students were also able to use correct
complex language structures, such as relative and conditional clauses and
they used rich vocabulary and pronounced correctly. This enhanced their
accuracy. In addition, the students had ample opportunities to express
their opinions and ideas that were related to the designed task especially
in the pre task phase. The teachers who implemented the program also
played an important role in developing the students’ speaking skills. First,
they had a positive attitude towards TBLT, and were enthusiastic to teach
according to its procedures and principles. Willis (1996) and Carless
(2001) emphasized the role of the teachers in promoting students’
learning through TBLT. Second, during the implementation of the
program, the teachers acted as monitors or facilitators, and encouraged
their students to perform the activities. The teachers who were involved
in the current study kept in mind that a task in TBLT is goal- directed and
based on meaning and form. They also took into account that a task for
oral social interaction is a simulation of a real life activity; authenticity of
tasks is critical quality in TBLT.
95
In addition, group work, authentic materials, visual aids such as realia
and stickers to explain vocabulary items, using the students' personal
knowledge about the given task and the presentation of oral reports about
the topics of the tasks enhanced the students' speaking skill and motivated
them to speak in English. Such activities as well as using authentic
material are considered essential in TBLT teaching (Nunan, 1993;
Skehan, 1998; Ellis, 2003).
These findings are also supported by researchers who emphasized the
role of TBLT in promoting speaking skills. Lever and Willis (2004)
pointed out that learners made far more rapid progress through |TBLT
and were able to use their new foreign language in real world situations
with reasonable levels of efficiency after relatively short courses. Ellis
(2000), Nunan (2006) and Willis (1996) noted that while performing the
tasks, learners engage in certain types of language use and mental
processing that are useful for acquisition. In TBLT learners also use the
language for a communicative purpose. Moreover, TBLT enhances
students' oral discourse in terms of utterance length or complexity,
fluency and accuracy, and then communication is promoted (Cathcard,
1988; Bygate, 1996; Skehan and Foster, 1997; Birjandi and Ahangari,
2008).
96
Discussion of the findings related to the second research question
The second question attempted to examine the effect of the teaching
procedure and students’ gender on students’ attitudes. The related
hypotheses claim that there is no statistically significant difference among
the students’ mean scores on the attitudinal questionnaire due to the
implementation of the instructional program and students' gender.
Table 11 shows that there is a statistically significant difference (u =
0.05) between the adjusted means of the Palestinian secondary students’
mean scores on the attitudinal questionnaire due to the teaching procedure
in favor of the experimental group.
This result can be justified since the students of the experimental group
were taught the speaking material in an organized manner, when
presenting, practicing and evaluating this material. The researcher feels
that the design of the program helped considerably in improving the
attitudes of the experimental group students towards English. For
example, dividing the task into three phases (pre, during and post) and
performing different activities during each phase appears to be useful in
motivating students to learn English and in positively affecting their
attitudes towards English. In addition, the use of tasks, the discussion
among the students , planning activities such as brain storming and
presentation of reports could have provided better context for activating
the students’ learning processes and motivated them to participate in the
97
class activities, and then to change their attitudes towards English.
Furthermore, rewarding the winning group by publishing their report on
the school site should have developed their attitudes toward English
positively. When asked about the significance of the program, some
students reported that they enjoyed English and planned to learn as much
English as possible as a result of the designed program, while before
implementing the instructional program, they reported that they hated
English and thought that it was a dull subject to study. However, after the
implementation of the designed program, their attitudes developed and
they began to like English and reported that they would continue to
practice English individually after they finished school (these responses
were to items numbers 1-7 in the attitudinal questionnaire, (Appendix 2).
This change in the students’ attitudes towards English is related to the
fact that through the designed program, the students learnt by interacting
freely with their colleagues without being afraid that they would make
errors. In addition the teachers’ encouragement might have motivated the
learners to participate in the designed tasks and activities. For example, in
a problem solving activity the students found themselves in a situation
that they were motivated to think and use the language; they had less
stress, anxiety and apprehension, and so participated in classroom
interactions with the highest self-esteem and self-confidence. This active
and successful engagement in class may develop their attitudes positively.
98
Better achievement, for sure, leads to better attitudes. Widdowson, (1990)
pinpointed that through TBLT the students’ attitudes would improve and
that they would be more motivated to take part in these activities.
Table 15 showed a significant effect of TBLT on each dimension of the
students' attitudes towards English. The findings in this table indicate that
TBLT is an efficient teaching procedure which could promote students’
attitudes towards English. Before the implementation of the instructional
program, most of the students responded that they were neither interested
in the culture of English native speakers, nor were they like to travel to
English speaking countries, and they did not expect to get a job as a result
of their good English, whereas, after implementing the TBLT program
their responses changed totally. They mostly agreed or strongly agreed
that mastering English may increase their opportunities to get a job in the
future, and that they became interested in reading about the culture of the
native speakers of English and they were interested in traveling to
English-speaking countries in order to practice their English (these
responses were given in response to items numbers 15, 20, 21, 32, 36 and
37 in the attitudinal questionnaire (Appendix 2).
These findings are also supported by researchers who emphasized the
role of TBLT in motivating students and changing their attitudes towards
English as a foreign language through its various activities. Bugler and
Hunt (2002) pointed out that TBLT enhanced the students' interest in
99
learning English; the students found the experience to be rewarding,
intrinsically interesting and educationally beneficial. Lopes (2004) found
out that students using TBLT instructions learned English more
effectively because they used the language to perform tasks, access
information, solve problems, and talk about personal experiences.
Lochana and Deb (2006) noted that TBLT was beneficial to the students
not only in terms of proficiency but also motivationwise. Suxiang (2007)
asserted that TBLT improved gradually the students’ interest in English,
and it could stimulate the students’ potential ability in English learning.
Tables 11-16 show that there is a statistically significant difference at (u
= 0.05) between the two adjusted means of the post students’ responses
on the attitudinal questionnaire due to the teaching procedure in favor of
the experimental group, while there is no statistically significant
difference at (u = 0.05) due the students’ gender and the interaction
between the teaching procedure and students’ gender.
The findings also show that there is a significant difference between the
boys’ and girls’ attitudes and achievements in the experimental group in
favor of the girls. This result can be explained by the fact that the girls are
more socialized and ready to participate in the task activities than boys.
The girls also excelled as linguistic learners because they were much
more likely to be better listeners. They were motivated to learn English
because they believed that getting a good mark in English is the first step
100
in their acceptance to colleges or universities, while the boys were busy
in thinking about other fields of life such as joining a football team and
spending times with other boys after school.
The findings also show that there is an observed difference between the
boys’ and the girls’ attitudes and achievement in the control group in
favor of the boys. This result can be explained by the fact that students in
the control group were taught traditionally and did not participate in
activities and tasks. Instead, they were only answering the teacher’s
questions which were usually found in the text. On the other hand,
students in the experimental group were required to take an active part in
negotiating the designed tasks and activities, they need to talk more. Girls
seem to be more active than boys in task- based work. This may be
explained sociolinguistically, in many speech communities women were
found to be in the forefront of change, namely they are more innovative
than men. Some other sociolinguistic studies found women to be more
status- conscious (Labov, 1972; Milroy, 1987)
101
Conclusions
The researcher drew the following conclusions from the findings of the
study and theoretical propositions of the related literature:
1. Task-based language teaching (TBLT) improves students' speaking
skill and develops students' attitudes towards English.
2. It is clear that the girls’ speaking skills improved more than the boys’
when classroom practice was organized and authentic as is the case in
TBLT. The boys did better in conventional teaching situations. This is
due to the fact that TBLT requires students to be active participants in the
various tasks and activities.
3. In TBLT, teachers can assume various roles when performing the
tasks. Nunan (1989) and Richards and Rodgers, (2001) mentioned the
following task roles for teachers: selector/sequencer of tasks, preparer of
learners for task, pre-task consciousness raiser about form, guide,
nurturer, strategy-instructor, and provider of assistance.
4. The textbooks used in English instruction are the same for Arabs and
Jews. There are no texts in the books about the Palestinians, and this,
according to Amara and Marai (2002) upsets the balance that exists in the
curriculum. Arab students learn about Jews and Western culture, but they
do not learn about themselves. Teachers should therefore design authentic
Palestinian texts that cater to Palestinian students' needs and interests and
add them to the existing material.
102
5. Despite the criticism that the students may be unwilling to interact
freely, the results of this research show that through TBLT students'
fluency and accuracy have improved significantly. This might be
attributed to the fact that the teachers planned the tasks well according to
the three stages of the tasks.
6. Palestinian EFL students who live in Israel usually encounter problems
in learning English, and only a low percentage of them pass the English
matriculation examination. This might be partially attributed to the lack
of exposure to authentic English. TBLT can be the solution for this lack
of exposure to authentic English; TBLT gives the students a chance to
practice their English by using different activities in real world tasks and
in a stress free atmosphere in the classroom setting. Through TBLT
procedures, students have more time to discuss the task topic using their
personal experiences either with other mates or with the teacher.
7. The purpose of the new curriculum that is currently being used in the
Arab schools is to improve students' standards in the four domains of
language learning: access to information, social interaction, presentation
and appreciation of literature, culture and language. The concept of social
interaction was added to the new curriculum when the English advisory
committee recognized that English is a language for communication. The
domain of social interaction aims to develop students' oral and written
communication with other speakers of English wherever they live and
103
whatever their language is (Ministry of Education, 2002). The results of
this study show that TBLT improves students' oral social interaction. This
result confirms that TBLT could be one of the most appropriate teaching
procedures that may help students to communicate accurately and
fluently with other speakers of English.
104
Recommendations
On the basis of recent research findings, it is advisable to suggest these
recommendations to researchers, EFL teachers, and English supervisors:
1. The researcher recommends that EFL teachers use TBLT procedures
in their teaching, since it enhances students' accuracy and fluency as well
as their attitudes towards English.
2. Due to the important role that EFL teachers play in TBLT procedure,
the researcher recommends that English supervisors organize pre-service
and in-service training programs for teachers in the use of TBLT
procedures and principles in their daily classroom practices.
3. Curriculum designers are recommended to include TBLT in the
English textbooks. Well-designed activities and tasks should be included
in the teachers’ and students’ books.
4. It is recommended that other researchers conduct additional studies to
examine the effect of TBLT on developing the speaking skill of Arab and
non Arab students in different schooling stages. In addition, the
researcher recommends other researchers to conduct studies on the effect
of TBLT on developing other language skills.
5. It is recommended that teachers design some of the content of the
textbooks they use according to the procedures and principles of TBLT.
By doing so, they can vary their teaching procedures, and as a result, their
students will be more interested in learning English as a foreign language.
105
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Appendices
Appendix 1
The Task-Based Language Teaching Program
What is task-based language teaching (TBLT)?
An approach to teaching a second/foreign language that seeks to
engage learners in interactionally authentic language use by having them
perform a series of tasks. It aims to both enable learners (1) acquire new
linguistic knowledge and (2) proceduralize their existing knowledge.
Rationale for Task-Based Language Teaching
Ellis (2003) asserts that task- based language teaching is a form of
teaching that treats language primarily as a tool for communicating rather
than as an object for study or manipulation. It is clear that if learners are
to develop the competence they need to use second/foreign language
easily and effectively in the kinds of situations they meet outside the
classroom, they need to experience how language is used as a tool for
communication inside it. 'Task' serves as the most obvious means for
organizing teaching along these lines.
Task- based language teaching (TBLT) proposes the use of tasks as a
central component in language classroom because they provide better
contexts for activating learner acquisition processes and promoting L2
learning (Shehadeh, 2005). TBLT is thus based on a theory of language
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learning rather than a theory of language structure. Richards and Rodgers
(2001: 228) suggest that this is because 'tasks are believed to foster
processes of negotiation, modification, rephrasing, and experimentation
that are at the heart of second language learning'.
Types of tasks
Ellis (2003) classified the tasks into the following types:
Unfocused tasks
An unfocused task is one that encourages the learners to use freely any
language they can master, without concentrating on just one or two
specific forms (i.e., a replication activity).
Pedagogic (rehearsal, activation)
Pedagogical tasks have a psycholinguistic basis in SLA theory and
research but do not necessarily reflect real-word tasks; for example, four
students- each has one picture and describes it to the rest of the class; the
students from the rest of the class may ask the four students questions
about their pictures, and then one student from the whole class tries to tell
a story. Pedagogic tasks could be:
Rehearsal task
The following pair-work role play is an example of a rehearsal task.
A: You are a passenger calling to reconfirm a reservation. Use the eticket
(provided separately) to check the details of your flight.
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B: You are an airline employee. Use the information sheet (provided
separately) to answer your partner's questions.
Activation tasks
For example, the teacher will give a pair of students' two different
pictures, and then ask each one to talk to his partner about the differences
between the pictures.
Real world tasks
Tasks in every day life are to be found everywhere. These tasks
surround us in the morning till late at night. Washing our face is a task, as
is preparing breakfast, going to work by car, etc. Tasks pervade our lives,
so much so that there is hardly any activity that cannot be called a task.
Focused tasks
A focused task (Ellis, 2003) can be either a consciousness raising
activity, where the focus is on examining samples of language to explore
particular features of it (these are sometimes called "meta-cognitive"
activities), for example, classifying the uses of a verb plus – "ing" forms
that appear in a reading text or identifying from a spoken transcript
phrases containing the preposition in and putting them into three
categories: time, location, other; or a task used because it is likely to
encourage the comprehension of, and/or the use of, particular language
forms (i.e., a citation or simulation activity). Long (1999) provides an
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example. He used a split-information quiz with facts taken from a written
report of company sales over the last half year.
This report of company sales contained a large number of noun and verb
expressions of increase and decrease, including the use of past simple and
present perfect verb forms. Learners had to obtain information from each
other in order to complete the graph representing sales trends. The
follow-up entailed reading the full report in detail in order to check the
figures in their graph. Most of this work plan involved receptive skills of
listening to others reading out their information and reading the text to
check results. In doing so, students were obliged to focus on the meaning
of the expressions of quantity and increase and decrease.
TBLT Methodology
Ellis (2003) asserts that the design of a task-based lesson involves
consideration of the stages or components of a lesson that has a task as its
principal component. Various designs have been proposed (for example,
Prabhu, 1987; Skehan 1996). However they all have in common three
principal phases, these phases reflected the chronology of a task-based
lesson. Thus the first phase is 'pretask' and concerns the various activities
that teachers and students can undertake before they start the task; such as
whether students are given time to plan the performance of the task. The
second phase, the 'during task' phase, centers on the task itself and affords
various instructional options, including whether students are required to
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operate under time pressure or not. The final phase is 'post-task' and
involves procedures for following up on the task performance. These
three phases are further explained on the following pages.
The pre-task phase
The purpose of the pre-task phase is to prepare students to perform the
task in ways that will promote acquisition. Skehan (1996) refers to two
broad alternatives available to the teacher during the pre-task phase:
An emphasis on the general cognitive demands for task, and/or an
emphasis on linguistic factors, attentional capacity are limited, and it is
needed to both linguistic and cognitive demand, then engaging in
activities which reduce cognitive load will release attentional capacity for
the learner to concentrate more on linguistic factors. These alternatives
can be tackled procedurally in one of four ways:
Supporting learners in performing a task similar to the task that will
perform in the during task phase of the lesson; (2) asking students to
observe a model of how to perform a task; (3) engaging learners in non-
task activities designed to prepare them to perform the task; and (4)
strategic planning of the main task performance. The researcher will
consider each in some details.
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Performing a similar task:
The use of a 'pre-task' was a key feature of the Communicational
Teaching Project (Prabhu, 1987). It was carried out as a whole-class
activity with the teacher and involved the learners in completing a task of
the same kind as and similar content to the main task. Thus, it served as a
preparation for performing the main task individually. For example, if the
main task involving talking about clothes and appearance of individuals
or groups, the teacher may take the students as an example, how they
dress, and how this affects their personalities.
Providing a model:
An alternative is to ask the students to observe a model of how the task
can be performed without requiring them to undertake a trial performance
of the task. Minimally, this involves presenting them with an oral text to
demonstrate an 'ideal' performance of the task. Both Skehan (1996) and
Willis (1996) suggest that simply 'observing' others perform a task can
help reduce the cognitive load on the learner.
Non-task preparation activities:
There are a variety of non-task preparation activities that teachers can
choose from. They can centre on reducing the cognitive or the linguistic
demands placed on the learner. Activating learners' content schemata or
providing them with background information serves as a means of
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defining the topic area of a task. For example, brainstorming and mind
maps.
Strategic planning:
Finally, learners can be given time to plan how they will perform the
task. It can be distinguished from other pre-task options in that it does not
involve students in a trial performance of the task or in observing a
model. Planning can be carried out individually, in groups, or with the
teacher.
The task cycle
Richards and Rodgers (2001) asserts that the task is done by students
(in pairs or groups) and gives students a chance to express themselves and
say whatever they want to say. This may be in response to reading a text
or hearing a recording. The teacher should walk around and monitor,
encouraging in a supportive way everyone's attempts at communication in
the target language. Moreover, the teacher should help the students to
formulate what they want to say, but will not intervene to correct errors of
forms. The emphasis is on spontaneous, exploratory talk and confidence
building, within the privacy of the small group. Success in achieving the
goals of task helps students' motivation.
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Planning
- Planning prepares for the next stage, when students are asked to report
briefly to the whole class how they did the task and what the outcome
was.
- Students draft and rehearse what they want to say or write
- Teacher goes around and advice students on language, suggesting
phrases and helping students to polish and correct their language.
- The emphasis is on clarity, organization, and accuracy, as appropriate
for a public representation.
- Individual students often take this chance to ask questions about specific
language items.
Report
- The teacher asks some pairs to report briefly to the whole class so
everyone can compare findings, or begin a survey.
- The teacher chairs, comments on the content on the students' reports,
rephrase perhaps, but gives no public correction.
Post-task
-The students listen to a recording of fluent speakers doing the same task,
and compare the ways in which they did the task themselves.
The language focus
Analysis
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- The teacher sets some language-focused task, based on the texts
students have read or on the transcripts of the recordings they have heard.
- Examples include the following:
Find words and phrases related to the title of the topic or text.
Read the transcript, find words ending with s or 's, and say what the s
means.
Find all the verbs in the simple past form. Say which refer to past time
and which do not.
Underline and classify the questions in the transcript.
- The teacher starts students off, and then students continue, often in
pairs.
- The teacher goes round to help; students can ask individual questions.
- In plenary, the teacher then reviews the analysis, possibly writing
relevant language up on the board in list form; students may make notes.
Practice
- Students conduct practice activities as needed, based on the language
analysis work already on the board, or using examples from the text or
transcript.
Practice activities can include:
Choral repetition of the phrases identified and classified memory
challenge games based on partially erased examples or using lists already
on blackboard for progressive deletion, sentence completion, matching
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the past tense verbs with the subject or objects they had in the text, and
Kim's game (in teams) with new words and phrases.
Description of the Program
EFL teachers face a dilemma when designing course material. Many
institutions require students to purchase a textbook which are often based
on Presentation Practice Production (PPP) based textbooks. There is no
way that teachers could possibly come up with their own curriculum, so
they use the textbook to provide their syllabus. TBLT may be a preferable
alternative to PPP (Skehan, 1996), so an option open to teachers is to
adapt class textbooks to TBL.
This program was designed on the basis of TBLT procedures and
principles. Textbooks for teaching English as a foreign language are
based on PPP syllabus; therefore, the researcher adapted materials found
in the traditional textbooks to fit the procedures and principles of TBLT.
The focus of this program was on the speaking skill.
To create a design of TBLT, the researcher developed a plan that could
be followed when adapting the tasks found in advance through more
relevant activities (henceforth, Targets).
In using TBLT, Skehan (1996: 22) advises that educators must balance
the three goals of 'accuracy', 'complexity restructuring', and 'fluency'.
Willis (1996), suggests three stages in a cycle that concentrates on
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fluency first (in the task), complexity restructuring next (in planning), and
finally combines accuracy with fluency (in the report).
Context
Teaching oral social interaction for EFL students in Israel is the same
for Jewish and Arab schools. It is intended to make students interact
effectively in English in varied social contexts with people from varied
linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This should be achieved at the end of
the proficiency level (high school). In both high schools where the
program was implemented, Bueina-Nujidat and Tamra, English classes
are forty five minutes four times a week, forty eight classes per semester
(three months). Both schools are under the inspection of the Israeli
Ministry of Education. The program is designed to adapt the eleventh
grade students' level in the English language. The students are 17 years
old and the grades are heterogeneous. The population is 950 students. The
sample is 91 subjects. Fifty subjects formed the experimental group and
forty one formed the control group. The TBLT program was implemented
with the experimental group.
Method
The researcher adopted Willis' (1996) task structure, as follows:
- Performing a communicative task;
- Planning a report of the performance;
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- Reporting the task results to the class.
Willis's structure encourages focus on fluency (communication) during
the task phase, then form (restructuring for complexity and accuracy)
during the planning and the reporting phases.
In order to incorporate tasks with a clear link to each chosen unit for the
program, the researcher took the following steps:
1. The researcher listed vocabulary from each textbook unit;
2. The researcher assigned topics to the vocabulary lists;
3. The researcher listed tasks following Willis's (1996) task types;
4. The researcher decided in which weeks each unit would be covered.
The Task-based program (TBP)
Material: Units 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
Unit 3: Clothes Make the Man.
Unit 4: Taking the Test.
Unit 5: Seeing Is Believing.
Unit 6: The Age of Rage.
Text book: Targets
Wilson, A. (2003). Targets. Raanana, Eric Cohen Books LTD.
General English Course- for Eleventh Grade (second secondary grade).
Student 's Book :( pp. 33- 78)
Work Book: (pp. 32-67).
Teacher's Guide: (pp. 44-85).
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Students: 50X9 periods X 45minutes/ per task.
Program Duration: Three months.
General Objectives
The program was basically designed to be an instructional syllabus for
developing the oral social interaction skills of students in the
experimental group. Fluency and accuracy are the priority in this
program. There will be direct teaching of grammar generalizations during
the last two phases of the TBLT framework (while and post – task).
By the end of the program students would be able to:
1. Interact effectively orally in English in varied social contexts with
people from varied linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
This was done through fluency and accuracy.
a. In communicative ability (fluency), students will be able to:
- Understand questions.
- Interact fluently.
- Give extended answers.
a. In accuracy, students will be able to:
- Use correctly complex language structures, such as relative and
conditional clauses.
- Use rich vocabulary.
- Pronounce correctly.
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Teacher's Role
Willis (1996) assigned the following roles for the teachers in the
framework for TBLT:
In the pre-task, the teacher should:
- Introduce and define the topic.
- Use activities to help students recall/learn useful words and phrases.
- Ensure that students understand task instructions.
- Play recordings of others doing the same or a similar task.
In the task cycle, the teacher should:
- Act as monitor and encourages students.
- Ensures that the purpose of the report is clear.
- Act as language advisor.
- Help students rehearse oral reports.
- Acts as chairperson, selecting who will speak next.
- Give brief feedback on content and form.
- Play a recording of others doing the same or similar task.
In the post-task (language focus), the teacher should:
- Review each analysis activity with the class.
- Bring other useful words, phrases and patterns to students' attention.
- Pick up on language items from the report stage.
- Conduct practice activities after analysis activities where necessary, to
build confidence.
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Students' Role
Willis (1996) assigned the following roles for the learners in the
framework for TBLT:
In the pre-task, the student should:
- Note down useful words and phrases from the pre-task activities and
the recording.
- Spend a few minutes preparing for the task individually.
In the task cycle, the students should:
- Do the task in pairs or small groups.
- Prepare to report to the class how they did the task and what they
discovered.
- Rehearse what they will say for the class.
- Present their spoken reports to the class.
In the post-task (language focus), the student should:
Do consciousness-raising activities to identify and process specific
language features from the task and transcript.
- Ask about other features they noticed.
- Practice words, phrases and patterns from the analysis activities.
- Enter useful language items in their language notebooks.
Unit 3: Clothes Make the Man
Textbook: (pp. 33-42)
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Workbook: (pp. 32-45)
Teacher's Guide: (pp. 45-57)
Lessons: 9 X 45 minutes
Unit objectives: By the end of the unit students will be able to:
- Know to what extent the appearance reflects the person.
- Explore the connection between fashion and cultural values of a
society.
- Present their examples.
Theme: Clothes and appearance.
Context: Describing clothes and its relation with appearance.
Function: Expressing ideas, providing explanations and presenting
arguments for and against.
Grammatical Features: Present simple, past simple, prefixes and
suffixes
Communicative Mode: Interpersonal communication.
Task One: Oral social Interaction about clothes and cultures
Task Objective: By the end of the task students will be able to:
- Express ideas and opinions in general and about clothes in different
cultures in specific, providing in-depth explanations.
- Interact for purposes such as presenting arguments for and against the
idea that the clothes give the first impression about any person we see.
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- Explore the connection between fashion and the cultural values of a
society.
- Discuss how their clothes affect their appearance.
- Discuss their experience concerning clothes and appearance with other
students.
Framework and procedures
Pre-task phase (duration 3X45 minutes)
1. The teacher will introduce and define the topic of clothes make the
man.
2. The teacher will use activities to help students learn new words and
phrase about clothes and appearance, such as fashionable, style, identify,
deceived, respectable, obvious, recognized, citizen, religious, uniform,
and cultures. This will be done by using different instructional
techniques:
a. Guiding students to use all types of clues found in the text in order to
guess the meanings of new lexemes.
b. Teaching pronunciation of new lexical items.
c. Using visual aids, realia and stickers to explain vocabulary items about
appearance, dress and cultures such as presenting pictures for different
groups with a specific uniform, and ask the students if the clothes are
appropriate for that group.
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d. Ensuring that the students write the new words and phrases in their
notebooks in order to study them at home.
e. Recycling the new vocabulary about clothes and appearance.
- The teacher will divide the students into five groups and choose a
reporter and timekeeper for each group. The timekeeper will ensure that
the group is working within the time limit, whereas the reporter will
represent the group in talking about the task in the task cycle phase.
- The teacher will ensure that the students understand task instructions.
- The teacher may play a recording of others doing the same task about
clothes, cultures and societies.
While-task phase (Task cycle) (duration 3X 45 minutes)
Task: In groups, the students will discuss their background knowledge
through photographs (p. 33) which reflect social status, national identity,
or cultural values, and then the students will point out the ideas they want
to include in their reports.
Planning: the students will prepare a report about the pictures to the class,
how they did the task and what they discovered.
The teacher will help the students to rehearse oral reports.
Report: the students present their spoken reports about the photographs to
the class.
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The teacher will act as a chairperson, selecting which group's reporter
will speak next. He may give a brief feedback on content and form.
Post-task phase (language focus) (duration 3X 45 minutes)
Analysis
- The teacher may ask the students to find words and phrases related to
clothes, appearance and cultures.
- The teacher will write ungrammatical sentences that were said by some
reporters, and ask the students to correct them.
- The teacher may ask the students to identify some syntactic structures
such as noun phrases, verb phrases, and modifiers.
- The teacher reviews the analysis, possibly writing language, such as
categorizing words according to relevant concepts, on the board. Students
may take notes.
Practice
- The teacher may use memory challenge game based on partially erased
examples already found on the board, and then ask the students to
remember these examples. For example, deleting the titles of the lists
found on the board, and then ask the student to remember these titles.
- Together with the students, the teacher will assign the best group's
report, and reward the best group by presenting their report in the school
web site, so others can read this report online.
137
Unit 4: Taking the Test
Textbook: (pp. 43-54)
Workbook: (pp. 45-55)
Teacher's Guide: (pp. 58-71)
Lessons: 9 x 45 minutes
Unit objectives: By the end of the unit students will be able to:
- Talk about different test situations.
- Speak about some unusual tests.
- Learn to recognize literary techniques such as setting, mode and theme
in literary texts.
- Use this knowledge to talk or write about a test story they know.
Theme: Feelings towards examinations.
Context: Students' engagement in self reflection with regard to their
feelings towards examinations.
Function: Expressing ideas and feelings, and providing personal
examples about being examined.
Grammatical Features: Past progressive, adverbs and collocations.
Communicative Mode: Interpersonal communication.
Task Two: Oral social Interaction about being tested
Task Objective: By the end of the task students will be able to:
- Ask and answer questions on social issues in general and on the
situation where the students were tested in specific.
138
- Express ideas and opinions about how a person feels while being
examined, and providing in- depth explanations of how the students
feel when they are tested.
- Interact for purposes such as giving excuses of not being ready to be
tested or why a person failed/ succeeded in the test.
- Using literary techniques such as setting, mode and theme to give a
report about a test story they experienced.
Framework and procedures
Pre-task phase (duration 3 X 45 minutes)
- The teacher will introduce and define the topic of tests and how a person
feels while being tested. This is done through using the students'
schemata.
- The teacher will teach new vocabulary items that are related to feelings
while being examined such as confident, tense, anxious, worried,
confused, calm, excited, frightened and nervous.
- Guiding students to use all types of clues found in the context in order
to guess the meanings of new lexemes such as guessing and
prediction.
- Teaching pronunciations of new lexical items. They may use the
dictionaries to know the pronunciation of new language items.
139
- Using visual aids, realia and stickers to explain vocabulary items, such
as bringing pictures of students who are doing a test and ask the
students about that picture, matching between vocabulary items and
visual aids which carry the meaning of that item.
- Ensuring that the students write the new words and phrases in their
notebooks in order to study them at home.
- Recycling the new vocabulary: for example using a cloze-test, filling
in the missing word from a word bank written on the board.
- The teacher will explain some literary techniques such as setting and
mood. For example, the teacher will read a text and ask the students about
the setting: place and time.
- The teacher will divide the students into four groups and choose a
reporter and timekeeper for each group. The reporter will represent the
group and talk about their feelings while being tested to the whole class,
the time-keeper will remind the group members about the time limit.
- The teacher will ensure that the students understand what will be done
to write the final report. The students will report a story, using the literary
technique such as mood and setting, about one experience in which they
were examined.
- The teacher may play a recording of others doing the same task about a
situation where they were examined.
140
1. While-task phase (Task cycle) (duration: 3 X 45 minutes)
Task: In groups, the students will discuss how they feel while being
examined; they may use the new lexical items mentioned in the pre-task
phase to express their opinions and feelings, and then the students will
point out the ideas they want to include in their reports such as being
confused and stressed in the examination time.
Planning
- The students will prepare a report which consists of a story about being
involved in a test situation, how they feel and pointing out their
reflections and evaluations. For example, reporting about a driving test
and how feel and how they will behave if they are in the same test
another time.
- The teacher will help the students to rehearse oral reports. For example,
the reporter will present the story orally to his group members.
Report
- The reporters in each group will present their stories to the whole class.
- The teacher will act as a chairperson, selecting which group's reporter
will speak next. He may give some assessments on content and form.
Post-task phase (language focus) (duration 3X 45 minutes)
Analysis
- The teacher may ask the students to find words and phrases related to
the feeling while being tested such as stressed, confused and relaxed.
141
- The teacher will write ungrammatical sentences that were said by some
reporters, and ask the students to correct them.
- The teacher may ask the students to identify some syntactic structures
such as noun phrases, verb phrases, and adverbs.
- The teacher reviews the analysis, possibly writing language, such as
categorizing words according to relevant concepts, on the board. Students
may take notes.
Practice
- The teacher may use memory challenge game based on partially erased
examples already found on the board, and then ask the students to
remember these examples. For example, deleting the titles of the lists
found on the board, and then ask the student to remember these titles.
- The teacher may write some transcripts from the students' reports that
include adverbs, and then explain and discuss the adverbs with the
students.
- Together with the students, the teacher will assign the best group's
report of a story where they were being examined, and reward the best
group by presenting their report in the school web site, so others can read
this report online.
Unit 5: "Seeing Is Believing"
Textbook: (pp. 55-66)
Workbook: (pp. 56-66)
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Teacher's Guide: (pp. 72-84)
Lessons: 9 x 45 minutes
Unit objectives: By the end of the unit students will be able to:
- To identify to what extent they believe everything they see.
- Read and discuss different opinions about magic shows.
- Write a review about a performance of magic that they have seen.
Theme: Magic shows.
Context: Discussing magic shows through photos or through the
students' experience with magic shows in real life.
Function: Expressing ideas and feelings, providing personal examples
about a magic performance they watched and presenting an argument for
or against a particular point of view concerning believing what is seen.
Grammatical Features: temporal, the first conditional and synonyms.
Communicative Mode: Interpersonal communication.
Task Three: Oral social Interaction about a magic performance
Task Objective: By the end of the task students will be able to:
- Interact for purposes such as asking for permission and persuading.
For example, how magicians ask for the audience' permission to
perform their magic, and how they are trying to persuade the audience.
- Engage in extended conversations about the topic of 'Seeing Is
Believing' in general and about magic shows in specific.
- Use language to suit context, audience and purposes.
143
- Present different aspects of magic and different ways audiences react
to performances.
- Prepare a report about a magic performance they have watched
Framework and procedures
Pre-task phase (duration: 3X45 minutes)
- The teacher will introduce and define the topic of 'Seeing Is Believing'
through activating the students' schemata, and ask them to give examples
where what they see cannot necessarily be believed such as magic
performances.
- The teacher will teach new vocabulary items that are related to magic
performances such as conjurer, relies on, illusions, vanish, cooperate,
effect, defy, and persuade.
- These vocabulary items can be taught by using cards. On the front of the
card, the teacher may write the word; and on the back of the card, the
teacher may copy the definition of the word or/and its synonymy.
- Teaching pronunciations of new lexical items. They may use the
dictionaries to know the pronunciation of new language items.
- Ensuring that the students write the new words and phrases in their
notebooks in order to study them at home.
144
- Recycling the new vocabulary through using cloze-tests. The students
are required to fill in the missing words from a word bank containing
the above mentioned vocabulary items.
The teacher will divide the students into four groups and choose a
reporter and timekeeper for each group. The timekeeper is responsible for
the time limits and should inform the group's members about the time that
they have till the end of the session; while the reporter will present the
group's report orally.
- The teacher will ensure that the students understand what will be done
to write the final report. Each group will cooperate to prepare a review
about a magic performance they have seen.
- The teacher may play a recording of others doing the same task about
magic performances.
While-task phase (Task cycle) (duration 3X45 minutes)
- Task: In groups, the students will discuss the question to what extent do
they believe what they see? Discuss opinions about magic shows; they
may use the new lexical items mentioned in the pre-task phase to express
their opinions and thoughts.
- Planning: the students will prepare a report which consists of a review
about a magic performance they have seen; how they feel and pointing
out their reflections.
145
- The teacher will help the students to rehearse oral reports.
The reporters will present their reports orally in front of him, before
they present them to the whole class
3. Report: the reporters in each group will present their reports orally to
the whole class.
- The teacher will act as a chairperson, selecting which group's reporter
will speak next. He may give his feedback on content and form.
Post-task phase (language focus) (duration: 3X45minutes)
Analysis
- The teacher may ask the students to repeat the task.
- The teacher will review each report with the class. He may pick up on
language items from the report stage, for example the may use
transcripts from the students' report that focuses on temporal clauses.
Practice
- The teacher may write some ungrammatical sentences, focusing on
temporal clause, from the reports transcripts on the board, the students
are invited to correct them, the corrected version is written up.
- Together with the students, the teacher will assign the best report and
reward the winning group by presenting their report in the school web
site.
146
Unit 6: The age of rage
Textbook: (pp. 85-96)
Workbook: (pp. 67-80)
Teacher's Guide: (pp. 85-96)
Lessons: 9 x 45 minutes
Unit objectives: By the end of the unit students will be able to:
- Talk about the devastating results of anger on the road and in the air.
- Learn about the possible causes and effects of the anger and nervous
behavior on the road.
- Conduct a survey about anger in the road. They may use a
questionnaire or an interview to ask some drivers about their driving
habits.
Theme: Rage on the road.
Context: Discussing dangerous driving habits which may cause road
rage; students present their experiences regarding aggressive behavior in
travel, specifically on the road.
Function: Expressing opinions through a questionnaire, providing
personal examples about the rage in the road, and dealing with cause and
effect.
Grammatical Features: idioms, second and third conditionals.
Communicative Mode: Interpersonal communication.
Task four: Oral social Interaction about rage on the road
147
Task Objective: By the end of the task students will be able to:
- Ask and answer questions on a wide range of general topics, and on
rage on the road on specific.
- Engage in extended conversations about causes and effects of
nervousness on the roads.
- Use language to suit context, audience and purpose. For example, the
students will use the vocabulary items to talk about rage on the road.
- Interact for the purpose of asking a favor politely. For example, the
students will be taught how to deal politely with other nervous drivers
or travelers on the road.
- Conduct a survey about the rage on the road.
Framework and procedures
Pre-task phase (duration 3X45 minutes)
- The teacher will introduce and define the topic of 'the age of rage' and
what it means, and ask students to give examples from their real world
life where they witnessed a rage on the road.
- The teacher will teach new vocabulary items that are related to anger in
the road such as driving license, signaling, turning left or right,
overtaking, impatience, drinking alcohol, rude gestures, speed limit and
others.
- Teaching pronunciation of new lexical items. They may use the
dictionaries to know the pronunciation of new language items.
148
- Using visual aids, realia and stickers to explain vocabulary items. For
example, the teacher may use cards to give the definition or the
synonyms for new items.
- Ensuring that the students write the new words and phrases in their
notebooks in order to study them at home.
- The teacher will divide the students into four groups and choose a
reporter and timekeeper for each group. The timekeeper is responsible
about the time limits, while the reporter will present the group survey and
its conclusions orally to the whole class.
- The teacher will ensure that the students understand what will be done
to write the final report. Each group will cooperate to prepare a review
about the rage on the road they have seen.
- The teacher may play a recording of others doing the same task about
rage on the road.
While-task phase (Task cycle) (duration: 3X45minutes)
- Task: In groups, the students will discuss the reasons for rage on the
road and their results; they may use the new lexical items mentioned in
the pre-task phase to express their opinions and thoughts.
-Planning: the students will prepare a report which consists of a survey
about possible reasons for road rage. To do this they should be taught
about questionnaires, findings and conclusions.
149
- The teacher will help the students to rehearse oral reports.
- Report: the reporters in each group will present the results of their
surveys to the class.
- The teacher will act as a chairperson, selecting which group's reporter
will speak next. They teacher may offer feedback on content and form.
Post-task phase (language focus) (duration:3X 45 minutes).
Analysis
- The teacher may ask the students to repeat the task.
- The teacher will review each report with the classand review
language items from the report stage, for example the may use
transcripts from the students' report that focuses on conditional
clauses.
Practice
- The teacher may write some ungrammatical sentences, focusing on
conditional clauses, from the reports transcripts on the board, the
students are invited to correct them, the corrected version is written
up.
- Together with the students, the teacher will assign the best report and
reward the winning group by presenting their report in the school web
site.
150
Appendix 2
The attitudinal questionnaire
Please answer the following items by ticking the alternative which appears most
applicable to you. The researcher would urge you to be as accurate as possible since
the success of this study depends upon it. The names will be anonymous and the
results will be used only for research purposes.
Name --------------------------------- Gender M / F Grade --------------------
School ---------------------------------
1 = strongly disagree 2 = disagree 3 = neither disagree nor agree
4 = agree 5= strongly agree
No. Developmental Orientation 1 2 3 4 5
1 Studying English is an enjoyable experience.
2 I plan to learn as much English as possible.
3 I hate English.
4 I would rather spend my time on subjects other
than English.
5 Learning English is a waste of time.
6 I think that learning English is dull
7 When I leave school, I shall give up the study
of English entirely because I am not interested
in it
Integrative Orientation
8 Studying English can be important for me
because I would like to meet foreigners with
whom I can speak English.
9 Studying English can be important for me
because it will enable me to better understand
and appreciate English art and literature.
10 Studying English can be important for me
because I will be able to participate more freely
in the activities of English groups .
11 It is important for me to know English in order
to know the life of English –speaking nations.
12 The British are open-minded.
13 The Americans are sociable.
14 The more I learn about the British, the more I
like them.
15 Studying English is important to me because it
will enable me to get to know various cultures
and peoples.
151
16 Studying English is important to me so that I
can keep in touch with foreign friends and
acquaintances.
17 I would like to know about American people.
18 The British are friendly.
19 The American are cheerful.
20 I would like to know more about British people
Instrumental Orientation
21 Studying English can be important for me
because it will make me a more knowledgeable
person.
22 Studying English can be important for me
because I may need it later (e.g. job, studies).
23 Studying English can be important for me
because other people will respect me more if I
have knowledge of a foreign language.
24 Studying English can be important for me
because I will be able to search information and
materials in English on the internet.
25 Studying English can be important for me
because I will learn more about what is
happening in the world.
26 Studying English can be important for me
because language learning often gives me a
feeling of success.
27 Studying English can be important for me
because language learning often makes me
happy.
28 Studying English can be important to me
because it provides an interesting intellectual
activity.
29 Studying English can be important to me
because it offers a new challenge in my life,
which has otherwise become a bit monotonous.
30 Studying English can be important to me
because an educated person is supposed to be
able to speak English.
31 Studying English can be important to me so
that I can understand English-speaking films,
videos, TV or radio
32 Studying English can be important to me
because without it one can not be successful in
any field.
33 It is important for me to know English in order
to better understand the English- speaking
nations' behavior and problems.
34 Studying English can be important to me
because it will enable me to get to know new
152
people from different parts of the world.
35 Studying English can be important to me so
that I can read English books.
36 Studying English can be important to me
because it will enable me to learn more about
the English world.
Travel Orientation
37 Studying English can be important to me
because I would like to spend some time
abroad.
38 Studying English can be important to me
because I would like to travel to countries
where English is used.
39 Studying English can be important to me
because it will help me when traveling.
40 Studying English is important to me so that I
can broaden my outlook.
41 Studying English is important to me because
without English I won't be able to travel a lot.
42 Studying English is important to me because I
would like to make friends with foreigners.
153
Appendix 3
The Validation Committee for the attitudinal questionnaire, speaking
test, speaking evaluation rubric and the program
1. Dr. Mahmoud Khalil
The head of Sakhnin Academic College for Teacher Education .
2. Dr. Walid Dallashi
Head of completing studies and teachers' development and educational
management lecturer
3. Mr. Miriam Mubarki
Lecturer in the English department and EFL supervisor at
Sakhnin College for Teacher
4. Dr. Jamal Assadi
Head of English department at Sakhnin College and EFL supervisor
5. Dr. Abed-Kareem Igbaria
EFL lecturer and supervisor, specialist in EFL curriculum and
instruction.
6. Dr Haitham Taha
The head of special education department at the college and educational
psychologist.
7. Mr. Radi Mousa
Educational psychologist, Ein-Harod Regional council.
8. Dr. Manal Yazbak
Dean of Sakhnin College for Teacher Education and a supervisor in the
English department.
9. Mr. Jonathan Margalit
TESOL specialist and and lecturer of EFL proficiency in the college.
10. Mrs. Meri Shhok
English teacher at Bueina Nujidat High School
11. Mr. Adib Khalil
English teacher at Bueina-Nujidat High School
12. Mr. Ayman Abo El-Hayja
English teacher At Dr Abo Romi High School in Tamra Village
154
Appendix 4
Rubric for Assessing Oral Social Interaction
Student's Name: -------------------------------
Group: Exp/ Cont.
Gender: M/ F
Accuracy Fluency
Little or no language production 1 Little or no communication 1
Poor vocabulary, mistakes in basic
grammar, may have very strong
foreign accent
2
Very hesitant and brief utterances,
sometimes difficult to understand 2
Adequate but limited vocabulary,
makes obvious grammatical
mistakes, slight foreign accent
3
Conveys ideas, but hesitantly and
briefly 3
Good range of vocabulary,
occasional grammar slips, slight
foreign accent
4
Effective communication in short
turns 4
Extensive vocabulary used
appropriately, virtually no
grammatical mistakes, native like
or slight foreign accent
5
Easy and effective communication,
uses long turns
5
TOTAL SCORE OUT OF 10: --------------------------
155
Appendix 5
The Speaking Skill Test
Biographical questions:
1. Hello, Could you tell me your name please?
2. How do you do?
3. Where do you live?
4. How large is your family?
5. Are you a good student?
Guided questions
1. What is special about your village?
2. What is the relationship like between the people in your village?
3. Would you like to study in another school if you had the chance? Why?
4. What is your favorite subject? Why?
5. Do you like to study only English?
6. What will you study in the university?
Opinion questions (open)
1. Why do you think most Arab students do not like English?
2. In your opinion, what should schools do to help you learn English well?
3. As an Arab student, do you think you will have the same opportunities as a
Jewish one? Why? Why not?
4. Do you think that drugs are a problem in our schools and community?
Good Luck
156
Appendix 6
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The Effect of Task-Based Language Teaching on Developing Speaking Skills among the Palestinian Secondary EFL Students in Israel and Their Attitudes towards English
By Tareq Mitib Saed Murad MA in English Linguistics, the University of Haifa, 2000 A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Curricula and Instruction (TEFL) at the Faculty of Education, Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan. Approved by: Examining Committee Oqlah Smadi……………………………………………………Chairman Prof. of applied linguistics, Yarmouk University. Mahmoud AL-Khatib…………………………………………… Member Prof. of sociolinguistics, Jordanian University. Ahmad Odeh …………………………………………………......Member Prof. of measurement and evaluation, Yarmouk University Mahmoud AL-Shara’ah………………………………….............Member Prof . of English literature, Yarmouk University Khalaf AL Makhzomy……………………………………….…Member Associate prof. of TEFL, Yarmouk University.

