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By Gina Angulo
Historical Background
Definition:Task -based learning offers an alternative for language
teachers. In a task-based lesson the teacher doesn't pre-determine
what language will be studied, the lesson is based around the
completion of a central task and the language studied is determined by
what happens as the students complete it. The lesson follows certain
Historical Background
Task-based language learning has its origins
in communicative language teaching, and is a
subcategory of it. Educators adopted task-based
language learning for a variety of reasons. Some moved
to task-based syllabus in an attempt to make language in
the classroom truly communicative, rather than the
pseudo-communication that results from classroom
activities with no direct connection to real-life situations.
TBLT was popularized by N. Prabhu while working
in Bangalore, India. Prabhu noticed that his students
could learn language just as easily with a non-linguistic
problem as when they were concentrating on linguistic
questions. Major scholars who have done research in this
area include Teresa P. Pica, Martin East and Michael
The teacher introduces the
topic and gives the students clear The students complete a Students prepare a short
instructions on what they will have task in pairs or groups
to do at the task stage and might
oral or written report to tell
help the students to recall some using the language the class what happened during
language that may be useful resources that they have their task. They then practise
for the task. as the teacher monitors what they are going to say in their
The pre-task stage can also often groups. Meanwhile the teacher
include playing a recording of people
and offers
is available for the students to
doing the task. This gives the students encouragement.
ask for advice to clear up any
a clear model of what will be
expected of them. The students
language questions
can take notes and spend time they may have.
preparing for the task.

Students then report back

The teacher then highlights
to the class orally or read the
relevant parts from the text Finally, the teacher selects
written report. The teacher
of the recording for the language areas to practice based
chooses the order of when
students to analyse. They upon the needs of the students
students will present
may ask students to notice and what emerged from the
their reports and
interesting features within task and report phases. The
may give the students some
this text. The teacher can students then do practice
quick feedback on the content.
also highlight the language activities to increase their
At this stage the teacher may
that the students used confidence and make a note
also play a recording of others
during the report phase for of useful language.
doing the same task for
the students to compare.
• Students are free of language
control. In all three stages they
must use all their language
resources rather than just
practising one pre-selected item.

• A natural context is developed

from the students' experiences
with the language that is
personalised and relevant to them.
learning has some
clear advantages.
• Seedhouse (1999) implies that it
could be argued that TBL emphasises too much
on tasks and communicating meaning and this
could have an impact on how to use the
language with the correct form. In addition to
this it is important to realise that there is a lot
more to communication than performing tasks.

Skehan (1996) expressed that TBL

• Swan (2005: 376) says " TBI is frequently
could have some dangers if it is not executed
promoted as an effective teaching approach,
correctly and could result in affecting the
superior to 'traditional' methods and soundly
growth and change of the language learners‘
based in theory and research. The approach is often
interlanguage. So from this view we can see
justified by the claim that linguistic regularities are
that some sort of fossilization may occur within
acquired through 'noticing' during communicative
the students and cause barriers for the learners
activity, and therefore be addressed primarily by
to progress. TBL is still not convincing, that it is a
incidental 'focus on form' during task performance.
superior teaching method; it remains
However, this claim is based on unproved hypotheses,
an opinion rather than reality and
and there is no compelling
certainty Richards and Rodgers (2001).
empirical evidence for the validity
• of the model".