Task-based language teaching

Authored by: Kris Van den Branden

The Routledge Handbook of English Language Teaching

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415747394
eBook ISBN: 9781315676203
Adobe ISBN: 9781317384472

10.4324/9781315676203.ch17

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Abstract

Task-based language teaching (TBLT) has gained considerable momentum over the past thirty years; in some countries, like New Zealand and Vietnam, TBLT has even been propagated by the national government as the most favoured approach to second and foreign language teaching. International conferences are devoted to this particular approach, task-based syllabuses are being developed in a growing number of educational settings and tasks are used by researchers in studies exploring the processes that drive second and foreign language acquisition (SLA). In this chapter, I will first describe the basic principles of TBLT and provide a brief historic overview of its development. Next, I will discuss what a task-based curriculum looks like and discuss a number of critical issues and key areas of debate. I will then move on to discuss the implementation of TBLT by teachers around the world, exploring the potential and opportunities that working with tasks in the classroom can give rise to on the one hand and the difficulties and tensions teachers are facing when trying to implement TBLT on the other hand. At the end of the chapter, I will point out a number of future challenges related to task-based language teaching.

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