II

Dedication
To Allah, The Merciful, I dedicate this humble work. To my parents who were very enthusiastic, proud and supporting through my studying at different universities. To my wife, Manal, for her patience in the difficult situations and for her encouragement. To my sons who are proud of me, and who insisted that their father should achieve his childhood dream. To my older daughter, Shifaa, who is physically disabled and from whom I have learned patience and endurance in all difficult and unbearable situations.

III

this effort would not have been accomplished. Finally I would like to thank my faithful friends who helped. I would like to express my special thanks to my colleagues in the university with whom I spent a fruitful time which I will never forget in my life. Oqlah Smadi who supervised. EFL teachers and eleventh grade students in the schools for their cooperation while conducting this study.Acknowledgements After my thanks to Allah. and in the Department of curriculum and instruction in specific. I would also like to thank the principals of Bueina and Tamra High schools. Thanks are also due to the examining committee members for agreeing to take part in examining this dissertation. I would like to express my special regards to my excellent lecturers in the Faculty of Education at Yarmouk University in general. attitudinal questionnaire and speaking skill test. I would like also to thank the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Yarmouk University for providing me the opportunity to continue my PhD studies. Many thanks go to the judgment committee for their continuous and sincere advice concerning my instructional program. IV . I would like to extend my thanks to my supervisor Prof. The Almighty. for granting me the energy and power to continue my efforts to prepare this research. guided and advised me during my study and without his fatherly help and fruitful advice. encouraged and motivated me to continue this research and never give up.

78 Statistical Analysis……………………………………………………78 Procedures of the Study…………………………………………………78 V .…………1 Statement of the Problem……………………………………………….vii List of Figures……………………………………………………….....8 Questions of the Study …………………………………………………9 Significance of the Study…… ………………………………………… 9 Definitions of Terms…….71 Data Collections………………………………………………………...65 Chapter Three: Methods and Procedures Subjects of the Study……………………………………………….i Examination Committee………………………………………………..30 Empirical studies on TBLT…………………………………………...….....……........…....67 Instruments of the Study……………………………………………. 10 Limitations of the Study…...iv Table of Contents………… …………………………………………....x Chapter One: Introduction Background of the study……………………………………….Table of Contents Subject Page Title……………………………………………………………………….....13 Chapter Two: Review of related Literature The Speaking Skill………………………………………………....ii Dedication………………………………………………………………iii Acknowledgement………… ………………………………………….…..14 Attitudes towards English……………………………………………...Theoretical Background………………………………………..v List of Tables……........ …………………………………………………….76 Design of the Study…………………………………………….68 Validity and Reliability of the Study………………………………….......…23 TBLT......53 Concluding Remarks……………………………………….....viii List of Appendices…………………………………………………..……………………………………………...…………………………………………….ix Abstract in English…………………………………………………….77 Variables of the Study………………………………………………….

