TBLT is extension of CLT
- TBL is also based on linguistically functional school of linguistics.
- Just like CLT, TBL is also aims to developed communicative competence.
Second Era of CLT (Current Era)
TBLT doesn’t bring about any new ideas, so it is not a break-up from CLT. However, TBLT takes the centrality of communication principle and takes it further, and it says that communication or the functional use of language is at the centre of the classroom activities. So, it’s not only the goal but also means to achieve this goal.
But of course, there isn’t one single of approach in TBLT either. There is strong and weak version of TBLT.
- Strong Version: Application of TBLT practises and principles fully. Task as the basis. The main organising principle is the task itself.
- Weak Version: Is sometimes named as Task-Supported language teaching. Task as the supportive means. Integrating communicative tasks incidentally to form focused activities.
Most of the time teachers prefer the weak version as it is more flexible and comfortable for the teacher.
Each term come up with their own implications because each term is based on particular theoretical understanding.
- A class work that is carried out by the students usually to achieve a particular goal and which requires students to use the language to achieve this goal and at the end of the task there should be an observable outcome.
- Communicative abilities develop altogether, there is no prerequisite relationship.
- Communicative abilities develop through the communicative abilities.
- Are usually involves controlled teacher guided activities which are usually focusing on particular discrete forms of structures.
- As a general term refers to the most traditional form focused, structural activities.
- Exercises practices linguistic forms for developing linguistic abilities.
- What the students are doing with the language.
- Refer to any kind of purposeful classwork such as playing a game, singing a song, having a group discussion. These are all activities that can be done in the classroom.
- Communicative activities do not necessarily mean they are tasks.
- Learner Involvement / Engagement
Task Components (D. Nunan)
- Task is the smallest teaching unit we have, it refers to a piece of classroom work that is carried out in one particular lesson but tasks do not function methodologically in an isolated way.
- The curriculum specifies the general purposes of the course, target achievements of the learners in the terms of language. What my students will be able to achieve at the end of the semester. In order to achieve the goals of the curriculum you need to make monthly, weekly plans as well as lesson plans. In lesson plans you need to a number of activities and tasks so that is why task/activity is the smallest teaching unit. The goal of the task is the contact point between the curriculum and your lesson.
A task has got 6 main components.
- Goal (Communicative Functions)
- In the tBLT just like CLT, any kind of goal, objective, purpose specficicanon is based on the communicative function.
- With this task, your question that you need to ask yourself is that why do ı get my students to do this task?
- The goal of the task, should serve the goals of the lesson plan, the goals of which should serve to the upper components.
- We never ever as a teacher design or choose tasks according to our likes or dislikes, we do these tasks to achieve our general course objectives.
- As you start designing or choosing task, your starting should be the goal and the it would come from the curriculum (general course objectives).
- Input (Authentic)
- Refers to the written or spoken language data that you use for the task design. It is expected to be as much as possible authentic.
- If the input is simplified for the course purposes, it is not an authentic material. Authenticity is about the real world.
- Why authenticity is important because it is first of all natural, why the fact that the input should be natural because in the real life communicative our main purpose is convey the message, we don’t think about the tenses or structures that we are going to use and it is quite rare to see a text using only one particular structure. This is why the students are learning the language, to convey their messages and engage in real life communication, use the language as an language instead of talking to bots.
- Input Demands and Output Demands
- If you are bringing news to a A1 class that would make the input demands high.
- If the input demands are high, lower the output demands.
- As the levels go higher you can increase both Input Demands and Output Demands.
- When we in the real world, we never to listen or to read for fully, we most of the time selectively read and listen.
- What the students are expected to the with the input.
- If your input is a weather forecast, and authentic activity that you can ask your students to do with this input would be dress to accordingly or make plans accordingly.
- If you make your learners listen to weather forecast and ask them if the statements are true or false, it wouldn’t be authentic because in real world we don’t do that.
- You need to think of an activity which can be done in the real world with the given input.
- According to the level of the students, in order to overcome the problems of the difficulty you should organise your activities according to input demands and output demands.
- Settings refers to the setting of the activity. Is it a pair work, individual work, group work? If it is a group work what kind of a group work is it?. It is the set-up of the learning environment.
- Learner Roles
- For this task what are the roles of the learners are going to be. Maybe it is going to include role-play, interview, depending on the task type you need to think about learner roles because it is important for TBLT to every student to get a role explicitly.
- Teacher Roles
- Normally in a TBLT classroom quite a minimum teacher roles, teacher roles are limited with monitoring, explaining, assisting and supporting. Teacher can also make presentations, explaniniations etc but in TBLT classrooms bacuese the classrooms are focused on the learners, naturally the teacher roles get limited.
- Real World Tasks
- Pedagogic Tasks
- They are like activities, they might focus on meaning but they are expected to prepare students to another aspect of the language.
- Are usually justified on the grounds that they situmluate psycholinguistic acquisition process.
- The justification come from SLA literature, not the methodology literature.
In the SLA literature Focus on Form has got 2 types
- Focus on form (meaning) (incidental)
- The primary focus is on meaning however when the need arises incidentally you teach the form. So, you do not go the class to teach past simple, you go to the task with a communicative focus but throughout the class you teach them incidentally.
- Focus on forms (forms) (planned)
- The primary focus is the linguistic forms and the focus on forms refer to the planned teaching activities regarding a previously selected linguistic form. You choose a linguistic form and then you do activities to practice that form in the class.
- Top-Down Approach to Language Comprehension & Production
- Text discourse -> Sentences -> Clauses/Phrases -> Words -> Sounds…
- Bottom-Up Approach to Language Comprehension & Production
- Sounds -> Words -> Clauses/Phrases -> Sentences -> Text Discourse
We look at the big picture then go down, not look at morphemes and then move onto the big picture. This is also the same for the language production.
When you design the activities in the classroom, if there is a partiucal sequence, this sequence should be top down.
Pre-task: you introduce the act
Task Stage: You explainn, you give the instructions, setting, explain the learner roles and then the students do the task. At the end of the task, students have to have an obersavle outcome, so task completion is a must.
Reporting Stage: Students firstly plan how to report the outcome and they do the reporting. It could be a presentation, classroom newspaper, poster, essay etc.
Language Focus: In a top down manner, where there is some more score for pedagogical tasks, focusing on the grammar.