University of Chicago Language Center Webinar: Task Based Language Teaching

To Task or Not to Task: Exploring the role of tasks in Task-Based Language Teaching

Dr. Koen Van Gorp
Assistant Professor in MATESOL and Second Language Studies
Michigan State University

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 | 2:00 – 3:00 pm Central Time

Task-based language teaching (TBLT) is sometimes seen as the latest bandwagon to jump on. Everyone talks about tasks; everyone uses tasks in their classrooms. In fact, TBLT has been an influential approach to second and foreign language education, and evidence for the impact of tasks on language learning is growing. Long (2015, 2016) states that it is probably the strongest empirically supported teaching approach.
However, looking closer at the actual teaching in second or foreign language classrooms a different picture emerges. For many instructors, TBLT is still an innovative approach that deviates from more familiar form-focused teaching methods or the omni-present Presentation-Practice-Production (PPP) paradigm. It can be hard for instructors to incorporate tasks and TBLT principles in the development of their lesson materials (Erlam, 2016) and in their teaching practices (Vandommele, Van den Branden & Van Gorp, 2018).

This talk will focus on tasks, and will address the following questions: What are tasks? Why should we use them in our classrooms? How do they guide teaching and facilitate learning? How do we focus on meaning and form during tasks? How can we assess them? Rather than jumping on the bandwagon because everyone else does it, this talk aims to provide you with the foundational principles of TBLT so you can make tasks work for you and your students.

Click here to learn more about the speaker and to register. This webinar is free of charge.