.104 References……………………………………………………………105 Appendices……………………………………………………………118 Abstract in Arabic……………………………………………………156 VI . Conclusions and Results Discussion of Findings………………………………………………...92 Conclusions……………………………………………………………101 Recommendations……………………………………………………..Chapter Four: Findings of the Study Findings related to the first question…………………………………..80 Findings Related to the Second Question………………………………86 Chapter Five: Discussions.

.………..............73 Table 5: Means.... the Adjusted Means and Standard Deviations of the Pre and Post Students' Responses to the Attitudinal Items According to the Independent Variables of the Study....…………….......91 VII ..….......87 Table 12: Means and Standard Error of the Pre and Means....……....89 Table 14: The Results of MANCOVA on the Dimensions of the Attitudinal Questionnaire According to the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender……………………………………..….……........ Standard Deviations........ Adjusted Means and Standard Errors of the Students' Scores on the Pre and Post Tests According to the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender……….......Lists of Tables Table Page Table 1: Distribution of the Subjects of the Study by School and Gender………68 Table 2: Specification for the Speaking Skill Test……........ Standard Deviations..81 Table 6: Results of ANCOVA on the Total Score of the Speaking Test Due to the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender………....………. Adjusted Means and Standard Error of the Students’ Scores on the Dimensions of the Pre and Post Tests According to the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender………83 Table 8: Results of MANCOVA on the Dimensions of the Speaking Test According to the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender……….…72 Table 4: The agreement Percentage of the Speaking Skill Test…………….............…81 Table 7: Means.......……….........………………………………....84 Table 9: The ANCOVA Results on each Dimensions of the Speaking Separately According to the Teaching procedure and Students’ Gender………………………………………………………84 Table 10: Means......90 Table 15: Result of ANCOVA on the Dimensions of the Attitudinal Questionnaire According to the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender………..87 Table 11: Results of ANCOVA on the Total Score of the Attitudinal Questionnaire Due to the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender......88 Table 13: The Intra Class Linear Correlation of the Dimensions of the Attitudinal Questionnaire and the Results of Bartlett's Test According to the Teaching procedure and students’ Gender…………………...…69 Table 3: The Reliability of the Attitudinal Questionnaire……………. Standard Deviations of Adjusted Post Students’ Responses to the Items of the Questionnaire Dimensions According to the Independent Variables of the Study……..... Standard Deviations.

List of Figures Figure Page Figure 1: The Interaction between the Variables of the Study……………………82 Figure 2. The Interaction between the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender on the Dimension of Accuracy …………………………………….….85 VIII .

…………….150 Appendix 3: The Validation Committee……………………………………..List of Appendices Appendix Page Appendix1: TBLT Designed program……………………………………….153 Appendix 4: Rubric for Assessing Oral Social Interaction…………………….......155 Appendix 5: The Speaking Skill Test……………………………………………156 Appendix 6: Abstract in Arabic…………………………………………159 IX ..…. 118 Appendix 2: The Attitudinal Questionnaire………………………..

ABSTRACT Tareq. 37 boys and 54 girls. This objective of this study was to investigate the effect of a task-based language teaching program on developing the speaking skills of Palestinian secondary students and their attitudes towards English. (Supervisor: Professor Oqlah Smadi). is there a statistically significant difference between the subjects' mean scores of the attitudes towards English due to the interaction between the teaching procedure and subjects' gender? The participants in the study are 91 eleventh grade students. The students were in the eleventh grade (second secondary grade) during a period of three months in which this study was conducted (JanuaryMarch) of the academic year 2008/2009.Nujidat and Tamra High Schools. A task-based X . The present study attempted to answer the following questions: First. Mitib Murad. from Bueina. is there a statistically significant difference between the subjects' mean scores on the English speaking test due to the interaction between the teaching procedure (TBLT vs the conventional procedure) and subjects' gender? Second. (2009). Ph. Yarmouk University. The Effect of Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) on Developing Speaking Skills among the Palestinian Secondary EFL Students in Israel and Their Attitudes towards English.D. Dissertation.

XI . The questionnaire aimed at investigating the students' attitudes before and after the implementation of the program. The validity and reliability of the research instruments were validated. An attitudinal questionnaire that consisted of four dimensions (developmental. the TBLT program enhanced significantly the speaking skill of the students of the experimental group and positively affected their attitudes towards English.language teaching program was developed by the researcher for the experimental group. 2. The test covered the dimensions of accuracy and fluency. A task-based program: The researcher designed an instructional program based on TBLT principles and procedures. A pre-test of speaking skills and post-test to measure the effect of the instructional program on developing the students' oral social interaction. ANCOVA and MANCOVA were used to analyze the findings of the study. instrumental. integrative and travel motivations). Secondly. 3. The following instruments were used in this study:: 1. A rubric for assessing the students' oral social interaction was used to assess the students' performance before and after implementing the designed program. the TBLT program improved the girls' speaking skills more than the boys in the experimental group. The findings of the study were the following: Firstly.

the researcher recommended that curriculum designers incorporate TBLT principles and procedures in the students' books and teachers' guides. Finally. language attitude. it is recommended that EFL teachers adopt the TBLT principles and procedures in their classroom practices. task XII .Based on the results of the current study. speaking skill. it is recommended that the English inspectors set up in-service and pre-service training programs to develop the Palestinian EFL teachers' ability to use TBLT when designing and executing their lesson plans. In addition. Key Words: Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT).

religious and technological. 2002). tourism and communication.Chapter One Introduction Background of the Study English has attained increasing importance throughout the world in general and in Israel in particular. technology. Arab parents and educators have begun to be concerned about their children’s low level in English. and there is strong pressure from many parents to start instruction even earlier. Amara and Marai (2002) considered English as the second language in terms of importance in Israel. It is taught in the Arab schools starting from the fourth grade. Consequently. There is no distinct English curriculum for Arab students.. Amara and Marai (2002) added that English is as important to the Arabs as it is to other Israelis because of its status as the international language of science. and supervised by the same personnel. commerce. The same national curriculum is used for both sectors. and it is formally the first foreign language taught in both Jewish and Arab sectors. and the methods of study used in the Arab sector are identical to those used in all streams of education: general. and have begun to look for solutions to this problem (Amara and Marai. 1 .

Few members of the adult community know English. since they consider it difficult subject to learn. and the Arab schools do not have the high proportion of English native or near native –speaking teachers. The English language is therefore foreign to many Arab students. Many Israelis have regular contact with English-speaking immigrants in the neighborhoods. All these conditions make English more difficult for Arab students. It appears that English is considered a ‘threat’ for Arab students living in Israel. Without a good mark in English. Some students who finish high school education often receive low 2 . especially in a competitive country such as that which exists in Israel. English speaking relatives abroad. and in contrast to Hebrew.However. Arab students cannot continue their academic studies in the universities or colleges. but few Arabs live in direct contact with English speaking communities. or English speaking tourists who come to their cities. It is the third language that they study. which is linguistically related to Arabic with similar phonology and morphology and many cognate words. the second language. Arab students encounter unique problems in their study of English. English as a foreign language (EFL) is considered an integral part of the Israeli matriculation examinations. Some of them suffer from high anxiety which causes examination failure. and therefore their success in life will be very limited. Amara and Marai (2002) believed that these students feel uneasy about learning English.

Spolsky and Shohamy (1999) attributed the low percentage of Arab school graduates in universities and colleges to Israeli higher education institutions. 2002). most of them usually need remedial courses in English. and those who continue encounter problems in their first year because they need English in their academic performance. Only 20% of Arab school graduates continue their academic studies. few members of the adult community know English. These institutions require a high level of proficiency in English. ignoring the needs of some sectors such as the Arab sector 3 . In addition. According to Elazar (1993). all of these conditions affect Arab students’ proficiency in English. This causes students to be fearful of the Matriculation examinations and creates a negative attitude toward English (Amara and Marai. Elazar (1993) stressed the idea that Israeli Arab students encounter problems in learning English and a low percentage of them pass the English examination in the matriculation.grades in English. Most Arabs live in villages and rural communities. and for this reason English is considered a barrier for entering higher education. and Arab Schools do not have native or near native English speaking teachers. therefore. He attributed Arab students’ low achievement in English to the lack of exposure to English as a native language. Arab students practice English formally in the classroom setting.

are quite different. This condition may constitute a barrier for entrance to university. and in developing appreciation of the English language and its literature. travel. Spolsky and Shohamy (1999:181) argued that: the circumstances today. The textbooks for English instruction are the same for Arabs and Jews. They added that the aim of the new curriculum is to raise standards in the four domains of language learning: access to information. It is hoped that by the end of grade twelve students will be able to use English freely in all skills of language in their social interactions. television. according to (Amara and Marai. and offer schools and teachers freedom to determine the appropriate methodology to be used and the priority of the elements of the curriculum (Amara and Marai. 2002). family. In the existing textbooks. More and more pupils have extensive contact with English before beginning formal English instruction or outside of school. There are no materials in the textbooks about the Arabs. and this. in obtaining and presenting information. Curriculum designers set new standards for English while taking these standards into consideration. have already learned words and phrases of the language. and even in the foreseeable future. at whatever age they start English in school. Most pupils. social interaction. computers. culture and language. presentation and appreciation of literature. The new standards are extremely flexible. whether through radio. the Arab students learn about 4 . In 1998.whose students encounter difficulties in English. a new curriculum was approved for Israeli schools. or meeting oversees visitors. 2002) upsets the balance that exists in the curriculum.

In 1998. 1999. compared to 15% among Jewish students (Amara and Marai. Few studies have been conducted designed to offer solutions to the problem and improve the students’ proficiency in English. The gap in achievements in English between the Arab and Jewish students reaches alarming levels. but they do not learn about themselves. This is not the case in the Israeli textbooks that are presently used in the Arab sector. Only 40% of students in the Arab sector reached a satisfactory level of achievement (that is the required level). and only 10% reached an advanced level. Although researchers and educators agree that Arab school graduates are not proficient in English (Amara. 1993). few studies have been conducted to examine procedures. To the researcher's best knowledge all previous studies focused on students’ weaknesses and the reasons for them.Jews and Western culture. 2002). However. a new curriculum was approved in Israeli schools including the Arab sector (Spolsky and Shohamy. 5 . 1999). 60% of the Arab students failed in the examination. Spolsky and Shohamy. 2002. The researcher thinks that studying a subject that is familiar to the students increases their interest in learning and the focus will be only on the linguistic area. Elazar. approaches and strategies of teaching and learning to improve students’ achievements in English. The Inspectorate for teaching English is concerned about Arab students’ achievements in English.

The new curriculum focuses on speaking skills through the domain of social interaction. This is because speaking skills are extremely important 6 . 2002). The standards of the domain of social interaction call for students to interact effectively in English orally and in writing in varied social contexts with people from varied linguistic and cultural backgrounds.In the new curriculum. The concept of social interaction was added to the new curriculum when the English advisory committee recognized that English is a language for communication. Four domains are proposed: social interaction. Students should be proficient in maintaining effective communication. They should interact by using rich vocabulary and complex syntactic structures accurately (Ministry of Education. it was suggested to teach according to domains rather than skills. presentation and appreciation of literature. Arabic and other languages to function comfortably in English whenever it is appropriate (Ministry of Education. 2002). culture and language. access to information. and using appropriate written communication for a wide range of social contexts. but merely strives to enable speakers of Hebrew. It does not take on the goal of producing nearnative speakers of English. The domain of social interaction aims to produce graduates who can conduct conversations and written communication with other English speakers wherever they live regardless of their native language.

when teaching EFL. Graham-Mar (2004) claimed that the importance of teaching speaking skills stems from the fact that human beings have been acquiring language through speaking and listening long before they began reading and writing. . Our brains are well programmed to learn language through sound and speech. Brown and Yule (1983) believed that many language learners regard speaking skills as the criteria for knowing a language. They defined fluency as the ability to communicate with others much more than the ability to read, write, or comprehend oral language. They regarded speaking as the most important skill students acquire. Students assess their progress in terms of their accomplishments in spoken

communication. The researcher proposed using a procedure based on the use of tasks as the core unit of planning and instruction in language teaching called Task-Based language Teaching (TBLT) to enhance the speaking ability of EFL learners. TBLT puts tasks at the center of the methodological focus. It views the learning process as a set of communicative tasks that are directly linked to the curricular goals they serve (Brown, 2001). Richards and Rodgers (2001) emphasized that the role of tasks has received further support from some researchers in second language acquisition who are interested in developing pedagogical application of second language acquisition theory (e.g., Long and Crookes, 1991).
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Statement of the Problem
Many studies have been conducted that have investigated the effect of TBLT on developing the reading ability of the learners (e.g., Skehan, 1998; Foster and Skehan, 1996; Willis, 1996; among others), but few have examined the effect of this procedure on the speaking skills of EFL learners (Birjandi and Ahangari, 2008 and Hitutozi, 2008). Speaking in an L2 has occupied a unique position throughout much of the history of language teaching. It has begun to emerge as a branch of teaching, learning, and testing in its own right only in the last two decades has, but rarely focuses on the production of spoken discourse (Carter and Nunan, 2001). Due to the difficulty of studying speaking, it was easier for teachers, methodologists, applied linguists and linguists to focus on written than spoken language. Arab students are no exception and have difficulty with the English language.. This is reflected in their achievement in the matriculation examination; their scores are usually very low in all English language skills, especially in speaking. Arab students usually hesitate to speak English because they have problems using accurate, fluent and complex language. In order to enhance the speaking ability of Arab EFL students, the researcher proposed using a procedure based on the use of tasks as the

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core unit of planning and instruction in language teaching called TaskBased language Teaching (TBLT). This study aimed to investigate the effects of using TBLT on developing the speaking skill of the Arab EFL students in secondary schools in Israel, and their attitudes towards English.

Research Questions
The present study attempted to answer the following questions: 1. Is there a statistically significant difference between the subjects' mean scores on the English speaking skills test due to the interaction between the teaching procedure (TBLT vs the conventional procedure) and subjects’ gender? 2. Is there a statistically significant difference between the subjects' mean scores in the attitudes towards English due to the interaction between the teaching procedure and subjects’ gender?

Significance of this Study
The significance of this study stems from the following factors: 1. It attempts to examine the effect of using Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) for developing the speaking skills of Palestinian students at the secondary school level. In addition, the findings may lead to a change in the students’ attitudes towards English.

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Learners. Definitions of Terms The following terms have the associated meanings in the dissertation: Task. .. . 2003): . This study may provide EFL teachers with a specific language teaching procedure which they can use in their classroom to enhance their students’ achievement in English in the matriculation examinations. intervention while retaining 'naturalness'). The research results can be presented to EFL teachers.Focus on form (attention to form occurs within the context of performing the task. It aims to both enable learners to acquire new linguistic knowledge and to procedurize their existing knowledge.Tasks serve as the means for achieving natural use of language. 10 .Based Language Teaching (TBLT) TBLT refers to teaching a second/foreign language that seeks to engage learners in interactionally authentic language use by having them perform a series of tasks.centered rather than teacher controlled learning . 3.Traditional approaches are ineffective. The main characteristics of TBLT are the following (Ellis. learners and decision-makers in order to enhance the students’ performance in English as a foreign language.'Natural' or 'naturalistic' use of language .2. The details of the research procedure are presented in Chapter Two.

This activity provides an opportunity for the students to relate to the theme of the text as well as to engage in social interaction. Expressions of positive or negative feelings towards a language reflect impressions of linguistic difficulty or simplicity. 11 . Textbook Teaching Procedure for Speaking Each unit in the textbook includes one activity for speaking. degree of importance. fluency and accuracy (Wilson. Attitudes towards a language may also reveal what people feel about the speakers of that language. The teachers' guide does not specify a technique to teach the speaking skill. Language Attitudes These are the attitudes which speakers of different languages or language dialects have towards each other's languages or their language. use of English. clarity. This is left to the teacher. he/she should take into account content. ease or difficulty in learning. attitude. 2003). The teacher should encourage students to express themselves and accept individual answers that the students can justify. elegance and social status. If the teacher wishes to assess the students' oral skills.Secondary Stage It is the third schooling stage in Israel which begins by the beginning of tenth grade and ends by the end of twelfth grade. participation.

To this end. students' attitudes are measured by their responses to the attitude questionnaire that was developed by the researcher. a task can engage productive or receptive. 1997). In addition. Because of its circumstances of production. Like other language activities. Task The researcher has adopted Ellis’ (2003:16) definition: A work plan that requires learners to process language pragmatically in order to achieve an outcome that can be evaluated in terms of whether the correct or appropriate propositional content has been conveyed. In the present study. and oral or written skills and also various cognitive processes. The measurement of language attitudes provides information that is useful in teaching and language planning (Richards. Platt and Platt. 12 . some of the processing skills needed in speaking differ from those involved in reading and writing (Bygate. lexical and discourse patterns. to the language is used in the real world. Speaking Skills Speaking in a second language (L2) involves the development of a particular type of communication skills. A task is intended to result in language use that bears resemblance. 2002). although the design of the task may dispose them to choose particular forms. direct or indirect. In the present study this is measured by the students' scores on the speaking test.Language attitudes also have an effect on SL or FL learning. it requires them to give primary attention to meaning and to make use of their own linguistic resources. oral language tends to differ from written language in its typical grammar.

The study was limited to the use of Task-Based Language Teaching. The study was limited to Arab EFL students in secondary schools in Israel. If the study time had been longer. 2.Research Limitations The current study has the following limitations: 1. 13 . 3. the results might have been different. 4. The time limit of the study may affect the oral production of the students. The study was also limited to investigating speaking skills.

if not most foreign language learners are primarily interested in learning to speak (Ur. The second section defines students’ attitudes towards English and how students' positive attitudes enhance leaning. The practical subsection consists of brief reports about relevant studies. receiving and processing information (Brown. the researcher attempts to shed light on the TBLT. principles and advantages of TBLT are also emphasized in this section. From the theoretical standpoint. speaking seems intuitively the most important. 2006). Speaking Skills Of the four language skills (listening .speaking. and many. The objectives. Burns 14 . as if speaking included all other types of skills. reading and writing). Speaking is an interactive process of constructing meaning that involves producing. The last section deals with Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT). The researcher then reviews additional studies that dealt with students' attitudes towards English. This section consists of two sub-sections: theoretical and practical. and to clarify its developments in theory and practice. 1994. People who know a language are referred to as 'speakers of that language.Chapter Two Review of Related Literature This chapter begins with a definition of speaking skills and their importance in learning English as a foreign language.

Its form and meaning are dependent on the context in which it occurs. the physical environment. These skills can 15 .based evidence. (2) formulating the language representation. Swain argued that knowing that one will need to speak makes one more likely to attend to syntax when one is listening. pronunciation. Wilson (1997) claimed that children who can translate their thoughts and ideas into words are more likely to succeed in school. or vocabulary (linguistic competence). He also pointed out that speaking skills do not need to be taught as a separate subject. and (3) articulating the message. including the participants themselves. 1999).and Joyce. to learn to speak we have actually to speak. Swain (1985). their collective experiences. but also they understand when. an important contributor of immersion. was led to consider whether other factors beside input might affect language competence. and the purposes for speaking. Levelt (1989) identified three autonomous processing stages in speech production: (1) conceptualizing the message. 1997). why and in what ways to produce language (sociolinguistic competence) (Cunningham. Students who do not develop good listening and speaking skill will have life-long consequences because of their deficit. Speaking requires that learners not only know how to produce specific points of language such as grammar. that is. In particular she proposed the “comprehensible output hypothesis”.

(2) accuracy and (3) complexity. not least of which is the fact that we as humans have been learning languages through our ears and mouth for thousands upon thousands of years. This may also involve a greater willingness to take risks. Speaking in L2 has occupied a peculiar position throughout much of the history of language teaching. 16 . Skehan (1998) distinguished three aspects of production: (1) fluency.Marr (2004) mentioned many reasons for focusing on listening and speaking when teaching English as a foreign language. far longer we as humans have been able to read. and provide a window to their own thinking through their talk. This area has also taken a greater likelihood of restructuring that is development in the inter-language system. students learn talking. clarify thoughts by talking. Graham. comprehend better with discussion of reading.easily be integrated into other subject matter. and use fewer controlled language subsystems. develop confidence by speaking in front of peers. This is because. write better after talking during writing conferences. Although not a set curriculum in most schools. learning and testing in its own right. 2002). rarely focusing on the production of spoken discourse (Bygate. speaking skills have been found to be a fundamental skill necessary for a child success in life. and only in the last two decades has it begun to emerge as a branch of teaching.

What is the appropriate form of spoken language to teach? . Spoken language.Are those structures which are described in standard grammars. and the use of fillers such as 'well' and 'ahuh' make spoken language feel less conceptually dense than other types of language such as expository prose. Brown and Yule (1983) also pointed out that the loosely organized syntax. the use of non-specific words and phrases.From the point of view of pronunciation. in contrast with the teaching of written language. and speakers frequently use non-specific references.formed sentences which are integrated into highly structured paragraphs. There is often a great deal of repetition and overlap between one speaker and another. what is a reasonable model? . no matter what their age is or their intentions in learning the spoken language? .Is it appropriate to teach the same structures to all foreign language students. This language is characterized by well. the structures which our students should be expected to produce when they speak English? 17 . They pointed out that for most of its history. is it all right to teach the spoken language as if it were exactly like the written language. They suggested that.If so. on the other hand. language teaching has been concerned with the teaching of written language. but with a few 'spoken expression' thrown in? .From the point of view of the structures taught.How important is pronunciation? . consists of short.Is it any more important than teaching appropriate handwriting in the foreign language? . often fragmentary utterances. in a range of pronunciations. why? . teachers concerned with teaching the spoken language must confront the following types of questions: .Brown and Yule (1983) began their discussion on the nature of spoken language by distinguishing between spoken and written language.

and interactional skills. in which the primarily purpose of speech is the maintenance of social relationships.How is it possible to give students any sort of meaningful practice in producing spoken English? (Brown and Yule. 1983: 3) Brown and Yule (1983) also drew a useful distinction between two basic language functions. interactional exchanges in which the learner is only required to make one or two utterances at a time. While all native speakers can and use language interactionally. The interactional nature of language was examined by Bygate (1996). which involve using motor-perceptive skills for the purposes of communication. Nunan (1992) mentioned another basic distinction when considering the development of speaking skills: distinguishing between dialogue and monologue. not all native speakers have the ability to extemporise on a given subject to a group of listeners.. which is primarily concerned with the transfer of information. Motor-perceptive skills are developed in 18 . Bygate distinguished between motor-perceptive skills. These are the transactional function. The ability to give an uninterrupted oral presentation is quite distinct from interacting with one or more other speakers for transactional and interactional purposes. Brown and Yule (1983) suggested that most language teaching is concerned with developing skills in short. which are concerned with correctly using the sounds and structures of the language. and the interactional function.

individual sounds. . Nunan (1996) claimed that a successful oral communication should involve developing: . and move through mastery of words and sentences to discourse. intonation patterns. Negotiation of meaning refers to the skill of making sure the person you are speaking to has correctly understood you and that you have correctly understood them. pattern practice.Mastery of stress.Skills in taking short and long speaking turns. . in particular. how to invite someone else to speak. which are embedded in meaningful contexts. on the other hand.the language classroom through activities such as model dialogues. The bottom up approach to speaking suggests that speakers start with the smallest unit of language. 19 .e. how to keep a conversation going and so on. Nunan (1996) added that one can apply the bottom-up/top. Bygate (1996) suggested that. when to introduce a topic or change the subject. an acceptable degree of fluency.down distinction to speaking. and oral drills and so on. and use their knowledge of these contexts to comprehend and use correctly the smaller elements of language.Transactional and interpersonal skills.The ability to articulate phonological features of the language comprehensibly. rhythm. The management of the interaction involves such things as when and how to take the floor. learners need to develop skills in the management of interaction as well asI in the negotiation of meaning. . The topdown view. suggests that speakers start with the larger chunks of language. i.

