A Task-based Approach to Teaching a Content-based Canadian Studies Course in an EFL Context

| September 29, 2006
A Task-based Approach to Teaching a Content-based Canadian Studies Course in an EFL Context

Keywords: Task-based learning, content-based instruction, Canada, culture, classroom roles

Darren Lingley
Kochi University, Japan

Bio Data
Darren Lingley is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Studies at Kochi University, Japan where he teaches Intercultural Communication, Comparative Culture and English as a Foreign Language. He is currently involved in curriculum development, discourse studies, elementary school English education and the development of gender studies materials for EFL learners. He has taught in Japan for more than 13 years.

This paper offers a task-based methodological framework for introducing Canadian culture and content to intermediate level Japanese learners. There are very few commercially prepared materials dealing with Canadian culture currently on the market in Japan, and what is available is informational, generalized and staid in nature and often focuses on only one skill such as reading or listening. Materials and methodology presented in this paper are designed to address a wider range of language skills and are issues based, meaning that students must comprehend different perspectives of target content materials, synthesize and consolidate these perspectives and produce language (meaningful output) demonstrating an understanding of the target issues in question. Example issues presented in this paper include bilingualism and French immersion education. The materials and framework draw from several established definitions of tasks but were originally prepared using Nunan’s (1989) definition of a communicative task as “a piece of classroom work which involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing or interacting in the target language while their attention is principally focused on meaning rather than form” (p.10).

See pages 122-139

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 8 Issue 3