Task-based Language Teaching


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Why should you take this course?

Are you looking for strategies to help your students develop speaking skills in the new language they are learning? Then you’re on the right page.


"From a social-cultural perspective, children’s early language learning arises from processes of meaning making in collaborative activity with other members of a given culture‖” (Liwei, 2010). It elucidates the fact that “learning is embedded within social events and occurring as an individual interacts with people, objects, and events in the environment‖” (Cook, 2008). Hence, as explained, interaction is key to language learning. Most importantly, the Socio-cultural theory can also apply to Second Language Acquisition (SLA) (Lantolf, 2007), i.e., interaction has a positive impact on acquiring a language other than one’s native language, as well. Nevertheless, not all language learners have the opportunity to interact in their second language outside the classroom in certain contexts. In such contexts, ample opportunities can be created for students to interact with peers and teachers to improve their language skills. Task Based Language Teaching (TBLT) is a language teaching method based on usage oriented theories of SLA such as Socio-Cultural Theory (Ortega, 2009). As defined by Nuan (2004), “a pedagogical task is a piece of classroom work that involves learning, comprehending, manipulating, producing or interacting in the target language while their attention is focused on mobilizing their grammatical knowledge in order to express meaning, and in which the intention is to convey meaning rathe than to manipulate form” (p. 4).

Who is this course for?

  • Pre and in service English teachers

Instructional Goal

  • The instruction will provide teachers with sufficient knowledge, skills and appropriate attitudes about Task Based Language Teaching to equip English Language Learners with necessary communicative skills to engage in an advanced conversation in English


Essential Prerequisites

  • Teachers are capable of designing lesson plans on their own
  • Teachers are aware of all the important components of a successful lesson plan
  • Teachers are aware how to align learning outcomes/ learning objectives, learning strategies/ activities, and assessments
  • Teachers understand the importance of differentiated instruction and have a basic understanding of how to implement differentiated instruction
  • Teachers are aware of pair and group work strategies: how to group students in a way that every student contributes to the assigned task

Supporting prerequisites

  • Teachers should have skills to conduct a lesson based on English communicative skills and identify strengths and weaknesses of students.
  • Teachers should be able to facilitate and guide students in the correct path as this is a new approach to the students.
  • Classrooms should be spacious enough for students to get together and form groups. Chairs should be movable for students to form groups.
  • Teachers should have a laptop/ a computer, projector and should have access to internet.

Pre and in-service English teachers will be able to,

  • demonstrate their understanding of what Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) is
  • identify the importance or advantages of implementing TBLT in English language classrooms
  • draw students’ attention to form (grammar) while students engaging in the communicative tasks
  • give feedback appropriately in TBLT
  • choose appropriate tasks based on learners’ needs and proficiency levels
  • implement differentiated instruction in TBLT classrooms
  • design lesson plans including the relevant phases in TBLT
  • incorporate all four language skills without neglecting reading, listening, and writing

Unit 1: Become motivated to implement TBLT

Unit objectives: By the end of unit 1, the participants will:

  • Get a clear understanding of what TBLT is
  • Identify differences between form focused language teaching and TBLT
  • Realize why TBLT is important in English classrooms in Sri Lanka

Unit 2: Explore characteristics specific in TBLT

Unit objectives: By the end of unit 2, the participants will:

  • Explore Teacher role in TBLT
  • Explore student role in TBLT
  • what isa task in TBLT
  • How to promote learning through TBLT

Unit 3: Identify the structure of TBLT

Unit objectives: By the end of unit 4, the participants will:

  • Identify the three phases of TBLT
  • Demonstrate the ability to follow the task-based methodology plan when implementing TBLT

Unit 4: Develop assessment in TBLT

Unit objectives: By the end of unit 5, the participants will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge on how to evaluate students in TBLT
  • Demonstrate knowledge on how to provide feedback

Unit 5: Create a TBLT lesson plan

Unit objectives: By the end of unit 6, the participants will:

  • Show their ability conduct a TBLT lesson
  • Understand the missing components in a TBLT lesson
  • Self-assess and improve their TBLT Teachings

Extended Resources

TBLT book series: http://www.tblt.org/resources/

TBLT language learning task bank: https://tblt.indiana.edu

TBLT free lesson plans: http://www.willis-elt.co.uk/lesson-plans-2/

TBLT additional information: http://www.tblt.org

Next: Unit 1