Conversational listening skills (successful conversations require good listeners as well as good speakers).. Because the overwhelming majority of adult learners will never acquire an accent-free command of a foreign language. interactive course of study. . Recent pedagogical research on teaching conversation has provided some parameters developing objectives and techniques.Using appropriate conversational formulae and fillers. teacher. .Skills in the management of the interaction.Skills in negotiating meaning.Skills in knowing about and negotiating purposes for conversations. and overall context of the class. Oral Communication Skills in Pedagogical Research Brown (2001) asserted that a review of the current issues in teaching oral communication will help to provide some perspective to moral practical considerations as the following: Conversational discourse Brown claimed that when someone asks you "Do you speak English?" they are usually implying: “Are you able to carry on a reasonably fluent conversation?” The benchmark of successful language acquisition is almost always the demonstration of an ability to accomplish pragmatic goals through interactive discourse with other speakers. Teaching pronunciation There has been some controversy over the role of pronunciation work in a communicative. depending on the student. . The goals and the procedures for teaching conversation are extremely diverse. the language programs should emphasize whole 20 . .

learners are reluctant to be judged by listeners. As Nunan (1996) notes. Accuracy and fluency Accuracy and fluency are both important goals to pursue in communicative language teaching. but rather the interactive nature of most communication. Because of the language ego that informs people that "you are what you speak". The interaction effect The greatest difficulty that learners encounter in attempting to speak is not the multiplicity of sounds. Conversations are collaborative. which presents a further complication in interactive discourse. accuracy is achieved to some extent by allowing students to focus on elements of phonology. or incomprehensible. grammar. meaningful contexts. phrases. He calls this the interlocutor effect or the difficulty of a speaking task as gauged 21 . and automaticity of production should focus on these tiny phonological details of language. and discourse in their spoken output. Affective factors One of the major obstacles learners have to overcome in learning to speak is the anxiety generated by the risk of blurting things out that are wrong. While fluency may be an initial goal in many communicative language courses.language. and discourse forms that characterize any language. words.

14. Use cohesive devices in spoken discourse. new information. Produce speech in natural constituents – in appropriate phrases. rhythmic structure. rephrasing. 16. pause groups. Develop and use a battery of speaking strategies. and intonational contours. and elliptical forms. Use facial features. etc. systems (e. tense. verbs. kinesics. Covey links and connections between events and communicate such relations as main idea. pragmatic conventions. Produce chunks of language of different length. 5. 22 . Express a particular meaning in different grammatical forms. and pluralization). 2. Use appropriate registers. supporting idea.g. Use an adequate number of lexical units (words) in order to accomplish pragmatic purposes. implicature. Monitor your own oral production and use various strategic devices. Produce reduced forms of words and phrases. and other nonverbal cues along with verbal language to convey meanings. In other words. and sentences. and accurately assessing how well your interlocutor is understanding you. providing a context for interpreting the meaning of words. self-corrections. backtracking. such as emphasizing key words. 6. 9. Microskills of Oral Communication Brown (2001: 272) mentioned these Microskills of communication: 1. 13. Use grammatical word classes (nouns. 7.. given information. and goals.to enhance the clarity of the message. fillers. 10. word order. 12. Produce English stress patterns. and other sociolinguistic features in face-to-face conversations. rules. Produce fluent speech at different rates of delivery. 3. one learners’ performance is always colored by that person (interlocutor) he or she is talking to. 11. and exemplification.). 8. 15. 4. Accomplish appropriately communicative functions according to situations. body language. patterns. participants. breath groups. Orally produce differences among the English phonemes and allophonic variants.pauses. appealing for help.by the skills of one's interlocutor. words in stress and unstressed positions. generalization. agreement.

developed early in childhood and are the results of parents' and peers' attitudes. and attitude as the persistence shown by the learner in striving for a goal. Schuman defined 'attitude' as a social factor influenced by variables such as 'size of learning group'. Ellis (1985) encountered a problem in defining attitudes and motivations because these cannot be directly observed. but have to be inferred from what the person actually does. to unsuccessful attainment of proficiency due to decreased input and interaction. or fears about the learning of English as a second language (Spolsky. contact with people who are 'different' in any number of ways. like all aspects of the development of cognition and affect in the human beings.Attitudes towards English Attitudes towards English in general refer to the state of emotion and thought relating to the English language and the culture of Englishspeaking people. teachers should be aware that every 23 . Brown (1994) stated that L2 learners benefit from positive attitudes and that negative attitudes may lead to decreased motivation and in all likelihood. The attitude towards the English language implies the students' feelings. and interacting affective factors in the human experience. These attitudes form a part of one's perceptions of self. Therefore. Ellis also defined motivation in terms of L2 learner's overall goal of orientation. and 'motivation' as an affective factor alongside 'culture shock'. He adopted Schuman's (1978) definition of attitude. prejudice. 2000). of others and of the culture in which one is living. Brown (1994:169) asserted that: Attitudes.

Dornyei (2001) believed that the role of orientation is to help arouse motivation and direct it towards a set of goals with either a strong interpersonal quality (integrative orientation) or a strong practical quality (instrumental orientation). French class anxiety. The researcher was selective in this respect.learner has both positive and negative attitudes towards English. This latter desire is integrative motivation. parental encouragement. Gardner (1985) developed the Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) to measure L2 learners' motivation. The test battery consists of a multi-component motivation test made up of approximately 120 items concerned with such variables as attitudes towards French Canadians and learning French. desire to learn French and a motivation index. Considerable research has been done in the areas of students’ attitudes and motivations. interest in foreign languages. Gardner and Lambert's (1972) categorized learner's motivation into two types: 24 . which constitutes a support for language learning. orientation to learn French. motivation to learn a second language is based on positive attitude towards the second language community and upon a desire to communicate with valued members of that community and to become similar to them. According to Gardner and Lambert (1972). motivation intensity. An instrumental orientation is associated with a desire to learn L2 for pragmatic gains such as getting a better job or a higher salary.

Developmental motivation refers to motivation relating to personal development or personal satisfaction. Thus new motivation clusters have been identified such as intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Clement. learn an L2 because 25 . Cooper and Fishman (1977) mentioned a fourth type of motivation which they termed "developmental". and its value for the chosen goals (Noels. and "integrative". Dornyei and Noel1994). and Pelletier. 2001). Al-Abed-Al Haq and Smadi (1996) added a third type of motivation which they called "religious motivation" in which learners learn a foreign language for religious purposes. Intrinsically motivated students like integratively motivated ones."Instrumental" which stresses "the practical value and advantages of learning a new language". Students' learning goals are also broken up into different motivation clusters. Such learning could be compulsory [fard ayn] or optionally [fard kifaya]. the definition of which varies depending upon the socio-cultural setting in which the data was gathered (Clement. In addition to Gardner and Lambert's integrative and instrumental classifications. like instrumental orientation. Internalized reasons for learning an L2 (such as guilt or shame) and/or personal decision to do so. refers to the desire to learn a second/foreign language because of some pressure of reward from the social environment (such as career advancement or course credit). which stresses "a sincere and personal interest in the people and culture represented by the other group". Extrinsic motivation.

When a learner has no extrinsic or intrinsic goals for learning a language. students in different contexts may be motivated to learn a second/foreign language by different orientation (Liu. 1994. motivation increases.of the inherent pleasure in doing so. 2007). Previous studies revealed a correlation between positive attitudes and successful language learning. they are expected to maintain their effort and engagement in the L2 learning process. Likewise. 26 . both integrative and instrumental orientations and intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as well as religious and developmental motivations contribute to the learning of a second/ foreign language. Widdows and Voller (1991) investigated Japanese college students' motives. 2001). Noels et al. Abed Al-Hafez (1994) demonstrated that Jordanian English majors at Yarmouk University were instrumentally motivated to learn English. needs. In conclusion. even when no external rewards are provided (Oxford and Shearin. the importance of each type varies from one context to another. Nevertheless. and that there was no significant correlation between the subjects' attitudes and motivations and their levels of achievement in the English courses. They found that students were the most interested in developing speaking and listening skills but that many college English classes neglected to teach to these needs.. and attitudes toward studying English.

Yashima. Zenuk and Shimizu (2004) investigated Japanese adolescent learners' willingness to communicate in English as an L2. resulting in a greater willingness to communicate. Abo Rabia (1996) examined the attitudes of 126 Arab students in the Canadian and Israeli 'melting pot'. Their results clearly demonstrated that the correlation between achievement and motivation was uniformly higher than that between achievement and integrativeness. Their results showed that those who had higher scores in willingness to communicate 27 . An investigation conducted by Masgoret and Gardner (2003) focused on the relationship of L2 achievement to five attitude/motivation variables. the results demonstrated that males showed more integrative motivation to study English than females. (2000) also found a strong correlation between instrumental motivation and Self-Determination Theory.Moreover. satisfactory social connections. and that this correlation was somewhat lower than between achievement and attitudes toward the learning situation. which deals with students' need for competence. Noels et al. Yashima (2002) found that motivated students have greater selfconfidence in their second language. Their results revealed that their motivation towards learning L2 was instrumental in nature. and autonomy. The results also revealed that female students showed higher integrative motivation.

Masaki and Park (2007) asserted that students who have been learning a language via a variety of traditional approaches but are subsequently introduced to task-based teaching. Liu (2007) investigated Chinese third-year undergraduate non-English majors' attitudes towards English. e. Chan. Such students initially tend to have negative attitudes toward TBLT.. Jung. positive behaviors and performances in comparison to the males (Dornyei and Shoaib. This could be attributed to the fact that the rapid development of economy in China in recent years has yielded an increasingly high demand of university graduates with high English competency in various fields such as education. They also suggested that 28 . market. their English-learning orientations. 2005). These gender differences are due to students' levels of motivations and attitudes toward language learning. business and science and technology. Moreover. but when using and experiencing tasks. The statistical analyses reveal that these students had positive attitudes towards learning English and were highly motivated to learn the language as well.g.tended to communicate more in the classroom and to ask questions or talk to teachers more frequently outside class. they may overcome their original judgments and react more favorably towards TBLT practices. gender has been an important perspective in second language learning investigations. and has highlighted females to show more interest.

They also added that in order to see more empirically-driven effects of learner attitudes on second language acquisition and instructional outcomes. such as the governmental/policy level. they are inclined to have unenthusiastic reactions toward TBLT. if teachers are constrained. In addition. They added that no studies of TBLT address attitudes at the administration level or higher. positive attitudes towards TBLT may develop accordingly. lack of training.attitudes affect various aspects of TBLT. which points to another potential area of exploration. However. or lack of support. It would therefore appear that if teachers are provided with TBLT training and in-service help. either by examinations. and more research is needed that specifically investigates attitudes and reactions towards TBLT. Task-Based Language Teaching 29 . By looking at these different levels. their attitudes towards TBLT have a tendency to be more negative. In closing. future research should be conducted in terms of the degree to which positive attitudes towards TBLT and self-perceptions may actually influence language development. students commonly have positive attitudes towards TBLT. particularly if they do not receive sufficient assistance. if instructors are already accustomed to one method of teaching and are required to switch to another. more interest may be garnered for TBLT teacher training and in-service support. once they become familiar with how it works in the classroom.

Apart from highly gifted and motivated students. American Government Language institutions switched to task-based instruction (TBI) for foreign language for adults in the early 1980s. Halliday's (1975) description of his young son's acquisition of his first language is significantly entitled 'learning how to mean'. then. Prabhu (1987) used a task-based approach with secondary school classes in Bengalore. Language learning in the classroom is usually based upon the belief that language is a system of wordings governed by a grammar and a lexicon. 2005). are teachers making this change to TBLT? Shehadeh believed that the answer to this question is often because they realize that most language learners taught through methods that emphasize mastery of grammar do not achieve an acceptable level of competency in the target language. Prabhu (1987: 11) notes that the structure-based 30 . in his Communicational Teaching Project. beginning in 1979.Theoretical Background Task-based language teaching is not a new concept. most learners working within a structure-based approach fail to attain a useable level of fluency and proficiency in second language (L2) even after years of instruction (Skehan. In India. it is more productive to see language primarily as a meaning system. However. Why.1996). Other teachers and institutions throughout the world are following the TBLT (Shehadeh. India.

Longand Crooks. They were able to operate an effective meaning system. Since the advent of communicative language teaching and the belief that language is best learned when it is being used to communicate messages. 2003). Ellis. In recent years a number of researchers. learners made far more rapid progress and were able to use their new foreign language in real-world circumstances with a reasonable level of efficiency after quite short courses.courses required "a good deal of remedial re-teaching which. 1987. spoken presentations and substantial small-group conversations that lead to decision-making outcomes” (p. proposed a task-based unitary framework because it “leads to student-led holistic outcomes in the form of written reports. This interest in the task has been motivated to a considerable extent by the fact that ‘task’ is seen as a construct of equal 31 .70). American government language institutions found that with task-based instruction and authentic material. 2004). the communicative task has ascended to a position of prominence as a unit of organization in syllabus design.e. for example. to express what they wanted to say. 1991. Nunn (2006). syllabus designers and educational innovators have called for a move in language teaching toward task-based approaches to instruction (Prabhu. led to similarly unsatisfactory results". i. 1989. in turn. Nunan. even though their grammar and lexicon were often far from perfect (Lever and Willis.

importance to second language acquisition (SLA) researchers and to language teachers (Pica. He defines task as a piece of classroom work that involves learners in comprehending. Lynch and Maclean (2000) said that the first source of justifications for Task-Based Learning is what it might be termed the ecologic alone: the belief that the best way to promote effective learning is by setting up classroom tasks that reflect as far as possible the real world tasks which the learners perform. for Nunan (2006) tasks have a non-linguistic outcome. or will perform. middle and an end (p.1997). producing or interacting in the target language while their attention is focused on mobilizing their grammatical knowledge in order to express meaning. Willis (1996) defined task as an activity where the target language is used by the learner for a communicative purpose (goal) in order to achieve an outcome.17). Here the notion of meaning is subsumed in ‘outcome’. Likewise. Task 32 . There are two main sources of evidence which justify the use of tasks in language classes. and in which the intention is to convey meaning rather than to manipulate form. The rise of task-based language teaching has led to a variety of different interpretations of what exactly constitutes a task. The task should also have a sense of completeness. being able to stand alone as a communicative act in its own right with a beginning. Central to the notion of a communicative task is the exchange of meanings.

222). drawing on SLA research. “…a task is a device that guides learners to engage in certain types of information-processing that are believed to be important for effective language use and/or for language acquisition from some theoretical standpoint” (Ellis. Mainstream cognitive science so strongly believes in the metaphor – in effect. The second source of evidence comes from SLA research. learners engage in certain types of language use and mental processing that are useful for acquisition. Ellis (2006) asserts that “tasks reduce the cognitive or linguistic demands placed on the learner” (p. Lantolf comments: “It quickly became regularized as theory within the cognitive science of the 1970s and 1980s. to be in mainstream cognitive science means that many people find it difficult to conceive of neural computation as a theory. From this perspective. it must surely be 33 . the order of acquisition of particular L2 structures. interaction and output hypotheses” (Lynch and Maclean.2000.197). and the implications of the input. 2000.performance is seen as rehearsal for interaction to come.23). p. have tended to focus on issues such as learnability.p. The underlying theoretical position adopted by task-based researchers who work in this tradition derives from what Lantolf (1996) has called the ‘computational metaphor’. It assumes that while performing the tasks. “ Those arguing for TBL. TBLT is also discussed from a psycholinguistic perspective.

1991). This can be done through task design (Fotos and Ellis.2000). which is based on the distinction between two types of processing that learners can engage in (lexical processing and rule-based processing). The last 20 years have seen a protracted debate in language teaching concerning the relative merits of focusing on accuracy and form as opposed to focusing on fluency and meaning. 1996). Skehan’s Cognitive Approach (1996). The assumption is that learners have limited attention capacities available to them and that the different components of language production and comprehension compete for such limited capacities. and consciousness-raising activities (Willis. A central choice in this regard is between devoting attention to form or meaning. A number of proposals have been made as to how some attention may be focused on form. 1995). “Most current research in SLA hypothesized that some level of attention to form is needed for language acquisition to take place” (Radwan. Therefore the choice to devote attention to one area may well be at the expense of other areas.a fact” (p. and Yule’s model of Communicative Effectiveness (Ellis. 2005:70).724). pre-task and post-task activities. 34 . This metaphor underlies the work on task-based learning/teaching of Long’s Interaction Hypothesis (cited in Ellis 2000). A more recent trend within the communicative approach considers how attention can be profitably channeled through the instructional choices that are made (Schmidt.

Moreover.There are also researchers who oppose TBLT.e. He also argued that 'task-as a workplan' has weak construct validity because the interaction that transpires when learners perform a task (i. they need to experience how language is used as a tool for communication within it. Swain (2001) claims that beginning learners need to be taught grammar because they will not be able to shift attention to code features in interaction if their knowledge of basic grammar is so limited that they cannot produce discourse to shift from. 35 .based language teaching is a form of teaching that treats language primarily as a tool for communicating rather than as a subject for study or manipulation. 'Task' serves as the most obvious means for organizing teaching along these lines. the 'task-as-process') frequently does not match that intended by designers of the task. TBLT is only suitable for 'acquisition-rich contexts’. Seedhouse (1999) argued that the interaction that results from tasks is often impoverished and can lead to fossilizations. It is clear that if learners are to develop the competence they need in order to use a second language easily and effectively in the kinds of situations they meet outside the classroom. Sheen (1994) characterizes TBLT as requiring that any treatment of grammar take the form of quick corrective feedback allowing for minimal interruption of the task activity. Rationale for Task-Based Language Teaching Ellis (2003) reports that task.

2004). . Most of the definitions include mention of achieving or arriving at an outcome. Just as there are weak and strong forms of communicative language teaching. learners are free to use whatever language they want in order to convey their intended meaning and to 36 .Activities and tasks can be either those that learners might need to achieve in real life. . or attaining an objective. there are different definitions of the word 'task'. and the degree of support available. . or those that have a pedagogical purpose specific to the classroom. 2001: 224). modification.The focus of instruction is on process rather than product. Richards and Rodgers (2001: 228) suggest that because the reason for this is that "tasks are believed to foster processes of negotiation. (Richards and Rodgers. and experimentation that are at the heart of second language learning".Basic elements are purposeful activities and tasks that emphasize communication and meaning. rephrasing.The difficulty of a task depends on a range of factors including the previous experience of the learner. .TBLT proposes the use of tasks as a central component in language classroom because it provides better contexts for activating learner acquisition processes and promoting L2 learning (Shehadeh. In other words. . TBLT is therefore based on a theory of language learning rather than a theory of language structure. the complexity of the tasks. Feez (1998: 17) summarizes the following basic assumptions of TBLT: . 2005).Learners learn language by interacting communicatively and purposefully while engaged in meaningful activities and tasks. Defining the Term 'Task' The term task can mean different things to different people (Leaver and Willis. The definitions also show that tasks are meaning focused.Activities and tasks of a task-based syllabus can be sequenced according to difficulty.

sustain the interaction. Prabhu (1987:2) defines a task as "an activity which requires learners to arrive to an outcome from given information through some processes of thought and which allowed teachers to control and regulate that process was regarded as a task". Nunan (1999: 10) defines task as "a piece of classroom work which involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing or interacting in the target language while their attention is principally focused on meaning rather than form". Willis (1996:53) asserted that task is a goal-oriented activity with real outcome; this implies that a task is "a goal- oriented activity which learners use language to achieve a real outcome. In other words, learners use whatever target language resources they have in order to solve a problem, do a puzzle, play a game or share and compare experiences". Skehan (1998:95) says that task is "an activity in which: meaning is primary; there is some communication problem to solve; there is some sort of relationship to comparable real world activities; task completion has some priority; and the assessment of task performance is in terms of task outcome". Ellis (2003:16) mentioned six criterial features of a task: - A task is a workplan. A task constitutes a plan for learning activity. This workplan takes the form of teaching materials. The actual activity that results may or may not match that intended by the plan.
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- A task involves a primary focus on meaning. A task seeks to engage learners in using language pragmatically rather than displaying language. It seeks to develop L2 proficiency through communicating. Thus, it requires a primary focus on meaning. - A task involves real-world processes of language use. The workplan may require learners to engage in language activity such as that found in the real-world, for example, completing a form, or it may involve them in language activity that is artificial, for example, determining whether two pictures are the same or different. - A task can involve any of the four language skills. The workplan may require learners to (1) listen or read a text and display their understanding, (2) produce an oral or written text, or (3) employ a combination of receptive and productive skills. - A task engages cognitive processes. The workplan requires learners to employ cognitive processes such as selecting, classifying, ordering, reasoning and evaluating information in order to carry out the task. - A task has a clearly defined communicative outcome. The workplan stipulates the non-linguistic outcome of the task, which serves as the goal of the activity for the learners. The stated outcome of a task serves as the means of determining when participants have completed a task.

Types of Tasks Ellis (2003) classified tasks into the following types Unfocused Tasks An unfocused task is one that encourages learners to use English freely without concentrating on just one or two specific forms (i.e., a replication activity). Pedagogic (rehearsal, activation) Pedagogical tasks have a psycholinguistic basis in SLA theory and research but do not necessarily reflect real-word tasks. For example, four students are given pictures and must describe them to the rest of the class. The other students ask the four students questions about their pictures, and a student then tries to tell a story. Pedagogic tasks can be: Rehearsal tasks

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The following tasks of pair-work role play are examples of rehearsal tasks. A: You are a passenger calling to reconfirm a reservation. Use the eticket (provided separately) to check the details of your flight. B: You are an airline employee. Use the information sheet (provided separately) to answer your partner's questions. Activation tasks The teacher gives pairs of students two different pictures, and then asks each one to talk to their partner about the differences between the pictures. Real-world tasks Tasks are everywhere in everyday life. Washing our face is a task, as is preparing breakfast, going to work by car, etc. Tasks are a part of our lives to such an extent that there is hardly any activity that cannot be called a task. Focused Tasks A focused task (Ellis, 2003) is either a consciousness-raising activity that focuses on examining samples of language to explore particular features. These are sometimes called "meta-cognitive" activities. Examples of this are classifying the uses of a verb plus – "ing" forms that appear in a reading text or identifying phrases from a spoken transcript containing the preposition in and categorizing them into time, location, or other, or a
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Most of this work plan involved receptive skills of listening to others reading out their information and reading the text to check results. In doing so. This report on company sales contained a large number of noun and verb expressions of increase and decrease. Learners had to obtain information from each other in order to complete the graph representing sales trends. Ordering. and/or the use of. Willis (1996: 149) listed the following types of tasks of TBLT: 1.task used because it is likely to encourage the comprehension of. sorting: Including sequencing. This type of task can help train students' comprehension and induction ability. ranking and classifying.e. particular language forms (i. Listing: Including a brainstorming and fact-finding. the outcome is a completed list or draft mind map. students were obliged to focus on the meaning of the expressions of quantity and increase and decrease. 2. a citation or simulation activity). The follow-up exercise entailed reading the full report in detail in order to check the figures in their graph. Long and Crooks (1991) provided an example by using a splitinformation quiz with facts derived from a written report about company sales over the last half year. including the use of past simple and present perfect verb forms.. the outcome is a set of information ordered and sorted according to specific 40 .

These types might foster comprehension. 5. fact finding. This type of task enhance students' ability of differentiation. Creative tasks: These include brainstorming. 4. which can then be evaluated. or differences. Students cultivate their comprehensive problem-solving abilities as well as their reasoning and analyzing abilities. describing. and all of them reveal the recognition process of students. 6. The outcome can be appropriately matched or assembled items. 3. ordering and sorting. These tasks help promote students' reasoning and decision-making abilities. These tasks are listed from easy to difficult. and reactions.criteria. reasoning. opinions. Problem solving: This type of task includes analyzing real situations. The outcome is an end product that can be appreciated by a wider audience. and decision-making. logic and reasoning ability. comparing and many other activities. exploring and explaining attitudes. The tasks in TBLT should be applicable to real life to help students accomplish the tasks and show their 41 . Comparing: This type of task includes matching. finding similarities. Sharing experience: These types of tasks include narrating. The outcome involves solutions to the problem. These tasks help students to share and exchange their knowledge and experience. The outcome is usually social.

Skehan (1996) refers to two broad alternatives available to the teacher during the pre-task phase: An emphasis on the general cognitive demands for task. and/or an emphasis on linguistic factors. Various designs have been proposed (for example. The final 'post-task' phase involves procedures for following up on the task performance. 1996: 149). However. and it is needed to both linguistic and cognitive demand. Skehan 1996). The pre-task phase The purpose of the pre-task phase is to prepare students to perform the task in ways that will promote acquisition. including whether students are required to operate under time pressure. Thus the first phase is 'pre-task' and concerns the various activities that teachers and students can undertake before they start the task. such as whether students are given time to plan the performance of the task. they all have in common three principal phases. centers on the task itself and affords various instructional options.communicative competence in classroom teaching and real life situations (Willis. The second phase. the 'during task' phase. TBLT Methodology Ellis (2003) asserted that the design of a task-based lesson involves consideration of the stages or components of a lesson that has a task as its principal component. attentional capacity is limited. these phases reflected the chronology of a task-based lesson. then engaging in 42 . 1987. Prabhu.

