Aims and Outcomes: Teachers’ Views of an Oral Interactive Task
Keywords: task-as-workplan, task-as-process, spoken tasks, teachers, students, communication
Shimonoseki City University
Shimonoseki City, Japan
University of Central Lancashire
Colin Thompson is an English teacher at Shimonoseki City University, Japan. He has been teaching in Japan for six years and his research interests include psycholinguistics and cognitive development. He is currently studying for a PhD at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. Colin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christian Jones is a Senior Lecturer in TESOL at the University of Central Lancashire and has previously worked as a teacher and teacher trainer in Japan and Thailand. His main research interests are in spoken discourse analysis, lexis, and the pedagogical treatment of spoken grammar.
This paper reports on teachers’ views regarding an oral interactive task that was implemented into a newly designed intermediate-level curriculum at a university in Japan. Six EFL teachers who taught the course were interviewed after the first semester to determine whether the aims of the task, referred to as ‘task-as-workplan’ resulted in successful production of the intended L2 language, referred to as ‘task-as-process’. There has been a significant amount of research on the use of oral tasks in Asian contexts (e.g., Mochizuki & Ortega, 2008; Robinson, 2001) however, the way in which teachers themselves view tasks has only rarely been taken into account (e.g., Jeon, 2006; McDonough & Chaikitmongkol, 2007) and there has sometimes been an assumption that all teachers will be in favor of using them. This article attempts to address this issue by reporting the views of teachers to determine whether they felt the chosen task could be used effectively within this context. The paper shows that despite certain problematic issues regarding task interaction, overall the task was seen as a useful pedagogic tool.