Unit 2: Explore characteristics specific in TBLT


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Unit 2: Explore Characteristics Specific in TBLT

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

  • Understand teacher and student roles in TBLT
  • Demonstrate their understanding of what a task is
  • Demonstrate their understanding of how to promote learning (Especially communicative fluency) through TBLT

Section 1: Identify teacher role, identify student role, & identify what a task is


  1. Go through the lesson plan provided.
  2. Highlight in the lesson plan and take notes on how the teacher facilitates the lesson
  3. Highlight in the lesson plan and take notes on how the student engages in learning
  4. Identify assigned task
  5. Identify the phases of the task
  6. Explore which skills are mastered by the students (writing, speaking, reading, listening, grammar)
  7. Recognize how students are given feedback

TBLT Lesson plan

TBLT lesson plan (Park, 2012, p. 221)

[Questions to reflect]

  • Does this lesson help the students to master speaking?
  • Which language skill/ skills is given more emphasis?
  • Do you think the objective of the lesson is achieved? If no, why? If yes, why?
  • How is it different from the lesson plans you create for your classes? Which skill is more emphasized?
  • What is the reason for selecting that particular task in this lesson plan?


Write in 100-150 words your current understanding of,

  • Teacher role in TBLT
  • Students role in TBLT
  • How to select a task
  • How to promote learning through TBLT

Section 2: Getting to know characteristics inherent in TBLT

Compare your current understanding of TBLT with the information in the video and the handout given below. Get rid of any misconceptions and deepen your understanding of characteristics in hereunto in TBLT: what is a task in TBLT, characteristics of a task, five different types of a task, roles of teacher and students in TBLs, and how communicative competence of students is promoted through TBLT.


Using tasks in TBLT


Definition of TBLT:

  • Task based language teaching is an approach which offers students opportunities to actively engage in communication in order to achieve a goal or complete a task.
  • TBLT seeks to develop students’ interlanguage through providing a task and then using language to solve it.
  • TBLT was popularized by 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.

—  Background of TBLT:

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. Others, like Prabhu in the Bangalore Project, thought that tasks were a way of tapping into learners' natural mechanisms for second-language acquisition, and weren't concerned with real-life communication

—  Characteristics of TBLT:

  • Students are encouraged to use language creatively and spontaneously through tasks and problem solving
  • Students focus on a relationship that is comparable to real world activities
  • Assessment is primarily based on task outcome
  • TBLT is student-centered

—  Theory of learning:

  • Tasks provide both the input and output processing necessary for language acquisition.
  • Task activity and achievement are motivational.
  • Learning difficulty can be negotiated and fine-tuned for particular pedagogical purpose.

—  Principles:

  • Making errors is natural and is considered as a part of the process in acquiring the target language.
  • Learners need to be encouraged to produce the target language as producing the target language facilitates learning.
  • Language learning tasks should be varied to cater for the needs for both extrovert (lively and confident person) and introvert (the opposite of extrovert) students
  • Teaching and learning processes should foster (boost) motivation and minimize the learner’s anxiety.
  • The choice of teaching and learning tasks and content should be based on the learner’s age.
  • Learning tasks should trigger and maintain learners’ learning motivation.
  • 7. Second language teaching and learning pace should be made reasonable for both learners with both higher and lower aptitude.


  • To facilitate students’ language learning by engaging them in a variety of tasks that have a clear outcome.
  • To give learners confidence in trying out whatever language they know.
  • To give learners experience of spontaneous interaction.
  • To engage learners in using language purposefully and cooperatively.
  • To make learners participate in a complete interaction, not just one-off sentence (they need to express a whole idea)
  • To give learners chances to try out communication strategies.
  • To give learners the chance to benefit from noticing how others express similar meanings.

—  Roles:

The learner’s role:

  • Group participant: the learner has to be active and participate in group conversations.
  • Monitor: the learner has to observe and listen carefully to what is said.
  • Risk taker and Innovator: the student needs to be creative and risk sharing new ideas with the group.

The teacher’s role:

  • Selector and sequencer: the teacher has to manage the group and select tasks.
  • Preparing learners for tasks: explaining and let them know what they are about to do.
  • Consciousness raising —  

Avantages of TBLT:

  • TBLT is applicable and suitable for students of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Students will have a much more varied exposure to language with TBLT.
  • Students are free to use whatever grammar and vocabulary they know, rather than just the target language of the lesson.
  • TBLT helps students pay more attention to the relationship between the for and meaning.
  • TBLT allows meaningful communication.
  • Students will be exposed to a whole range of lexical phrases, collocations and patterns as well as language forms.
  • It encourages students to be more ambitious in the language they use.
  • The psychological dynamics of the group which works together to complete a task will have a great influence on the success

[Questions to reflect]

Answer the following questions

  1. Do you notice all these features mentioned in the handout in the lesson plan I given in activity 1?
  2. Is there anything you can add to improve that lesson plan? If yes, recreate the lesson plan and explain how remodeling can better enhance the communicative competence of the students.
  3. Based on what you learned, do you think it’s a successful lesson plan? Why?

Summative Assessment of Units 1 & 2

Interview an English Language Learner in your class and analyze the language development need of the student. Write a short description on how you can use TBLT to improve language skills as demanded.


Park, Moonyoung. (2012). Chapter 10. Implementing computer-assisted task-based language teaching in the Korean secondary EFL context. 10.1075/tblt.4.14par.

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