(2) Asking students to observe a model of how to perform a task. Providing a model An alternative to this first example is to ask the students to observe a model of how the task can be performed without requiring them to undertake a trial performance of the task. (3) Engaging learners in non-task activities designed to prepare them to perform the task (4) Strategic planning of the main task performance. It was carried out as an activity involving the entire class with the teacher. For example.activities which reduce cognitive load will release attentional capacity for the learner to concentrate more on linguistic factors. This involves presenting them 43 . Performing a similar task The use of a 'pre-task' is a key feature of the Communicational Teaching Project (Prabhu. it served as a preparation for performing the main task individually. if the main task involving talking about clothes and appearance of individuals or groups. These alternatives can be tackled procedurally in one of four ways: (1) Supporting learners in performing a task similar to the task that will perform in the during task phase of the lesson. 1987). the teacher may talk to the students about how they dress and how this affects their personalities. and involved the learners in completing a task of the same type and content as the main task. Thus.

Non-task preparation activities There are a variety of non-task preparation activities that teachers can choose from. This can be distinguished from other pre-task options in that it does not involve students in a trial performance of the task or observing a model. Planning can be carried out individually. in groups. This may be in response to reading a text or listening to a recording. Both Skehan (1996) and Willis (1996) suggested that 'observing' others perform a task can help reduce the cognitive load on the learner. The teacher should move about the classroom and monitor students’ activities. Activating learners' content schemata or providing them with background information serves as a means of defining the topic of a task. or with the teacher. These center on reducing the cognitive or linguistic demands placed on the learner.with an oral text to demonstrate an 'ideal' performance of the task. encouraging everyone's 44 . The task cycle Richards and Rodgers (2001) asserted that the task is undertaken by students (in pairs or groups) and gives students a chance to express themselves and say whatever they want to say. Strategic planning Learners should be given time to plan how they will perform the task. Examples of this are brainstorming and mind maps.

suggesting phrases and helping them polish and correct their language. the teacher should help students to formulate what they want to say. Moreover. but not intervene to correct errors. offering them advice about language. . exploratory speaking and confidence-building within the privacy of the small group. Success in achieving the goals of task increases students' motivation.The teacher asks some pairs or groups of students to report briefly to the entire class so that every student can compare findings.Individual students often take the opportunity to ask questions about specific language items. as appropriate for an open representation. 45 . Planning .Planning prepares students for the next stage. The emphasis should be placed on spontaneous.attempts at communication in the target language. .Students draft and rehearse what they want to say or write. .The teacher circulates among the students. organization. .Emphasis is placed on clarity. when they are asked to report briefly to the whole class how they performed the task and what the outcome was. and accuracy. Report . or begin a survey.

. . 46 .The teacher offers help and the students can ask questions. find words ending with s or 's.The teacher establishes some language-focused task.The teacher runs the discussion. Students read the transcript. and tell what the s means.The teacher helps students begin and then they continue on their own or in pairs or groups. Students find all the verbs in the simple past tense and tell which ones refer to past time and which do not. and compare it to the ways in which they performed the task.Examples include the following: Students find words and phrases related to the title of the paragraph or text. but does not make corrections in public. based on the texts students have read or on the transcripts of the recordings they have heard. Students underline and classify the questions in the transcript.. Analysis . comments on the content of the students' reports. Post-task -The students listen to an authentic recording of fluent speakers performing the same task. rephrase. .

Practice Students carry out practice activities as needed. the teacher should: Present and define the topic.. Students respond and make notes. The teacher also writes a list of relevant language items on the board. Ensure that students comprehend the task instructions. Use activities to help students memorize/learn some useful words and phrases. matching the past tense verbs with the subject or objects in the text Kim's game (in teams) with new words and phrases. Play recordings of others performing the same task or a similar one. Teacher's Role Willis (1996) assigned the following roles for the teachers in the framework for TBLT: In the pre-task.The teacher then reviews the analysis in complete form. or use examples from the text or transcript. based on the language analysis work already written on the board. 47 . Practice activities may consist of any of the following: Choral repetition of the phrases identified and classified Memory challenging games based on partially erased examples Using lists already on blackboard for progressive deletion Sentence completion.

help students review oral reports. spend a few minutes preparing for the task individually. the teacher should: act as monitor and motivate students. Review language items from the report stage. the teacher should: review each analysis activity with the whole class. conduct practice activities after analysis activities where necessary. phrases and patterns to students' attention. Act as a language advisor. act as chairperson. bring other useful words. the students should: 48 . to build confidence. selecting who will speak next .play a recording of others doing the same or similar task. In the task cycle. Students' Role Willis (1996) assigned the following roles for the learners in the framework of TBLT: In the pre-task. ensure that the purpose of the report is clear.Offer brief feedback on content and form. In the post-task (language focus). students should: Write down useful words and phrases from the pre-task activities and/or the recording.In the task cycle. .

Perform the task in pairs or small groups. prepare to report how they performed the task and what they discovered to the class Rehearse what they will present to the entire class. present their spoken reports to the class. In the post-task (language focus), the student should: Perform consciousness-raising activities to identify and process specific language features from the task and transcript. ask about other features they noticed. practice words, phrases and patterns from the analysis activities. enter useful language items in their language notebooks. Ellis (2007) mentioned some pedagogical problems that occur during the implementation of TBT and suggested a solution for each problem. Those are: 1. Teachers often believe that teaching using TBLT is not possible with beginners. The suggested solution is that teachers need to understand that TBLT is input-based, and that it is possible to initially increase proficiency through a series of situational tasks.

2. Students may be unwilling to risk communication 'freely'. Ellis suggested that teachers should allow planning time and train the learners. 3. Students will resort to communicating in their L1. Ellis claimed that

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this is arguably not a problem; As proficiency develops, learners automatically begin to use L2 more. 4. Teachers may not fully understand the principles or TBLT or have the proficiency to teach 'communicatively'. Ellis claimed that more effective teacher training may solve this problem. Ellis also mentioned some problems with educational system that may emerge during the implementation of TBLT however; she suggests the following solutions for these problems: 1. Placing emphasis on 'knowledge learning'. To solve this problem, she claims that educational philosophy needs to be changed.

2. Examination system. To solve this problem, Ellis claims that more communicative tests need to be developed.

3. Large classes. Ellis claimed that teachers may use group work or develop tasks suited to large classed TBLT and communicative language teaching TBLT stems directly from the Communicative language teaching method (CLT) (Leaver and Willis, 2004). It began to take form in the early 1970s as a reaction to focus-on-form language teaching methods used at the time. As such, CLT has utilized insight from a number of fields of knowledge. The concepts of competence and performance are associated with Chomsky's (1965) Transformational-Generative Grammar theory. Furthermore, from the standpoint of anthropology and sociolinguistics,
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Hymes' disagreement with Chomsky on the boundaries of competence led to a redefinition of this concept which, from his perspective, should comprise language use (performance) as well. Thus focusing on language in actual performance, Hymes devised an interdisciplinary (Hayes Jacobs, 1989) model of communicative competence. Communicative language teaching has also received important contributions from the field of psycholinguistics. For instance, Krashen (1985) suggested through his input + 1 theory hypothesis that exposure to authentic language is fundamental for language acquisition. It can be said that CLT emerged from an invisible, interdisciplinary movement. A version of this, known as task-based language teaching, began to materialize approximately two decades ago. Regarding the issue of paradigm shifting, Hermans (1999) claimed the existence of an invisible school of thought which mainly unnoticed establishes or changes theory paradigm. Moskowitz (1977) gave examples of what she called 'humanistic exercises' for language learning, which in fact, have all the characteristics of tasks defined by Ellis (2003). For example, “identity cards” require students to wear cards that give some personal information about themselves, such as 'three adjectives that describe you'. The students circulate while the teacher plays music. When the music stops they choose a partner and talk about the information written on their “identity
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e. i. as contributing to task-supported language teaching. One of the affective purposes of 'identity cards' is enable a new group of students to become acquainted. however. Moskowitz discussed the affective and linguistic purposes of such tasks. 52 .cards”. while the linguistic purpose is to practice asking and answering questions. Moskowitz envisaged these humanistic tasks as supplementing and reinforcing traditional materials. There was no attempt to focus students' attention on the linguistic purpose.

1987) was a major milestone in the process of "changing winds and shifting sands" (Brown. Cathcart pointed out that "an increase in utterance length or complexity was found in those peer-peer interactions". In reality. 2004). as suggested by Tarone and Yule (1989) Reports on the Bangalore Project indicated that a syllabus organized around problem-solving tasks and feedback can effectively accomplish. 53 . what a traditional linguistic syllabus provides. the results of this project indicated that TBLT might represent a promising alternative to existing methods of the 1980s. 2000: 13) towards this new language teaching paradigm (Leaver and Willis. 1985) a considerable amount of research findings have provided a reasonably firm basis for adopting of TBLT in the L2 classroom.Empirical Studies on TBLT It appears that Prabhu's Communicational Teaching Project in Bengalore (Prabhu. Cathcart in Chaudrun (1988: 98) was one of the language oriented researchers who performed TBLT with empirical examinations. Since the implementation of the Bangalore project (Bretta and Davis. After observing eight Spanish-speaking kindergarten children in various activities for a year. These researches are presented chronologically in this section. and in many respects improve on.

Bygate (1996) found evidence that repetition of a task affected accuracy in some interesting ways that were consistent with this account. The point they made was that through group work focused on meaning. interaction is promoted. 54 During the second . transferring the meanings into words and articulating them. eventually L2 learning ensues. According to several experienced judges. selection of collocates. under time pressure. and her ability of self.correct were better when the task was repeated. the speaker showed significant adjustments to the way she spoke. Without any prior warning or indication that the task was to be repeated. her lexical selection. Fotos and Ellis (1991) demonstrated that the adoption of "task-based language teaching" to communicate about grammar is conducive to both learning and communication. and. During the first performance. and without any use of reference to the task in class of repeating a video narrative task.The results of a study conducted by Rulon and McCreary’s (1986). which compared between teacher-fronted and group work negotiation for meaning also endorse the reliability of TBLT. selection of grammatical items. the speaker was likely to have been more taxed by the task of holding meanings in memory. They also found that communicative grammar-based tasks helped Japanese college-level EFL learners increase their knowledge of difficult grammatical rules and facilitated the acquisition of implicit knowledge.

The study concluded that L2 students can be a source of modified and limited input and the interaction between them is not as rich as the interaction between native speakers and non-native speakers. The findings of this study showed that the language produced by participants during the simulation was typical of negotiation for meaning. The participants of this study were sixteen English-speaking intermediate students of French as a foreign language at the University of Hawaii.performance. 55 . the speaker was likely to have been able to take advantage of the familiarity of the content and with the processes of formulating the meanings. The results also indicated that the interaction between L2 students offer data of considerable quality. Pica-Porter. Paninos and Linnel (1996) investigated the effect of interaction during the implementation of a task on promoting the process of comprehension between L2 students. but may not provide the necessary input that would result in reconstruction of the learners' language. Pica et al. and was able to devote more attention to the lexicogrammatical selection. (1996) recommended that negotiation for meaning may have a beneficial role when used in combination with other pedagogical principles that promote language acquisition. Bygate also concluded that repetition of similar tasks is more likely to provide a structured context for mastery of formmeaning relations than is a random sequencing of tasks.

Thirty three in-service teachers of English in the Philippines participated in this study. By the same token. they were attending a course on language instruction at the Philippines Normal University in Manila. 1997. it was verified that task planning produces positive influence on these two aspects of learner's performance. Foster and Skehan (1996) compared the effects of (1) meaning/formfocused strategic planning. The goal was to shed lights on the usefulness of these classifications as intervention points to be included in language teacher education. Jaccobs and Navas (2000) investigated the clarity of three task categories for a group of Philippines teachers of English as a second language working in the Philippines. Mehnert (1998) and Ortega (1999). The findings of the study showed that the term "task-based language teaching" was fairly new to most participants. results from comparisons between interactive and monologic tasks showed that the former produces much more precision and complexity.) In several studies conducted by Foster and Skehan (1996. (2) undetailed strategic planning and (3) minimal strategic planning on EFL learners' speech in three experimental 56 . whereas the latter generates more fluency (Skehan and Foster.Studies based on experiments with tasks requiring justifications indicated that these generate highly complex utterances. 1999). most participants seemed to feel that the categories were at least moderately useful in their teaching.

under the meaning/form-focused strategic planning. Carless (2001) explored the implementation of task-based teaching in three primary classrooms in Hong. they found that the meaning/form-focused strategic planning condition promoted significantly higher speech complexity and higher fluency than the undetailed strategic planning condition. oral narrative. They found that. and the classroom time available for task-based teaching. the influence of textbook and topics. For example. and the language proficiency of students) which were found to impact on how teachers approached the implementation of the communicative tasks in their classroom. speech was more complex and fluent (for all three tasks). The subjects of this case study were three female English teachers implementing task-based innovation over a seven month period in their own primary one or primary two classrooms with students aged six to seven.tasks: personal information exchange. and decision making. teacher preparation of resources. He reviewed six issues (teachers' understanding of tasks. In addition.Kong. the most positive the teacher attitude towards task-based teaching. and more accurate (for two of the three tasks) than speech under minimal strategic planning condition. their attitudes. the more likely he/she is to take time to 57 . The findings in terms of the six issues which emerged from the data indicated that there was a certain amount of interplay between different issues.

In this study they asked the students to carry out two contrasting tasks. In both cases. were used with adolescents studying French. suggesting that perhaps its open-ended nature might inspire greater linguistic creativity. Swain and Lapkin (2001) reported on a study in which two communicative tasks (dictogloss vs jigsaw).prepare supplementary task-based materials or to create classroom time for carrying out activities. Another important result. the tasks were preceded by a short lesson on French pronominal verbs as an input enhancement activity. Both tasks generated a similar and substantial proportion of form-focused language-related episodes. The results showed that one task is not better than another for pedagogical purposes. similar in content but different in format. These students remain non-native-like in their spoken and written French. Their goal was to examine the data for instances of second language learning during task performance. the dictogloss enhances accuracy in the production of pronominal verbs and led students to notice and reproduce complex syntactic structures. The jigsaw task led to a greater range of vocabulary use and language related episodes. The value of a task depends upon the instructional goals of the teachers. one class did jigsaw tasks while the other did dictogloss tasks. even after some eight years of comprehensible input. 58 .

The project required the students to work in groups of two to four persons and to choose a topic they were interested in. The findings indicated that learners who participated in the task-based project found the experience to be rewarding. China. Thus. which was called "student-generated action research".Bugler and Hunt (2002) proposed how tasks can be used as a basis for teaching and gave detailed account of a twelve-week long task-based learning project. Vietnam. Korea and Malaysia Lopez (2004) conducted an experiment based on task-based instructions instead of presentation-practice-production (PPP) approach for teaching English in two classes in a private school in the south of Brazil. The project. the final product was generally of a high level. In his study based on interviews with teachers. required an entire twelve-week semester to complete. intrinsically interesting. He found 59 . and ministry officials. Hong Kong. Nunan (2004) indicated that TBLT emerged as a central concept from a study of curriculum guidelines and syllabi in the Asia-Pacific countries including Japan. teacher educators. and educationally beneficial. They implemented their project at a major private Japanese university with approximately 340 first year students enrolled in a second-semester speaking course. The groups then designed a questionnaire that would be used to investigate the opinions that a specific target group holds about the chosen topic.

as far as teaching approaches are concerned. to give them more opportunities to speak. He concluded that although the task and the subsequent planning and report stages did not fulfill the criteria or features of task-based lessons found in literature. and reporting the task results to the class. The students who were exposed to real language were able to deal with reallife situations when they encountered them outside the classroom. The researcher adapted a vocabulary-focused lesson from the Presentation Practice Production (PPP)-based textbook that he was using. and to talk about personal experiences.that students using task-based instructions (TBI) learned English more effectively because they were using the language to do things.to access information. In order to incorporate tasks with a clear link to each unit of the textbook. planning a report of the performance. solve problems. his approach did not show how TBL could be used as a starting point for use 60 . He also concluded that teachers who come from a different background. listed tasks following Willis's (1996) task-types and decided in which weeks each unit would be covered. assigned topics to the vocabulary lists. He adopted Willis's (1996) task structure in his classes as follows: Performing a communicative task. should be trained before using TBLT in the classroom. Muller (2005) introduced task-based learning to a small class of weak students at a private English school in Japan. Muller listed vocabulary from each textbook unit.

The results showed that task-based language teaching through the designed program based on the procedures and principles of TBLT improved the learning of communicative speaking and writing skills somewhat better than the conventional method of teaching. 61 . Lochana and Deb's (2006) project in a school run by the Basaveshwara Education Society in India also revealed evidence in support of a taskbased approach to language teaching and learning. Their findings suggest that TBL is beneficial to learners not only in terms of proficiency enhancement but also in terms of motivation.plan. planning. and reporting sessions that are less restricted and more demanding while working with the familiar task. As these students progressed they would gradually be able to tackle tasks. They developed an experiment in which non-task-based textbook activities were converted into task-based ones in order to test two hypotheses: (1) ' Task-based teaching enhances the language proficiency of the learners' and (2) 'Tasks encourage learners to participate more in the learning processes'.report framework.with low-level learners who may not be ready for the full version. Al Nashash (2006) investigated the effect of a task-based program for teaching English language productive skills on the development of firstyear secondary grade female students' oral and written skills at a secondary school in Amman.

when taking into account that one 62 . it is necessary for the teacher. since teachers' views regarding instructional approach have a great impact on classroom practice. They suggested that teacher education programs. to have a positive attitude toward TBLT in order for it to be successfully implemented. which aim at in-depth training about language teaching methodologies. as a practical controller and facilitator of learners' activities in the classroom. The overall findings of their study revealed that despite a higher level of understanding of TBLT concepts. many Korean EFL teachers retain some fear of adopting TBLT as an instructional method because of perceived disciplinary problems related to classroom practice. given the research finding that teachers lack practical application knowledge of task-based methods or techniques. teachers should be given the opportunity to acquire knowledge about TBLT related to planning. The data for their study were collected through questionnaires from a total of 228 teachers at 38 middle and high schools in Korea. Based on the overall findings. Third. they gave three important implications for teachers and teacher trainers: First.Joen and Jung (2006) explored EFL teachers' perceptions of TBLT in Korean secondary school context. They also concluded that teachers had their own reasons to use or avoid implementing TBLT. and assessing. Second. should properly deal with both the strengths and weaknesses of TBLT as an instructional method ranging from basic principles to specific techniques. implementing.

The students were taught using TBLT principles. much consideration should be given to overcoming potential obstacles that teachers may come across in a taskbased classroom. The success of this improvement was due to efficient task-based instructions. Aljarf (2007) investigated the effect of TBLT on 52 female EFL students at the college of language at King Saud University. and a variety of various task types including two-way information gap activities as well as one-way activities such as simple asking and answering. instructions. Riyadh. Saudi Arabia. Suxiang (2007 explored the effects of combining task-based language teaching with online English language teaching on Chinese university non-major English graduate students. and procedures and were pre and post-tested. The students were in their third semester of college and were enrolled in a two-hour speaking course.of the major reasons teachers avoid implementing TBLT is deeply related to a lack of confidence. The results showed that the students could speak fluently using correct grammar and pronunciations. speaking. reading and 63 . He examined whether this combination promoted the students' interest in English learning and if it improved the students' basic skills in listening. They also recommended that teachers consider alternative solutions for classroom management such as leveled tasks. peer assessment. and could easily generate ideas.

The results indicated that the learners were kept engaged in the meaningful interactions in the classroom for an extended period of time. The results and the analysis of variance indicated that task repetition and task type. Birjandi and Ahangari (2008) examined the effects of task repetition and task type on fluency. namely 64 . A key assumption underlying the experiment is that the longer learners use the target language to communicate in the classroom the more their interlanguage is enhanced. A study was designed and implemented to experiment with clustered tasks as a means of maintaining peer-peer oral/aural interaction in the classroom levels. and it stimulated the students' potential ability in English learning. accuracy and complexity.writing. and complexity. speaking and listening. The researchers assigned 120 students to six groups. Reports of research findings such as these are likely to encourage teachers to feel comfortable applying TBL to their classrooms. writing. accuracy. as well as the interaction between these variables. The results of the study showed that the students' interest in English gradually increased. resulted in significant differences in subjects’ oral discourse in terms of fluency. particularly their reading. It also fulfills fundamental conditions for learning a second language. Hitutozi (2008) investigated Liberal Arts TEFL undergraduates from the Federal University of Amazonas.

it caters to the development of communicative fluency while paying attention to accuracy. as pointed out by Willis (in Willis and Willis. Teachers can provide timely guidance. Narita (2008) conducted a research an elementary school in Japan where she taught English as a foreign language. The classes were given lessons and activities in which they experienced realistic communicative situations such as shopping tasks and an interview tasks. At the same time. In addition. Moreover. research findings show that TBLT offers an opportunity for authentic learning in the classroom. Finally. Therefore. meaningful use. The results showed that many students had a feeling of contentment and strong willingness to continue to study English in the future after completing the tasks. motivation. It also creates a low-anxiety learning environment in which students can utilize their ideas and practice their language to develop confidence. and language analyses. 1996).exposure. TBLT is intrinsically motivating and may be compatible with a learner-centered educational philosophy. but also caters to learning the form. Concluding Remarks In summary. it allows for teacher input and direction. TBLT motivates students and promotes higher levels of proficiency. TBLT not only emphasizes meaning over form. which leads to higher 65 . and can be used alongside a more traditional procedures.

The current research focused on the effect of TBLT on the students' speaking skills. 66 . and on the speaking skills in particular. Few studies have been conducted on the effects of task-based language teaching on language skills in general. which are considered the most important skill in learning English as a foreign language. the current research is unique since it examines the effects of TBLT on the speaking skills of Palestinian EFL secondary students living in Israel and their attitudes towards English. The current study is similar to others from the standpoint of the steps and framework of processes used to analyze the effects of TBLT on the students' achievements and performance in learning a foreign language. school principals. Its results and implications will no doubt be very beneficial to policy-makers.retention rates. but it differs from the studies cited here in several aspects: 1. Therefore. 2. There has also been only limited research in the Israeli context in general. it develops a cooperative learning community among students. Despite that TBLT is labor intensive and high maintenance. and in the Palestinians context in Israel in particular. and EFL teachers.

and concludes with a description of the research procedures and statistical measures that were used to analyze the data of the study.Chapter Three Methods and Procedures This chapter presents the methods and procedures that the researcher followed to pinpoint the effect of Task-based language teaching on developing the speaking skills of the subjects and examines their attitudes towards English. The chapter begins with a description of the research subjects and research instruments. Bueina-Nujidat High School: The student body consists of 450 boys and girls from three different villages in the lower Galilee. They are distributed in fifteen classes. These schools are: 1. Each school population consisted of Palestinian boys and girls who studied together in the same classes. veteran teachers who are experienced in EFL teaching methods. the researcher had easy access to these institutions. These schools were deliberately selected from many Arab high schools in the region because the EFL teachers in these schools are qualified. The Research Subjects Two Arab schools were deliberately chosen from the Arab secondary schools in the lower Galilee in Northern Israel. 67 . Moreover.

and includes oral questions and evaluation rubrics. Table 1 presents the distribution of the subjects. while the other two represented the control group. Four sections of the eleventh grade in the two schools were selected randomly. Table 1: Distribution of the Research Subjects by School and Gender No. of Students No. Two of them constituted the experimental group. They are distributed to fifteen classes.2. The oral questions consisted of three types of questions: Biographical such as "where do you live?" and "How large is your family"? 68 . Tamra High School: The student body consists of 422 boys and girls from Tamra Town in the lower Galilee. of Subjects in Both Groups Experimental Group Control Group Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls Bueina 21 32 14 16 6 17 Tamra 16 22 10 10 7 11 Total 37 54 24 26 13 28 School Instruments of this Study The researcher used the following instruments to achieve the purpose of the study: The speaking test The speaking test was designed and developed by the researcher.

slight foreign 3 3 and briefly accent Good range of vocabulary. very strong foreign accent Fluency 1 Little or no communication Very hesitant and brief 2 utterances. what should the school do to help you study English? "Why do you think most Arab students do not like English? (Appendix 5:159). occasional Effective communication in 4 4 grammar slips. and were then tape..Guided questions such as "What is your favorite subject? Why? "Do you like to study English only? Why? . Easy and effective virtually no grammar mistakes. uses long turns slight foreign accent 69 . native like or 5 5 communication. but hesitantly obvious grammar mistakes. The purpose of the speaking test was to assess the participants' speaking skills before and after the implementation of the instructional program in order to detect the effect of the program on the participants' speaking skills. The participants were pre and post-tested orally.recorded by two EFL teachers who evaluated them after each session according to an evaluation scheme presented by the researcher. Table 2 presents the specifications and the weight of fluency and accuracy in the oral social interaction test. mistakes in basic grammar. The evaluation rubrics for the speaking test were adopted from Ur (2006) and validated by a panel of experts to suit the local context.Open questions such as: "In your opinion. Table 2: The Specifications for the Speaking Skills Test Accuracy Little or no language production Poor vocabulary. sometimes difficult to understand 1 2 Adequate but limited vocabulary. makes Gets ideas across. slight foreign accent short turns Wide vocabulary appropriately used.

The following procedures were carried out for the preparation and administration of this test: 1. After each session the teachers evaluated the student's speaking performance according to the evaluation scheme (Appendix 4: 155). during which they asked questions from the speaking skills test. The teachers met with each student for ten minutes. This procedure was conducted before and after the implementation of the instructional program. The researcher and the EFL teachers who carried out the test held a training session in which they discussed the questions in the speaking test and the evaluation rubrics and agreed on the content and the procedures of the test and its evaluation. The attitudinal questionnaire The questionnaire was designed to examine the participants’ attitudes towards English before and after the implementation of the TBLT program. 3. instructors and lecturers in the College of Sakhnin for Teacher Education (See appendix 3:153). The teachers held individual sessions with the students who participated in the study. Each session was tape-recorded. The attitudinal questionnaire was used by Liu (2007) to examine Chinese students' motivation to learn English as a foreign 70 . The test was prepared by the researcher and validated by a panel which consisted of EFL teachers. 2.

The questionnaire was administered to the participants in both groups before and after the implementation of the instructional program. This questionnaire consisted of items about students' attitudes towards learning English. For this reason it was thought that they might be specifically motivated to learn English through travel. The instructional program and the speaking test and its evaluation scheme were also validated by the same panel (See Appendix 3).20). Liu used some items that were originally developed by Gardner (1985). The questionnaire had four dimensions: developmental orientation (items 1-7). and travel orientation (items 37-42). The survey for travel orientation was adopted mainly because some participants are highly exposed to computers and to the Internet and some of them participated in summer schools in England. (See Appendix 2). 71 . integrative orientation (items 8. instrumental orientation (items 21-36).language at a tertiary level. Validity and reliability of the Research Instruments A panel of judges consisting of nine academic college instructors and three high school teachers were asked to evaluate the attitudinal questionnaire items in light of the context in which it was used. The questionnaire was designed in the form of a 5point Likert scale ranging from "Strongly Disagree" to "Strongly Agree" with values 1-5 assigned to each alternative.

65 0.71 0. which was considered statistically acceptable for the current study. Table 3: Reliability of the Attitudinal Questionnaire Questionnaire And its dimensions Developmental Orientation Integrative Orientation Instrumental Orientation Travel Orientation Whole Stability Index (Pearson) 0. This group consisted of ten students randomly selected from the section of the target grade at the assigned schools who were not members of two specified groups who participated in the study.65 0.Both the speaking skills test and the attitudinal questionnaire were tested on a pilot group. A technique of a test-retest was used to ensure the reliability of the research instruments.70 Consistency Index (Cronbach's Alpha) 0.71 0. Table 3 presents the reliability of the questionnaire while Table 4 presents the agreement percentage of the speaking skills test. The period between the test and the re-test was two weeks.83 0. The correlation coefficient of the test was calculated using Pearson's Correlation Coefficient and was found (87%) for the attitudinal questionnaire and (85%) for the speaking skills test.73 0.66 0.85 N of Items 7 13 16 6 42 72 .63 0.

interact fluently.85 0. 73 . Fluency and accuracy were the priority in this program. and provide elaborate answers. and will be able to: understand questions. General objectives The program was basically designed to be an instructional syllabus for developing the oral social interaction skills of students in the experimental group. Students will exhibit accuracy and will be able to use complex language structures such as relative and conditional clauses correctly.87 The Instructional Program To achieve the aim of the study.task).Table 4: The Agreement Percentage of the Speaking Skill Test Oral Test Accuracy Fluency Overall Stability Index (Pearson) 0. By the end of the program students will be able to: .89 0. There was direct teaching of grammar generalizations during the last two phases of the TBLT framework (while and post. an instructional program to teach speaking by TBLT was designed by the researcher (see Appendix 1).interact effectively orally in English in various social contexts with people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This will be accomplished through fluency and accuracy. Students will exhibit communicative ability (fluency).

'complexity restructuring'. Targets). TBLT may be a preferable alternative to PPP (Skehan. suggests three stages in a cycle that concentrates on 74 . Skehan (1996: 22) advises that educators must balance the three goals of 'accuracy'. and teachers therefore have the option of adapting class textbooks to TBLT. Willis (1996). To create a design of TBLT. the researcher adapted materials found in the traditional textbooks to fit the procedures and principles of TBLT. and 'fluency' when using TBLT. This program focused on speaking skills.Students will be able to use a rich vocabulary and pronounce words correctly. This program was designed on the basis of TBLT procedures and principles. There is no way that teachers can construct their own curriculum. Many institutions require students to purchase a textbook which is often based on Presentation Practice Production (PPP) procedure based textbooks. Textbooks for teaching English as a foreign language are based on PPP syllabus. 1996). the researcher developed a plan to be followed when adapting the tasks found in advance through more relevant activities (henceforth. Description of the Program: EFL teachers face a problem when designing course materials. and they therefore use the textbook to provide their syllabus. Therefore.

The students are 17 years old and the classes are heterogeneous. The population is 872 students. 50 subjects made up the experimental group and 41 made up the control group.fluency first (in the task). The program was designed to cater to the eleventh grade students' level of English. The TBLT program was implemented in the experimental group. Method The researcher adopted Willis' (1996) task structure in the classes as follows: Performing a communicative task Planning a report of the performance Reporting the task results to the class 75 . In both high Bueina-Nujidat and Tamra schools English classes are held for forty five minutes four times a week. Context Teaching oral social interaction for EFL students in Israel is the same in both Jewish and Arab schools. and finally combines accuracy with fluency (in the report). Both schools are under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Ministry of Education. This should be achieved at the end of the proficiency level (high school). complexity restructuring next (in planning). The sample consisted of 91 subjects. forty eight classes per semester (three months). It is intended to make students interact effectively in English with people from varied linguistic and cultural backgrounds in varied social contexts.

They 76 . while the participants in the control group were taught the same material conventionally. Design of the Study The current study adopted the quasi-experimental deign in terms of using one experimental group and one control group. Listing tasks following Willis's (1996) task types. the subjects were administered the pretest and the attitudinal questionnaire. Assigning topics to the vocabulary lists. then form (restructuring for complexity and accuracy) during the planning and the reporting phases. The post-test and the attitudinal questionnaire were also administered at the conclusion of the study. The subjects in the experimental group were taught English speaking using the TBLT program. 4. (For further information (Appendix 1: 120). Data Collection Prior to the beginning of the study. Listing vocabulary from each textbook unit. These groups were chosen randomly from eleventh grade classes from the two schools. 2. Deciding in which weeks each unit would be covered. 3. In order to incorporate tasks with a clear link to each chosen unit for the program. the researcher took the following steps: 1.Willis's structure encouraged focus on fluency (communication) during the task phase. The intervention process then began.

The adjusted post scores were also calculated. MANCOVA) were used to test the difference in adjusted mean scores between the two groups to find out if they were statistically significant. The experimental group was taught using the task-based program (TBP) designed by the researcher and the control group was taught using the conventional method of teaching used by teachers of EFL at these schools. Covariance (ANCOVA.were judgmentally random. Research Variables The study has two dependent variables: They are the subjects' mean scores on the speaking skill test and the mean scores of their responses to the items of the attitudinal questionnaire. The experimental group (two sections) was taught by two trained EFL teachers: one male and female. Both the experimental and the control groups were pre-tested and posttested in their speaking skills and their attitudes towards English. the speaking skills test and the attitude questionnaire were administered as a pre-test and a post-test. Statistical Analysis To answer the research questions. 77 . while the control group (two sections) was also taught by two teachers: one male and one female. All teachers had at least 10 years of teaching experience. Each EFL teacher had a BA degree in English literature and linguistics and was a certified teacher. whereas the independent variables are the students' gender and the instructional program..

5. 78 . A training session was held that included the researcher and the EL teachers who implemented the instructional program and who tested and evaluated the participants. The results of both instruments were statistically analyzed. 8.Research Procedures The study was carried out in the following manner: 1. The findings of the study were analyzed and discussed. 2. The TBLT program was prepared and validated. 7. 9. The designed program was applied for a period of three months. A pilot study was conducted on ten students from the target population who did not participate in the study. The relevant literature was reviewed to establish the theoretical background of the study. The speaking test and the attitudinal questionnaire were administered before and after the study. The teachers were trained in the principles and procedures of TBLT. The speaking skills test and the attitudinal questionnaire were prepared and validated. This is to ensure the reliability of the instrument. 3. Permission to conduct the study was obtained from the school principals. 6. 4.

10. The researcher wrote and produced the dissertation according to the guidelines presented in the guide for writing theses and dissertations at Yarmouk University. 79 .

80 . The findings of the study are presented in this chapter according to the research questions. The results are presented in Table 5. Findings related to the first research question Is there a statistically significant difference between the subjects' mean scores on the English speaking skill test due to the interaction between the teaching procedure and gender? To simplify presenting the findings related to this question. The scores of students on the speaking skills test according to the independent variables of the study: The researcher calculated the means. the researcher divided it as follows: a.Chapter Four Research Findings The purpose of the current study is to investigate the effect of an instructional program based on the TBLT principles and procedures on the students’ speaking skill and their attitudes towards English. the standard deviations of the adjusted means and the standard error of the students’ scores on the pre and post-test according to the teaching procedure and students’ gender.

463 1.654 1.05) between the two adjusted means of the 81 .349 F 344. The researcher used ANCOVA to find the significance of these differences.39 5. Table 6 also shows that there is no statistically significant difference ( = 0.620 1. The results are presented in Table 6.12 7.65 5.816 0.18 5.333 0.25 Posttest of Overall Speaking Test Std.73 6.589 104.040 210.686 2. 4.077 1.08 Experimental Total Table 5 shows that there are observed differences between the adjusted means of both groups according to the teaching procedure and students’ gender.40 6.077 1.366 36.379 0. Mean Error 5.42 5.Table 5 Means.366 36.12 7.000 0.44 5.520 0.9% Table 6 shows that there is a statistically significant difference ( = 0. Standard Deviations.9% 2.634 1.581 1.42 6.292 1.152 0.514 1.33 6.0% 54. Adj.755 0.097 0. Table 6 Results of ANCOVA on the Total Score of the Speaking Test Due to Teaching Procedure and Subjects’ Gender Source Overall Speaking Test (Covariate) Group Gender Group*gender Error Total Sum of Squares 120.05) between the two adjusted means of the students’ scores on the post -test attributed to the teaching procedure in favor of the members of the experimental group.000 0.893 1. 0.25 5.51 5.725 Degree Freedom 1 1 1 1 86 90 Mean Square 120.4% 7.10 7.850 0.008 Partial 2 80.729 2. Mean Dev.580 30.17 5. Mean Dev.387 Sig.11 5.661 0.804 1.729 2.083 1.27 7.192 1.08 6.180 1.509 1. Std.580 0.567 0.52 5.10 6.31 5.567 0.23 7.439 1.086 7. Adjusted Means and Standard Errors of the Subjects' Scores on the Pre and Post Tests According to the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender Group Control Gender Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female N 13 28 41 24 26 50 37 54 Pretest of Overall Speaking Test (Covariate) Std.

Estimated Marginal Means of Overall Figure 1: The Interaction between the Variables of the Study Figure 1 shows that there is a significant difference between girls and boys in the experimental group in favor of the girls.students scores on the post test due to the students’ gender. The results are presented in Table 7. the standard deviations. 82 . In addition. the adjusted means and the standard error of the students’ scores on the two dimensions of the pre and post tests according to the teaching procedure and students’ gender.05) between the adjusted means of the students’ scores on the post-test attributed to the interaction between the teaching procedure and students’ gender. Figure 1 also shows an observed difference between the boys and the girls in the control group in favor of the boys. b. The dimensions of the speaking test: The researcher calculated the means. Figure 1presents this interaction. The Table also shows that there are statistically significant differences at ( = 0. the figure shows that there is a significant difference between the achievement of boys and girls in the experimental group and boys and girls in the control group in favor of the experimental group.

75 2.74 2.07 0.71 Posttest of Speaking Test Mean 2.10 0.204 Std.830 0.92 0.708 3.731 0.07 0.793 0.813 2.929 2.79 3.946 0.878 3.135 3. Error 0. Mean Dev. Mean 3.232 Std.75 0.85 2.462 3.07 0.07 0.769 2.Tests According to the Teaching Procedure and Subjects’ Gender Dimension Group Gender Pretest of Speaking Test (Covariate) Std.06 0. 2.683 0.000 0. Dev.083 0.467 3.92 0.259 2.308 0. The results are presented in Table 8.05 0.662 2.06 0.604 3.757 0.660 3.85 2.60 2.596 0.520 3.09 0. 83 .74 Adj.06 0.55 2.09 0.010 3.77 2.08 0.861 2. Standard Deviations.71 0.857 0.865 0.74 0. The researcher used MANCOVA to analyze the speaking test dimensions according to the independent variables of the study.790 0.12 0.287 3. 0.65 0.76 0.794 3.63 2.756 3.05 Accuracy Control Experimental Total Fluency Control Experimental Total Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Table 7 shows that there are observed differences between the adjusted means of the students’ scores on the two dimensions of the test.778 0.630 3.108 2.761 3.Table 7 Means.615 3.82 2.06 0.62 2.70 0.358 3.75 0.86 2.65 0.481 3.79 2.596 0.378 3.83 0.07 0.964 2.72 2.303 2.69 3.65 0.81 0. Adjusted Means and Standard Error of the Students’ Scores on the Dimensions of the Pre and Post.80 0.308 2.66 0.960 3.583 3.462 0.

408 62. Table 9 ANCOVA Results on each Dimensions of the Speaking Separately According to the Teaching procedure and Subjects’ Gender Dependent Variable Source Accuracy (Covariate) Fluency (Covariate) Group Gender Group*gender Error Total Accuracy (Covariate) Fluency (Covariate) Group Gender Group*gender Error Total Sum of Squares 6.129 F 36.124 9.149 49.005 1.329 0.024 0.864 7.864 7.187 Degree freedom 1 1 1 1 1 85 90 1 1 1 1 1 85 90 Mean Square 6.782 0.299 3.085 0.531 61.588 1.000 0.000 0.654 1.000 0.385 0.135 0. The results are presented in Table 9.135 0. 0.103 Table 8 shows that there is a significant effect for the teaching procedure and students’ gender and the interaction between them ( = 0.018 0.000 0.531 1..018 0.0% 6.483 0.015 0.Table 8 Results of MANCOVA on the Dimensions of the Speaking Test According to the Teaching Procedure and Subjects’ Gender Effect Accuracy (Covariate) Fluency (Covariate) Group Gender Group*gender MANCOVA Test Wilks' Lambda Wilks' Lambda Hotelling's Trace Hotelling's Trace Wilks' Lambda Value 0.3% 49.531 1.010 10.782 15.074 10.412 0.074 10.716 54.05) between the two adjusted means of the students’ scores on the two dimensions (accuracy and fluency) due to the teaching procedure in favor of the experimental group.124 9.093 0.754 Sig.897 F 20.632 29.005 1.597 0.006 0. the table shows that there is a statistically significant difference ( 84 = 0.000 0.0% 8.7% 37.654 1.028 9.996 0.0% 0.002 Partial 2 Accuracy 30.010 0.011 0. In addition.000 0.824 7.3% 39.010 Partial 2 0.076 0.5% 0.783 7.965 81.183 0.671 0.3% Fluency 6. The researcher used ANCOVA to find the effect of the research variables on each dimension separately.05) on the dimensions of the speaking test.000 0.0% 10.828 Hypothesis degree freedom 2 2 2 2 2 Error degree freedom 84 84 84 84 84 Sig.417 6.05) between the two adjusted .867 0.911 4.1% Table 9 shows that there is a statistically significant difference ( = 0.940 59. 0.913 0.

means of the students’ score on the dimension of fluency due to the students’ gender in favor of the girls. while there is a significant difference between the achievement of boys and girls in the control group in favor of the boys. Findings related to the second research question 85 .05) between the means of students’ scores on the dimension of accuracy due to the interaction between the teaching procedure and students’ gender. This interaction is presented in Figure 2. Finally. Estimated Marginal Means of Accuracy Figure 2: The Interaction between the Teaching Procedure and Students’ Gender on the Dimension of Accuracy. Figure 2 shows that there is a significant difference between the achievement of boys and girls in the experimental group in favor of the girls. the results show that there is a statistically significant difference ( =0.

86 . The total score of the students’ attitudes towards English according to the independent variables of the study: To measure the students’ attitudes towards English. the researcher calculated the means and standard deviations of the students’ responses to the attitudinal questionnaire items before and after implementing the TBLT program. The results of analysis are presented in Table 10.Is there a statistically significant difference between the subjects' mean scores of the attitudes towards English due to the teaching procedure and subjects' gender? To simplify presenting the findings related to the question. The post adjusted means and the standard errors were also calculated. the researcher divided them into two parts as follows: a.

039 4. Mean Error 0.487 0. Dev.21 2.485 Sig.586 383.06 0.8% Table 11 shows that there is a statistically significant difference at ( = 0.271 0.955 0.587 0.418 0.531 2.7% 0.428 2.19 2.451 0.287 0.3% 81.590 0.06 0.103 F 20.093 0.43 4.024 0.24 2.014 0.20 2.48 3.000 0.493 Degree freedom 1 1 1 1 86 90 Mean Square 2.710 0.05) between the adjusted means of the post students’ responses in favor of the students in the experimental group.128 39.05 0. Std.346 0.014 0. The size effect (81.06 0.244 Experimental Total Table 10 shows that there is an observed difference between the two post adjusted means of the students' responses according to the teaching procedure and students’ gender.16 2.257 8.502 0.297 0.09 0.280 0.2% 2.24 2.06 0.128 39.000 0.04 Group Control Gender Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female N 13 28 41 24 26 50 37 54 Mean 2.38 4. Adj..91 3.22 Posttest of Overall Attitudes Std.644 0.124 4.7) indicates 87 . 0.84 3.Table 10 Means. The results are presented in Table 11.22 2.644 0.28 2.509 3.423 0.083 3. Mean Dev.119 Partial 2 19.888 70. The researcher used ANCOVA to find the significance of the observed difference.257 0.461 4.139 2. Standard Deviations and the Adjusted Means and Standard Errors of the Pre and Post Subjects' Responses to the Attitudinal Questionnaire Items According to the Independent Variables of the Study Pretest of Overall Attitudes (Covariate) Std. 2.07 0.544 0. Table 11 Results of ANCOVA on the Total Score of the Attitudinal Questionnaire Due to the Teaching Procedure and Subjects’ Gender Source Overall Attitudes (Covariate) Group Gender Group*gender Error Total Sum of Squares 2.22 2.21 2.304 0.

183 0.40 4. 2.31 2.51 4.41 Posttest of Questionnaire Dimensions Adj.06 4.30 2. Std.521 0.25 2.387 0.599 0.368 0.39 2.38 2.67 2.547 0.39 2. Mean Dev.145 0.07 4.382 0.06 2.510 0.07 2.145 0.228 0.569 0.44 2.196 0.28 2.657 0.53 3.418 0.09 3.571 0.49 2.36 2.45 2.069 0.162 0.334 0.that the instructional program affected positively the overall attitudes of the students towards English.25 2.263 0.331 0.98 3. the standard deviation of the adjusted means and the standard error of the students' pre and post responses to the items of the questionnaire dimensions according to the independent variables of the study.043 0. while gender was not significant (0.245 0.53 3.420 0.373 0.08 4.288 0.290 0.96 3.58 4. Mean Error 2.690 0.479 0.112 0.23 2.218 0.31 2.28 2.376 0.319 0.107 0.297 0.297 0.98 3.401 0.236 0.38 2. The researcher calculated the means.547 0.08 3.41 2.615 0.256 0.253 0.37 2.097 0.08 2.05 3.37 2.37 2.09 3.589 0.547 0.47 4.46 2.280 0.29 2.54 3.45 4.508 0.55 4.08 4.162 0.07 3.411 0.280 0.11 4.333 0.356 0.30 2.275 0.32 2.120 0.303 0.486 0.277 0.06 3.825 0.422 0.270 0.22 2.59 2.10 4.449 0.07 3. Standard Deviations.281 0.10 2.39 2.726 0.293 0.66 3.477 0.572 0.53 2.131 0.317 0.35 2.06 3.09 4.97 3.417 0.777 0.31 2.514 0. The results are presented in Table 12.38 2.380 0.36 2.37 2.955 0.06 2.495 0.270 0.296 1.167 0.484 0.52 4.37 2.270 0.43 2. Standard Errors and the Adjusted Means of the Pre and Post Subjects’ Responses to the Items of the Questionnaire Dimensions According to the Independent Variables of the Study Dimension Developmental Orientation Group Control Gender Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Pretest of Questionnaire Dimensions (Covariate) Std. Table 12 Means. Std.676 0.357 0.27 2.38 2.570 0.146 0.2).657 0.571 0.12 2.433 0.503 0.686 0.27 2.78 3.07 3.35 4.758 0. Mean Dev.07 4.05 2.32 2.417 0.19 2.08 2.604 0.74 3. b.329 0.07 3.370 0.96 3.32 2.06 3.11 2.36 2.14 2.15 3.559 0.10 2.476 0.09 4.07 Experimental Total Integrative Orientation Control Experimental Total Instrumental Orientation Control Experimental Total Travel Orientation Control Experimental Total Table 12 shows that there are observed differences between the adjusted means of the post students’ responses according to the teaching procedure 88 .323 0.

87 0.83 0.05) between the elements of the residual matrix and the elements of the identity matrix on the dimensions according to the teaching procedure and students’ gender. The results are presented in Table 14 89 . In order to find out if ANCOVA or MANCOVA is more suitable. The results are presented in Table 13. This fact obliged the researcher to use the MANCOVA.141 Instrumental Orientation Travel Orientation 1 0.92 Degree freedom 9 1 Sig. The researcher also used the Bartlett’s test to reveal the significance of the correlation between each dimension of the attitudinal questionnaire.and students’ gender. the researcher conducted an intra-class linear correlation between the dimensions of the questionnaire.85 Likelihood Ratio 0. Table 13 The Intra Class Linear Correlation of the Dimensions of the Attitudinal Questionnaire and the Results of Bartlett's Test According to the Teaching Procedure and Subjects’ Gender Pearson Correlation Developmental Orientation Integrative Orientation Instrumental Orientation Travel Orientation Bartlett's Test of Sphericity Developmental Orientation 1 0.83 Approx. 0.000 Table 13 shows that there is a significant proportion ( = 0.000 Integrative Orientation 1 0. Chi2 103.89 0.

0% 29. 90 .2% The results show that there is a statistically significant effect ( = 0.6% 5.193 0.928 6.817 0.702 0.120 0.Table 14 The Results of MANCOVA on the Dimensions of the Attitudinal Questionnaire According to the Teaching Procedure and Subjects’ Gender Effect Developmental Orientation(Covariate) Integrative Orientation (Covariate) Instrumental Orientation (Covariate) Travel Orientation (Covariate) Group Gender Group*gender MANOVA Test Wilks' Lambda Wilks' Lambda Wilks' Lambda Wilks' Lambda Hotelling's Trace Hotelling's Trace Wilks' Lambda Value 0.090 Hypothesis degree freedom 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 Error degree freedom 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 Sig.05) for the gender variable and the interaction between the teaching procedure and students’ gender.000 0.404 0. ANCOVA was used.461 8.05) attributed to the task-based program.483 1. 0. To find out the effect of the variables of the study on each dimension separately.003 0.3% 11. while there is no significant effect = 0.2% 86.000 0.494 2.890 0.367 Partial 2 18.859 0.327 1.016 0.052 0. The results are presented in Table 15.0% 1.948 F 4.8% 7.559 122.

223 0.275 0.023 0.420 0.968 0.355 0.049 0.777 0.507 0.520 0.5% for the developmental orientation.304 0.207 0.4% 3.003 0.2% 3.6% Integrative Orientation 0.6% 64.5% 0.786 37.049 0.0% 2.1% 10.898 0.682 0.4% 0.507 0.5% 1.113 0.400 0.170 2.001 2.023 0.3% 62.082 0.993 0.014 1.048 0.734 0.686 0.341 85.000 0.211 0.663 0.002 0.0% 82. 62.003 0.003 0.885 0.599 0.767 0.052 14.137 0.Table 15 Result of ANCOVA on the Dimensions of the Attitudinal Questionnaire According to the Teaching Procedure and Subjects’ Gender Dependent Variable Developmental Orientation Source Developmental (Covariate) Integrative Orientation (Covariate) Instrumental Orientation (Covariate) Travel Orientation (Covariate) Group Gender Group*gender Error Total Developmental (Covariate) Integrative Orientation (Covariate) Instrumental Orientation (Covariate) Travel Orientation (Covariate) Group Gender Group*gender Error Total Instrumental Orientation Developmental(Covariate) Integrative Orientation (Covariate) Instrumental Orientation (Covariate) Travel Orientation (Covariate) Group Gender Group*gender Error Total Developmental (Covariate) Integrative Orientation (Covariate) Instrumental Orientation (Covariate) Travel Orientation (Covariate) Group Gender Group*gender Error Total Sum of Squares 2.098 147.866 391.021 2.7% 0.9% 0.016 0.786 37.0% 0.976 0.081 9.390 0. 79. 0.407 0.069 0.023 0.254 0.022 44.207 0. 7% for the instrumental orientation and 64% for travel orientation) proves that TBLT affected positively the students’ attitudes towards English on the dimensions of the questionnaire.117 0.4% 0.140 0.111 0.067 Sig.113 0.636 21.5% 0.591 0. 91 .178 F 16.292 0.049 25.0% 2.000 0.167 1.586 23.152 0.027 0.164 0.733 52.502 13.003 0.211 0.084 Partial 2 16.000 0.520 0.111 0.000 0.000 0.534 0.9% Table 15 shows that there is a significant difference ( = 0.278 140.0% 0.152 0.6% Travel Orientation 0.000 0.502 0.052 0.059 Degree freedom 1 1 1 1 1 1 83 90 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 83 90 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 83 90 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 83 90 Mean Square 2.142 64.412 0.022 44.099 0.105 0.023 0.014 1.099 0.264 0.05) between the adjusted means of the post students’ responses to the items of the questionnaire dimensions according to the teaching procedure in favor of the experimental group.353 3.049 25.7% 0.142 64.000 0.5% 0.774 3.582 106.693 3.636 0.9% for integrative orientation.3% 0.112 0.304 11.824 0.164 325.8% 1.8% 5.599 0.507 0.657 4.167 1.734 0.353 3.264 0.032 0.663 0.8% 3.816 0.048 0.060 86.0% 21. The size effect for the teaching procedure related to each dimension (82.2% 79.279 0.679 1.000 0.

In task based learning. rather 92 . The method is based on the belief that students can learn more effectively when their minds are focused on the task. the researcher conducted the current study on a sample of two groups: an experimental group taught by the task. on developing the speaking skills of Palestinian secondary EFL students living in Israel and their attitudes towards English.based program (TBP) and a control group taught conventionally. For this purpose.05) between the two adjusted means of the students’ scores due to the teaching procedure in favor of the experimental group. The results can be explained by the fact that the TBLT program emphasized the fluency of the participants rather than the bits and pieces of the linguistic competence of the learners. Conclusions and Recommendations The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an instructional program.Chapter Five Discussion. the tasks are central to the learning activity. Table 6 shows that there is a statistically significant difference ( = 0. based on the Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT). The discussion of the findings is presented according to the questions of the study. Discussion of the findings related to the first research question The first question tried to examine the effect of the TBLT program on the students’ speaking skills test.

In addition the activities were purposeful and the tasks emphasized communication and meaning. exercises and instructions which focused on the process rather than the product. Furthermore. Learning to speak and to understand the language automatically in a vast variety of situations requires intensive exposure to language and unlimited interaction with language users. TBLT enables the teachers to improve the students’ communicative skills. to practice making oral representations immediately after getting enough meaning. the atmosphere is comfortable. less confident students who normally refuse to speak in public want to perform because they benefit from the core activity so much that all the psychological barriers such as stress. like any other communicative focused activities. the most important feature of task-based framework. is that it moves the learner from fluency to accuracy. The students also learned English by interacting communicatively and purposefully while engaged in meaningful activities and tasks were either those that the students need to 93 . The program included various speaking activities. to provide opportunities for native like interactions.than on the language they are using. Unlike the conventional approach which moves the learner from accuracy to fluency. anxiety and fear are put away. cooperative and non-threatening. Consequently. In TBLT class.

They also took into account that a task for oral social interaction is a simulation of a real life activity. interact fluently and give extended answers in the designed tasks and activities. they had a positive attitude towards TBLT. First. Second. The teachers who were involved in the current study kept in mind that a task in TBLT is goal. 94 . and were enthusiastic to teach according to its procedures and principles. This process enhanced students' fluency. such as relative and conditional clauses and they used rich vocabulary and pronounced correctly.achieve in real life. Students were able to understand questions. during the implementation of the program.directed and based on meaning and form. Students were also able to use correct complex language structures. This enhanced their accuracy. or those that had a pedagogical purpose specific to the classroom. authenticity of tasks is critical quality in TBLT. In addition. The teachers who implemented the program also played an important role in developing the students’ speaking skills. and encouraged their students to perform the activities. the students had ample opportunities to express their opinions and ideas that were related to the designed task especially in the pre task phase. the teachers acted as monitors or facilitators. Willis (1996) and Carless (2001) emphasized the role of the teachers in promoting students’ learning through TBLT.

Nunan (2006) and Willis (1996) noted that while performing the tasks. Lever and Willis (2004) pointed out that learners made far more rapid progress through |TBLT and were able to use their new foreign language in real world situations with reasonable levels of efficiency after relatively short courses. 2003). and then communication is promoted (Cathcard. Ellis (2000). visual aids such as realia and stickers to explain vocabulary items. Birjandi and Ahangari. Moreover. learners engage in certain types of language use and mental processing that are useful for acquisition. Such activities as well as using authentic material are considered essential in TBLT teaching (Nunan. 1996. In TBLT learners also use the language for a communicative purpose. 2008). TBLT enhances students' oral discourse in terms of utterance length or complexity. 1998. 1997. group work. Bygate. fluency and accuracy. Skehan and Foster. Skehan. 1988.In addition. using the students' personal knowledge about the given task and the presentation of oral reports about the topics of the tasks enhanced the students' speaking skill and motivated them to speak in English. These findings are also supported by researchers who emphasized the role of TBLT in promoting speaking skills. Ellis. authentic materials. 1993. 95 .

Discussion of the findings related to the second research question The second question attempted to examine the effect of the teaching procedure and students’ gender on students’ attitudes. planning activities such as brain storming and presentation of reports could have provided better context for activating the students’ learning processes and motivated them to participate in the 96 . Table 11 shows that there is a statistically significant difference ( = 0. dividing the task into three phases (pre. This result can be justified since the students of the experimental group were taught the speaking material in an organized manner. the discussion among the students . practicing and evaluating this material. In addition. The related hypotheses claim that there is no statistically significant difference among the students’ mean scores on the attitudinal questionnaire due to the implementation of the instructional program and students' gender.05) between the adjusted means of the Palestinian secondary students’ mean scores on the attitudinal questionnaire due to the teaching procedure in favor of the experimental group. when presenting. during and post) and performing different activities during each phase appears to be useful in motivating students to learn English and in positively affecting their attitudes towards English. The researcher feels that the design of the program helped considerably in improving the attitudes of the experimental group students towards English. For example. the use of tasks.

class activities. and then to change their attitudes towards English. When asked about the significance of the program. Furthermore. they reported that they hated English and thought that it was a dull subject to study. In addition the teachers’ encouragement might have motivated the learners to participate in the designed tasks and activities. This change in the students’ attitudes towards English is related to the fact that through the designed program. some students reported that they enjoyed English and planned to learn as much English as possible as a result of the designed program. they had less stress. while before implementing the instructional program. the students learnt by interacting freely with their colleagues without being afraid that they would make errors. and so participated in classroom interactions with the highest self-esteem and self-confidence. However. anxiety and apprehension. their attitudes developed and they began to like English and reported that they would continue to practice English individually after they finished school (these responses were to items numbers 1-7 in the attitudinal questionnaire. (Appendix 2). 97 . This active and successful engagement in class may develop their attitudes positively. For example. after the implementation of the designed program. rewarding the winning group by publishing their report on the school site should have developed their attitudes toward English positively. in a problem solving activity the students found themselves in a situation that they were motivated to think and use the language.

The findings in this table indicate that TBLT is an efficient teaching procedure which could promote students’ attitudes towards English. These findings are also supported by researchers who emphasized the role of TBLT in motivating students and changing their attitudes towards English as a foreign language through its various activities. after implementing the TBLT program their responses changed totally. most of the students responded that they were neither interested in the culture of English native speakers. and that they became interested in reading about the culture of the native speakers of English and they were interested in traveling to English-speaking countries in order to practice their English (these responses were given in response to items numbers 15. whereas. Before the implementation of the instructional program. 32. Widdowson. 20. for sure. (1990) pinpointed that through TBLT the students’ attitudes would improve and that they would be more motivated to take part in these activities. 36 and 37 in the attitudinal questionnaire (Appendix 2).Better achievement. leads to better attitudes. Bugler and Hunt (2002) pointed out that TBLT enhanced the students' interest in 98 . nor were they like to travel to English speaking countries. Table 15 showed a significant effect of TBLT on each dimension of the students' attitudes towards English. and they did not expect to get a job as a result of their good English. They mostly agreed or strongly agreed that mastering English may increase their opportunities to get a job in the future. 21.

The findings also show that there is a significant difference between the boys’ and girls’ attitudes and achievements in the experimental group in favor of the girls. The girls also excelled as linguistic learners because they were much more likely to be better listeners. and it could stimulate the students’ potential ability in English learning. Lopes (2004) found out that students using TBLT instructions learned English more effectively because they used the language to perform tasks.learning English. access information. This result can be explained by the fact that the girls are more socialized and ready to participate in the task activities than boys. Suxiang (2007) asserted that TBLT improved gradually the students’ interest in English. the students found the experience to be rewarding.05) between the two adjusted means of the post students’ responses on the attitudinal questionnaire due to the teaching procedure in favor of the experimental group. and talk about personal experiences.05) due the students’ gender and the interaction between the teaching procedure and students’ gender. while there is no statistically significant difference at ( = 0. Lochana and Deb (2006) noted that TBLT was beneficial to the students not only in terms of proficiency but also motivationwise. solve problems. intrinsically interesting and educationally beneficial. They were motivated to learn English because they believed that getting a good mark in English is the first step 99 . Tables 11-16 show that there is a statistically significant difference at ( = 0.

This may be explained sociolinguistically. On the other hand. they need to talk more.based work. they were only answering the teacher’s questions which were usually found in the text.conscious (Labov. namely they are more innovative than men. while the boys were busy in thinking about other fields of life such as joining a football team and spending times with other boys after school. in many speech communities women were found to be in the forefront of change. The findings also show that there is an observed difference between the boys’ and the girls’ attitudes and achievement in the control group in favor of the boys. 1972. Some other sociolinguistic studies found women to be more status. 1987) 100 .in their acceptance to colleges or universities. Instead. Girls seem to be more active than boys in task. This result can be explained by the fact that students in the control group were taught traditionally and did not participate in activities and tasks. students in the experimental group were required to take an active part in negotiating the designed tasks and activities. Milroy.

This is due to the fact that TBLT requires students to be active participants in the various tasks and activities. 2. 4. preparer of learners for task. Nunan (1989) and Richards and Rodgers. 3. There are no texts in the books about the Palestinians. and this. It is clear that the girls’ speaking skills improved more than the boys’ when classroom practice was organized and authentic as is the case in TBLT. guide. teachers can assume various roles when performing the tasks. The boys did better in conventional teaching situations. strategy-instructor. The textbooks used in English instruction are the same for Arabs and Jews. nurturer.Conclusions The researcher drew the following conclusions from the findings of the study and theoretical propositions of the related literature: 1. 101 . but they do not learn about themselves. and provider of assistance. Teachers should therefore design authentic Palestinian texts that cater to Palestinian students' needs and interests and add them to the existing material. according to Amara and Marai (2002) upsets the balance that exists in the curriculum. (2001) mentioned the following task roles for teachers: selector/sequencer of tasks. Arab students learn about Jews and Western culture. pre-task consciousness raiser about form. In TBLT. Task-based language teaching (TBLT) improves students' speaking skill and develops students' attitudes towards English.

5. culture and language. TBLT can be the solution for this lack of exposure to authentic English. presentation and appreciation of literature. Despite the criticism that the students may be unwilling to interact freely. The purpose of the new curriculum that is currently being used in the Arab schools is to improve students' standards in the four domains of language learning: access to information. Palestinian EFL students who live in Israel usually encounter problems in learning English. The concept of social interaction was added to the new curriculum when the English advisory committee recognized that English is a language for communication. and only a low percentage of them pass the English matriculation examination. This might be partially attributed to the lack of exposure to authentic English. 7. Through TBLT procedures. the results of this research show that through TBLT students' fluency and accuracy have improved significantly. social interaction. 6. students have more time to discuss the task topic using their personal experiences either with other mates or with the teacher. The domain of social interaction aims to develop students' oral and written communication with other speakers of English wherever they live and 102 . This might be attributed to the fact that the teachers planned the tasks well according to the three stages of the tasks. TBLT gives the students a chance to practice their English by using different activities in real world tasks and in a stress free atmosphere in the classroom setting.

This result confirms that TBLT could be one of the most appropriate teaching procedures that may help students to communicate accurately and fluently with other speakers of English. 2002).whatever their language is (Ministry of Education. The results of this study show that TBLT improves students' oral social interaction. 103 .

By doing so. they can vary their teaching procedures. since it enhances students' accuracy and fluency as well as their attitudes towards English. it is advisable to suggest these recommendations to researchers. and English supervisors: 1. 4. the researcher recommends that English supervisors organize pre-service and in-service training programs for teachers in the use of TBLT procedures and principles in their daily classroom practices. and as a result. Well-designed activities and tasks should be included in the teachers’ and students’ books.Recommendations On the basis of recent research findings. 104 . 2. EFL teachers. the researcher recommends other researchers to conduct studies on the effect of TBLT on developing other language skills. The researcher recommends that EFL teachers use TBLT procedures in their teaching. It is recommended that teachers design some of the content of the textbooks they use according to the procedures and principles of TBLT. Curriculum designers are recommended to include TBLT in the English textbooks. their students will be more interested in learning English as a foreign language. In addition. 3. It is recommended that other researchers conduct additional studies to examine the effect of TBLT on developing the speaking skill of Arab and non Arab students in different schooling stages. Due to the important role that EFL teachers play in TBLT procedure. 5.

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Appendices Appendix 1 The Task-Based Language Teaching Program What is task-based language teaching (TBLT)? An approach to teaching a second/foreign language that seeks to engage learners in interactionally authentic language use by having them perform a series of tasks. TBLT is thus based on a theory of language 118 .based language teaching (TBLT) proposes the use of tasks as a central component in language classroom because they provide better contexts for activating learner acquisition processes and promoting L2 learning (Shehadeh. It is clear that if learners are to develop the competence they need to use second/foreign language easily and effectively in the kinds of situations they meet outside the classroom. they need to experience how language is used as a tool for communication inside it. 2005). It aims to both enable learners (1) acquire new linguistic knowledge and (2) proceduralize their existing knowledge. Rationale for Task-Based Language Teaching Ellis (2003) asserts that task.based language teaching is a form of teaching that treats language primarily as a tool for communicating rather than as an object for study or manipulation. 'Task' serves as the most obvious means for organizing teaching along these lines. Task.

e. without concentrating on just one or two specific forms (i. Pedagogic (rehearsal. Types of tasks Ellis (2003) classified the tasks into the following types: Unfocused tasks An unfocused task is one that encourages the learners to use freely any language they can master. four students. activation) Pedagogical tasks have a psycholinguistic basis in SLA theory and research but do not necessarily reflect real-word tasks. the students from the rest of the class may ask the four students questions about their pictures. Richards and Rodgers (2001: 228) suggest that this is because 'tasks are believed to foster processes of negotiation. Use the eticket (provided separately) to check the details of your flight. modification. for example.. and then one student from the whole class tries to tell a story.learning rather than a theory of language structure.each has one picture and describes it to the rest of the class. Pedagogic tasks could be: Rehearsal task The following pair-work role play is an example of a rehearsal task. A: You are a passenger calling to reconfirm a reservation. a replication activity). and experimentation that are at the heart of second language learning'. rephrasing. 119 .

B: You are an airline employee. Focused tasks A focused task (Ellis. location. where the focus is on examining samples of language to explore particular features of it (these are sometimes called "meta-cognitive" activities). Activation tasks For example. so much so that there is hardly any activity that cannot be called a task. other. for example. a citation or simulation activity). particular language forms (i. These tasks surround us in the morning till late at night. going to work by car.e. etc. Long (1999) provides an 120 . and/or the use of.. Washing our face is a task. 2003) can be either a consciousness raising activity. Real world tasks Tasks in every day life are to be found everywhere. Use the information sheet (provided separately) to answer your partner's questions. or a task used because it is likely to encourage the comprehension of. Tasks pervade our lives. as is preparing breakfast. the teacher will give a pair of students' two different pictures. and then ask each one to talk to his partner about the differences between the pictures. classifying the uses of a verb plus – "ing" forms that appear in a reading text or identifying from a spoken transcript phrases containing the preposition in and putting them into three categories: time.

example. However they all have in common three principal phases. In doing so. Thus the first phase is 'pretask' and concerns the various activities that teachers and students can undertake before they start the task. the 'during task' phase. Skehan 1996). Learners had to obtain information from each other in order to complete the graph representing sales trends. This report of company sales contained a large number of noun and verb expressions of increase and decrease. students were obliged to focus on the meaning of the expressions of quantity and increase and decrease. Various designs have been proposed (for example. Prabhu. TBLT Methodology Ellis (2003) asserts that the design of a task-based lesson involves consideration of the stages or components of a lesson that has a task as its principal component. The second phase. such as whether students are given time to plan the performance of the task. Most of this work plan involved receptive skills of listening to others reading out their information and reading the text to check results. including whether students are required to 121 . He used a split-information quiz with facts taken from a written report of company sales over the last half year. The follow-up entailed reading the full report in detail in order to check the figures in their graph. centers on the task itself and affords various instructional options. 1987. including the use of past simple and present perfect verb forms. these phases reflected the chronology of a task-based lesson.

Skehan (1996) refers to two broad alternatives available to the teacher during the pre-task phase: An emphasis on the general cognitive demands for task. The final phase is 'post-task' and involves procedures for following up on the task performance. These three phases are further explained on the following pages. The researcher will consider each in some details. 122 . These alternatives can be tackled procedurally in one of four ways: Supporting learners in performing a task similar to the task that will perform in the during task phase of the lesson. (3) engaging learners in nontask activities designed to prepare them to perform the task.operate under time pressure or not. (2) asking students to observe a model of how to perform a task. attentional capacity are limited. then engaging in activities which reduce cognitive load will release attentional capacity for the learner to concentrate more on linguistic factors. and/or an emphasis on linguistic factors. The pre-task phase The purpose of the pre-task phase is to prepare students to perform the task in ways that will promote acquisition. and (4) strategic planning of the main task performance. and it is needed to both linguistic and cognitive demand.

They can centre on reducing the cognitive or the linguistic demands placed on the learner. 1987). the teacher may take the students as an example. how they dress. and how this affects their personalities. Thus. For example. Providing a model: An alternative is to ask the students to observe a model of how the task can be performed without requiring them to undertake a trial performance of the task. Minimally. it served as a preparation for performing the main task individually. Activating learners' content schemata or providing them with background information serves as a means of 123 . if the main task involving talking about clothes and appearance of individuals or groups. Non-task preparation activities: There are a variety of non-task preparation activities that teachers can choose from. It was carried out as a whole-class activity with the teacher and involved the learners in completing a task of the same kind as and similar content to the main task. this involves presenting them with an oral text to demonstrate an 'ideal' performance of the task. Both Skehan (1996) and Willis (1996) suggest that simply 'observing' others perform a task can help reduce the cognitive load on the learner.Performing a similar task: The use of a 'pre-task' was a key feature of the Communicational Teaching Project (Prabhu.

Strategic planning: Finally. It can be distinguished from other pre-task options in that it does not involve students in a trial performance of the task or in observing a model. but will not intervene to correct errors of forms. within the privacy of the small group. Success in achieving the goals of task helps students' motivation. This may be in response to reading a text or hearing a recording. learners can be given time to plan how they will perform the task. the teacher should help the students to formulate what they want to say. encouraging in a supportive way everyone's attempts at communication in the target language. in groups. Planning can be carried out individually.defining the topic area of a task. brainstorming and mind maps. The teacher should walk around and monitor. The emphasis is on spontaneous. 124 . or with the teacher. For example. The task cycle Richards and Rodgers (2001) asserts that the task is done by students (in pairs or groups) and gives students a chance to express themselves and say whatever they want to say. exploratory talk and confidence building. Moreover.

The teacher chairs. or begin a survey.Students draft and rehearse what they want to say or write .Planning prepares for the next stage. Post-task -The students listen to a recording of fluent speakers doing the same task. organization. .Individual students often take this chance to ask questions about specific language items. The language focus Analysis 125 . . comments on the content on the students' reports.Teacher goes around and advice students on language.The emphasis is on clarity. suggesting phrases and helping students to polish and correct their language. and accuracy.The teacher asks some pairs to report briefly to the whole class so everyone can compare findings. as appropriate for a public representation. . when students are asked to report briefly to the whole class how they did the task and what the outcome was. . Report . and compare the ways in which they did the task themselves. rephrase perhaps.Planning . but gives no public correction.

Students conduct practice activities as needed. based on the texts students have read or on the transcripts of the recordings they have heard. Read the transcript. Underline and classify the questions in the transcript. find words ending with s or 's. . Practice activities can include: Choral repetition of the phrases identified and classified memory challenge games based on partially erased examples or using lists already on blackboard for progressive deletion. students can ask individual questions. Find all the verbs in the simple past form. Practice .The teacher starts students off. students may make notes. the teacher then reviews the analysis. matching 126 . and say what the s means. . and then students continue.The teacher goes round to help. sentence completion. or using examples from the text or transcript.The teacher sets some language-focused task.Examples include the following: Find words and phrases related to the title of the topic or text. . often in pairs. .. based on the language analysis work already on the board.In plenary. possibly writing relevant language up on the board in list form. Say which refer to past time and which do not.

'complexity restructuring'. Skehan (1996: 22) advises that educators must balance the three goals of 'accuracy'. In using TBLT. therefore. so they use the textbook to provide their syllabus. the researcher developed a plan that could be followed when adapting the tasks found in advance through more relevant activities (henceforth. suggests three stages in a cycle that concentrates on 127 . The focus of this program was on the speaking skill. Willis (1996). To create a design of TBLT. 1996). Textbooks for teaching English as a foreign language are based on PPP syllabus.the past tense verbs with the subject or objects they had in the text. TBLT may be a preferable alternative to PPP (Skehan. Targets). There is no way that teachers could possibly come up with their own curriculum. the researcher adapted materials found in the traditional textbooks to fit the procedures and principles of TBLT. and Kim's game (in teams) with new words and phrases. Many institutions require students to purchase a textbook which are often based on Presentation Practice Production (PPP) based textbooks. and 'fluency'. This program was designed on the basis of TBLT procedures and principles. so an option open to teachers is to adapt class textbooks to TBL. Description of the Program EFL teachers face a dilemma when designing course material.

forty eight classes per semester (three months). and finally combines accuracy with fluency (in the report). The program is designed to adapt the eleventh grade students' level in the English language.Performing a communicative task. The students are 17 years old and the grades are heterogeneous. Context Teaching oral social interaction for EFL students in Israel is the same for Jewish and Arab schools. The sample is 91 subjects. English classes are forty five minutes four times a week. . Fifty subjects formed the experimental group and forty one formed the control group. The TBLT program was implemented with the experimental group. It is intended to make students interact effectively in English in varied social contexts with people from varied linguistic and cultural backgrounds.Planning a report of the performance. This should be achieved at the end of the proficiency level (high school). The population is 950 students. 128 . Bueina-Nujidat and Tamra. Both schools are under the inspection of the Israeli Ministry of Education. as follows: .fluency first (in the task). complexity restructuring next (in planning). Method The researcher adopted Willis' (1996) task structure. In both high schools where the program was implemented.

General English Course. Eric Cohen Books LTD. A. Text book: Targets Wilson. The Task-based program (TBP) Material: Units 3. 5. Willis's structure encourages focus on fluency (communication) during the task phase. The researcher decided in which weeks each unit would be covered. The researcher assigned topics to the vocabulary lists. Student 's Book :( pp. In order to incorporate tasks with a clear link to each chosen unit for the program. 4. 33. Unit 6: The Age of Rage.Reporting the task results to the class. 2. Unit 5: Seeing Is Believing. the researcher took the following steps: 1. Targets. The researcher listed vocabulary from each textbook unit. 44-85). Raanana. The researcher listed tasks following Willis's (1996) task types. 6.. then form (restructuring for complexity and accuracy) during the planning and the reporting phases. Unit 4: Taking the Test.for Eleventh Grade (second secondary grade). 3. 4.78) Work Book: (pp. 32-67). and 7. Unit 3: Clothes Make the Man. (2003). Teacher's Guide: (pp. 129 .

130 .Pronounce correctly. In accuracy. . a.Give extended answers. such as relative and conditional clauses.Students: 50X9 periods X 45minutes/ per task. By the end of the program students would be able to: 1. General Objectives The program was basically designed to be an instructional syllabus for developing the oral social interaction skills of students in the experimental group. .Understand questions. In communicative ability (fluency). Interact effectively orally in English in varied social contexts with people from varied linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Fluency and accuracy are the priority in this program.Use correctly complex language structures. There will be direct teaching of grammar generalizations during the last two phases of the TBLT framework (while and post – task).Use rich vocabulary.Interact fluently. a. Program Duration: Three months. students will be able to: . This was done through fluency and accuracy. . . students will be able to: .

Review each analysis activity with the class.Acts as chairperson. .Play recordings of others doing the same or a similar task.Conduct practice activities after analysis activities where necessary. .Play a recording of others doing the same or similar task. . .Give brief feedback on content and form.Introduce and define the topic. . phrases and patterns to students' attention. . 131 .Bring other useful words. the teacher should: . to build confidence. the teacher should: .Act as language advisor.Teacher's Role Willis (1996) assigned the following roles for the teachers in the framework for TBLT: In the pre-task. . . . In the task cycle. .Pick up on language items from the report stage.Use activities to help students recall/learn useful words and phrases.Ensure that students understand task instructions. In the post-task (language focus). .Help students rehearse oral reports.Ensures that the purpose of the report is clear.Act as monitor and encourages students. . selecting who will speak next. the teacher should: .

Students' Role Willis (1996) assigned the following roles for the learners in the framework for TBLT: In the pre-task.Do the task in pairs or small groups. . In the task cycle. . the student should: Do consciousness-raising activities to identify and process specific language features from the task and transcript.Practice words.Prepare to report to the class how they did the task and what they discovered. phrases and patterns from the analysis activities. 33-42) 132 .Note down useful words and phrases from the pre-task activities and the recording. the student should: .Present their spoken reports to the class. In the post-task (language focus). .Spend a few minutes preparing for the task individually. . . the students should: . . Unit 3: Clothes Make the Man Textbook: (pp.Rehearse what they will say for the class.Enter useful language items in their language notebooks. .Ask about other features they noticed.

Explore the connection between fashion and cultural values of a society. 32-45) Teacher's Guide: (pp.Know to what extent the appearance reflects the person.Present their examples. . past simple. providing in-depth explanations.Express ideas and opinions in general and about clothes in different cultures in specific. Function: Expressing ideas.Interact for purposes such as presenting arguments for and against the idea that the clothes give the first impression about any person we see. 45-57) Lessons: 9 X 45 minutes Unit objectives: By the end of the unit students will be able to: . providing explanations and presenting arguments for and against. Context: Describing clothes and its relation with appearance. prefixes and 133 . Present simple. .Workbook: (pp. . Task One: Oral social Interaction about clothes and cultures Task Objective: By the end of the task students will be able to: . Theme: Clothes and appearance. Grammatical Features: suffixes Communicative Mode: Interpersonal communication.

Discuss their experience concerning clothes and appearance with other students. This will be done by using different instructional techniques: a. Using visual aids. Framework and procedures Pre-task phase (duration 3X45 minutes) 1. such as fashionable. citizen. The teacher will introduce and define the topic of clothes make the man. and ask the students if the clothes are appropriate for that group.Discuss how their clothes affect their appearance. style. . uniform. c. . b. 134 . identify. 2. recognized. realia and stickers to explain vocabulary items about appearance. Teaching pronunciation of new lexical items. and cultures. religious.Explore the connection between fashion and the cultural values of a society. respectable. dress and cultures such as presenting pictures for different groups with a specific uniform. The teacher will use activities to help students learn new words and phrase about clothes and appearance. deceived.. Guiding students to use all types of clues found in the text in order to guess the meanings of new lexemes. obvious.

The teacher will help the students to rehearse oral reports. how they did the task and what they discovered. Planning: the students will prepare a report about the pictures to the class.The teacher will ensure that the students understand task instructions. e. . Recycling the new vocabulary about clothes and appearance.d. and then the students will point out the ideas they want to include in their reports. Ensuring that the students write the new words and phrases in their notebooks in order to study them at home.The teacher will divide the students into five groups and choose a reporter and timekeeper for each group. Report: the students present their spoken reports about the photographs to the class. While-task phase (Task cycle) (duration 3X 45 minutes) Task: In groups. .The teacher may play a recording of others doing the same task about clothes. national identity. or cultural values. 33) which reflect social status. The timekeeper will ensure that the group is working within the time limit. 135 . the students will discuss their background knowledge through photographs (p. . whereas the reporter will represent the group in talking about the task in the task cycle phase. cultures and societies.

possibly writing language.Together with the students. .The teacher will write ungrammatical sentences that were said by some reporters. on the board.The teacher will act as a chairperson. and reward the best group by presenting their report in the school web site. Practice . . verb phrases. appearance and cultures. such as categorizing words according to relevant concepts. . He may give a brief feedback on content and form. and then ask the students to remember these examples.The teacher reviews the analysis. deleting the titles of the lists found on the board. 136 . and ask the students to correct them. Students may take notes.The teacher may use memory challenge game based on partially erased examples already found on the board.The teacher may ask the students to find words and phrases related to clothes. For example. . Post-task phase (language focus) (duration 3X 45 minutes) Analysis .The teacher may ask the students to identify some syntactic structures such as noun phrases. the teacher will assign the best group's report. and then ask the student to remember these titles. selecting which group's reporter will speak next. and modifiers. so others can read this report online.

58-71) Lessons: 9 x 45 minutes Unit objectives: By the end of the unit students will be able to: . Communicative Mode: Interpersonal communication. Task Two: Oral social Interaction about being tested Task Objective: By the end of the task students will be able to: . Theme: Feelings towards examinations. mode and theme in literary texts.Speak about some unusual tests. Context: Students' engagement in self reflection with regard to their feelings towards examinations. and providing personal examples about being examined.Learn to recognize literary techniques such as setting. Function: Expressing ideas and feelings. 137 . .Use this knowledge to talk or write about a test story they know. adverbs and collocations.Talk about different test situations. . 45-55) Teacher's Guide: (pp. Grammatical Features: Past progressive.Ask and answer questions on social issues in general and on the situation where the students were tested in specific.Unit 4: Taking the Test Textbook: (pp. . 43-54) Workbook: (pp.

.The teacher will introduce and define the topic of tests and how a person feels while being tested.Using literary techniques such as setting. and providing in.Guiding students to use all types of clues found in the context in order to guess the meanings of new lexemes such as guessing and prediction.Teaching pronunciations of new lexical items. anxious. They may use the dictionaries to know the pronunciation of new language items. . mode and theme to give a report about a test story they experienced. confused. . frightened and nervous. Interact for purposes such as giving excuses of not being ready to be tested or why a person failed/ succeeded in the test. Framework and procedures Pre-task phase (duration 3 X 45 minutes) . excited. tense. . calm.Express ideas and opinions about how a person feels while being examined. This is done through using the students' schemata. 138 .The teacher will teach new vocabulary items that are related to feelings while being examined such as confident.depth explanations of how the students feel when they are tested. . worried.

.Recycling the new vocabulary: for example using a cloze-test. . The reporter will represent the group and talk about their feelings while being tested to the whole class.The teacher may play a recording of others doing the same task about a situation where they were examined. The students will report a story.Using visual aids. such as bringing pictures of students who are doing a test and ask the students about that picture.The teacher will explain some literary techniques such as setting and mood. For example. realia and stickers to explain vocabulary items. 139 . about one experience in which they were examined. filling in the missing word from a word bank written on the board..Ensuring that the students write the new words and phrases in their notebooks in order to study them at home. matching between vocabulary items and visual aids which carry the meaning of that item. .The teacher will divide the students into four groups and choose a reporter and timekeeper for each group. . the teacher will read a text and ask the students about the setting: place and time. using the literary technique such as mood and setting. .The teacher will ensure that the students understand what will be done to write the final report. the time-keeper will remind the group members about the time limit. .

reporting about a driving test and how feel and how they will behave if they are in the same test another time. While-task phase (Task cycle) (duration: 3 X 45 minutes) Task: In groups. . confused and relaxed. 140 .The teacher may ask the students to find words and phrases related to the feeling while being tested such as stressed. they may use the new lexical items mentioned in the pre-task phase to express their opinions and feelings. selecting which group's reporter will speak next.The reporters in each group will present their stories to the whole class.The teacher will help the students to rehearse oral reports.1. the students will discuss how they feel while being examined. For example.The teacher will act as a chairperson. how they feel and pointing out their reflections and evaluations. Planning . . Report . the reporter will present the story orally to his group members.The students will prepare a report which consists of a story about being involved in a test situation. For example. He may give some assessments on content and form. Post-task phase (language focus) (duration 3X 45 minutes) Analysis . and then the students will point out the ideas they want to include in their reports such as being confused and stressed in the examination time.

Practice . verb phrases. and then explain and discuss the adverbs with the students. Students may take notes. 55-66) Workbook: (pp.. such as categorizing words according to relevant concepts. . on the board. and adverbs. . and then ask the student to remember these titles. . deleting the titles of the lists found on the board. and then ask the students to remember these examples. so others can read this report online. . Unit 5: "Seeing Is Believing" Textbook: (pp. the teacher will assign the best group's report of a story where they were being examined. 56-66) 141 .The teacher may use memory challenge game based on partially erased examples already found on the board. and reward the best group by presenting their report in the school web site.Together with the students. and ask the students to correct them.The teacher reviews the analysis. For example. possibly writing language.The teacher will write ungrammatical sentences that were said by some reporters.The teacher may write some transcripts from the students' reports that include adverbs.The teacher may ask the students to identify some syntactic structures such as noun phrases.

Interact for purposes such as asking for permission and persuading. and how they are trying to persuade the audience. For example. audience and purposes. .Read and discuss different opinions about magic shows. .Teacher's Guide: (pp. Task Three: Oral social Interaction about a magic performance Task Objective: By the end of the task students will be able to: . Function: Expressing ideas and feelings.Use language to suit context. providing personal examples about a magic performance they watched and presenting an argument for or against a particular point of view concerning believing what is seen. Communicative Mode: Interpersonal communication. the first conditional and synonyms. how magicians ask for the audience' permission to perform their magic. . Context: Discussing magic shows through photos or through the students' experience with magic shows in real life. Theme: Magic shows.To identify to what extent they believe everything they see.Write a review about a performance of magic that they have seen. 142 . Grammatical Features: temporal.Engage in extended conversations about the topic of 'Seeing Is Believing' in general and about magic shows in specific. . 72-84) Lessons: 9 x 45 minutes Unit objectives: By the end of the unit students will be able to: .

Ensuring that the students write the new words and phrases in their notebooks in order to study them at home. . . and persuade. vanish.Teaching pronunciations of new lexical items. the teacher may write the word.. effect. 143 . the teacher may copy the definition of the word or/and its synonymy. . illusions.These vocabulary items can be taught by using cards. .Prepare a report about a magic performance they have watched Framework and procedures Pre-task phase (duration: 3X45 minutes) .The teacher will introduce and define the topic of 'Seeing Is Believing' through activating the students' schemata. and on the back of the card. relies on.Present different aspects of magic and different ways audiences react to performances. They may use the dictionaries to know the pronunciation of new language items. defy. and ask them to give examples where what they see cannot necessarily be believed such as magic performances. cooperate.The teacher will teach new vocabulary items that are related to magic performances such as conjurer. On the front of the card. .

The teacher may play a recording of others doing the same task about magic performances. .Task: In groups. while the reporter will present the group's report orally. how they feel and pointing out their reflections.Planning: the students will prepare a report which consists of a review about a magic performance they have seen. Each group will cooperate to prepare a review about a magic performance they have seen. While-task phase (Task cycle) (duration 3X45 minutes) . . 144 . they may use the new lexical items mentioned in the pre-task phase to express their opinions and thoughts. the students will discuss the question to what extent do they believe what they see? Discuss opinions about magic shows..Recycling the new vocabulary through using cloze-tests. The students are required to fill in the missing words from a word bank containing the above mentioned vocabulary items. The teacher will divide the students into four groups and choose a reporter and timekeeper for each group. . The timekeeper is responsible for the time limits and should inform the group's members about the time that they have till the end of the session.The teacher will ensure that the students understand what will be done to write the final report.

. the teacher will assign the best report and reward the winning group by presenting their report in the school web site. the corrected version is written up.The teacher will act as a chairperson. The teacher will review each report with the class.Together with the students. the students are invited to correct them. for example the may use transcripts from the students' report that focuses on temporal clauses. before they present them to the whole class 3. 145 .The teacher may ask the students to repeat the task.The teacher may write some ungrammatical sentences. from the reports transcripts on the board.The teacher will help the students to rehearse oral reports. The reporters will present their reports orally in front of him. He may pick up on language items from the report stage. Practice . Report: the reporters in each group will present their reports orally to the whole class. He may give his feedback on content and form. . selecting which group's reporter will speak next. . Post-task phase (language focus) (duration: 3X45minutes) Analysis . focusing on temporal clause.

and dealing with cause and effect. They may use a questionnaire or an interview to ask some drivers about their driving habits. 67-80) Teacher's Guide: (pp. Communicative Mode: Interpersonal communication. Grammatical Features: idioms. Context: Discussing dangerous driving habits which may cause road rage. second and third conditionals. providing personal examples about the rage in the road.Talk about the devastating results of anger on the road and in the air. specifically on the road. Function: Expressing opinions through a questionnaire.Conduct a survey about anger in the road. Theme: Rage on the road.Learn about the possible causes and effects of the anger and nervous behavior on the road. . Task four: Oral social Interaction about rage on the road 146 . . 85-96) Workbook: (pp.Unit 6: The age of rage Textbook: (pp. 85-96) Lessons: 9 x 45 minutes Unit objectives: By the end of the unit students will be able to: . students present their experiences regarding aggressive behavior in travel.

the students will use the vocabulary items to talk about rage on the road. 147 .The teacher will teach new vocabulary items that are related to anger in the road such as driving license. speed limit and others. audience and purpose.Conduct a survey about the rage on the road. For example. .Teaching pronunciation of new lexical items. .Engage in extended conversations about causes and effects of nervousness on the roads. the students will be taught how to deal politely with other nervous drivers or travelers on the road.The teacher will introduce and define the topic of 'the age of rage' and what it means.Ask and answer questions on a wide range of general topics. . . rude gestures. . They may use the dictionaries to know the pronunciation of new language items. impatience. For example. signaling. and on rage on the road on specific.Interact for the purpose of asking a favor politely. drinking alcohol. and ask students to give examples from their real world life where they witnessed a rage on the road.Task Objective: By the end of the task students will be able to: .Use language to suit context. . Framework and procedures Pre-task phase (duration 3X45 minutes) . turning left or right. overtaking.

For example. findings and conclusions.Ensuring that the students write the new words and phrases in their notebooks in order to study them at home. To do this they should be taught about questionnaires.. realia and stickers to explain vocabulary items. The timekeeper is responsible about the time limits. . -Planning: the students will prepare a report which consists of a survey about possible reasons for road rage. they may use the new lexical items mentioned in the pre-task phase to express their opinions and thoughts. Each group will cooperate to prepare a review about the rage on the road they have seen. 148 . the students will discuss the reasons for rage on the road and their results. . the teacher may use cards to give the definition or the synonyms for new items. .Using visual aids. .The teacher will divide the students into four groups and choose a reporter and timekeeper for each group. while the reporter will present the group survey and its conclusions orally to the whole class. While-task phase (Task cycle) (duration: 3X45minutes) .The teacher may play a recording of others doing the same task about rage on the road.The teacher will ensure that the students understand what will be done to write the final report.Task: In groups.

- The teacher will help the students to rehearse oral reports. - Report: the reporters in each group will present the results of their surveys to the class. - The teacher will act as a chairperson, selecting which group's reporter will speak next. They teacher may offer feedback on content and form. Post-task phase (language focus) (duration:3X 45 minutes).

Analysis
- The teacher may ask the students to repeat the task. The teacher will review each report with the classand review language items from the report stage, for example the may use transcripts from the students' report that focuses on conditional clauses.

Practice
- The teacher may write some ungrammatical sentences, focusing on conditional clauses, from the reports transcripts on the board, the students are invited to correct them, the corrected version is written up. - Together with the students, the teacher will assign the best report and reward the winning group by presenting their report in the school web site.

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Appendix 2

The attitudinal questionnaire
Please answer the following items by ticking the alternative which appears most applicable to you. The researcher would urge you to be as accurate as possible since the success of this study depends upon it. The names will be anonymous and the results will be used only for research purposes. Name --------------------------------School --------------------------------1 = strongly disagree 4 = agree No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2 = disagree Gender M / F Grade --------------------

3 = neither disagree nor agree

5= strongly agree 1 2 3 4 5

Developmental Orientation Studying English is an enjoyable experience. I plan to learn as much English as possible. I hate English. I would rather spend my time on subjects other than English. Learning English is a waste of time. I think that learning English is dull When I leave school, I shall give up the study of English entirely because I am not interested in it Integrative Orientation Studying English can be important for me because I would like to meet foreigners with whom I can speak English. Studying English can be important for me because it will enable me to better understand and appreciate English art and literature. Studying English can be important for me because I will be able to participate more freely in the activities of English groups . It is important for me to know English in order to know the life of English –speaking nations. The British are open-minded. The Americans are sociable. The more I learn about the British, the more I like them. Studying English is important to me because it will enable me to get to know various cultures and peoples. 150

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Studying English is important to me so that I can keep in touch with foreign friends and acquaintances. I would like to know about American people. The British are friendly. The American are cheerful. I would like to know more about British people Instrumental Orientation Studying English can be important for me because it will make me a more knowledgeable person. Studying English can be important for me because I may need it later (e.g. job, studies). Studying English can be important for me because other people will respect me more if I have knowledge of a foreign language. Studying English can be important for me because I will be able to search information and materials in English on the internet. Studying English can be important for me because I will learn more about what is happening in the world. Studying English can be important for me because language learning often gives me a feeling of success. Studying English can be important for me because language learning often makes me happy. Studying English can be important to me because it provides an interesting intellectual activity. Studying English can be important to me because it offers a new challenge in my life, which has otherwise become a bit monotonous. Studying English can be important to me because an educated person is supposed to be able to speak English. Studying English can be important to me so that I can understand English-speaking films, videos, TV or radio Studying English can be important to me because without it one can not be successful in any field. It is important for me to know English in order to better understand the English- speaking nations' behavior and problems. Studying English can be important to me because it will enable me to get to know new 151

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Studying English is important to me because I would like to make friends with foreigners. Travel Orientation Studying English can be important to me because I would like to spend some time abroad. 37 38 39 40 41 42 152 . Studying English is important to me so that I can broaden my outlook. Studying English can be important to me because I would like to travel to countries where English is used. Studying English can be important to me so that I can read English books. Studying English can be important to me because it will help me when traveling. Studying English is important to me because without English I won't be able to travel a lot. Studying English can be important to me because it will enable me to learn more about the English world.35 36 people from different parts of the world.

2. Radi Mousa Educational psychologist. Mahmoud Khalil The head of Sakhnin Academic College for Teacher Education . 6. Mr. Ein-Harod Regional council. Ayman Abo El-Hayja English teacher At Dr Abo Romi High School in Tamra Village 153 . Dr. Dr. specialist in EFL curriculum and instruction. Dr. Walid Dallashi Head of completing studies and teachers' development and educational management lecturer 3. Dr Haitham Taha The head of special education department at the college and educational psychologist. 9. 8. Mrs. Jamal Assadi Head of English department at Sakhnin College and EFL supervisor 5. Mr. 10. Mr. Meri Shhok English teacher at Bueina Nujidat High School 11. Manal Yazbak Dean of Sakhnin College for Teacher Education and a supervisor in the English department. Dr. Mr. Adib Khalil English teacher at Bueina-Nujidat High School 12. Mr.Appendix 3 The Validation Committee for the attitudinal questionnaire. speaking evaluation rubric and the program 1. Abed-Kareem Igbaria EFL lecturer and supervisor. 7. Dr. Jonathan Margalit TESOL specialist and and lecturer of EFL proficiency in the college. speaking test. Miriam Mubarki Lecturer in the English department and EFL supervisor at Sakhnin College for Teacher 4.

may have very strong foreign accent Adequate but limited vocabulary. occasional grammar slips. uses long turns 5 5 TOTAL SCORE OUT OF 10: -------------------------- 154 . slight foreign accent Good range of vocabulary. mistakes in basic grammar. native like or slight foreign accent 1 Fluency Little or no communication Very hesitant and brief utterances. Gender: M/ F Accuracy Little or no language production Poor vocabulary. makes obvious grammatical mistakes.Appendix 4 Rubric for Assessing Oral Social Interaction Student's Name: ------------------------------Group: Exp/ Cont. virtually no grammatical mistakes. slight foreign accent Extensive vocabulary used appropriately. sometimes difficult to understand 1 2 2 3 Conveys ideas. but hesitantly and briefly Effective communication in short turns 3 4 4 Easy and effective communication.

What is the relationship like between the people in your village? 3. What is your favorite subject? Why? 5. Hello. How do you do? 3. Would you like to study in another school if you had the chance? Why? 4. Why do you think most Arab students do not like English? 2. As an Arab student. How large is your family? 5.Appendix 5 The Speaking Skill Test Biographical questions: 1. What is special about your village? 2. Could you tell me your name please? 2. do you think you will have the same opportunities as a Jewish one? Why? Why not? 4. In your opinion. What will you study in the university? Opinion questions (open) 1. Do you think that drugs are a problem in our schools and community? Good Luck 155 . what should schools do to help you learn English well? 3. Are you a good student? Guided questions 1. Do you like to study only English? 6. Where do you live? 4.

. . . : . .. . . . . . . : ).2 . .3 156 .( .2009 . . .1 . 2009 - .2 .Appendix 6 : .2009/2008 : .1 .

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