Task Based Teaching: Learning English without Tears

| September 29, 2006
Task Based Teaching: Learning English without Tears

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Mrs. Meena Lochana and Dr. Gitoshree Deb Language
Centre, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

Bio Data
Mrs. Mena Lochana hails from India. She holds an M.A. (English), Master in Education. M.Phil (Teacher development) Doing Ph.D. (Teacher development) She has taught English at various levels for 17 years and worked as teacher educator for 8 years in India. Presently she is working in the Language Centre, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. She has presented 7 papers in India and has made 3 presentations in international conferences. Her main interest is carrying out class room based research.

Dr. Gitoshree Deb holds an MA – Linguistics, MA – English Lit., D.H.Ed., PGCTE, CELTA, Ph.D. – Theoretical Linguistics Presently Dr. Deb is working in the Language Centre, Sultan Qaboos University, Sultanate of Oman.

Dr. Debs Research Interest are, developing vocabulary lists, TBLT, and teaching phonetics to EFL students.

Many areas of education are undergoing changes in the way teaching and learning is perceived. Teacher-centered lecturing and structural-syllabus instruction are giving way to a more student-centered, hands-on, practical, and flexible approaches (Shank and Cleary, 1994). The field of second language teaching is no exception in this paradigm shift. One of the areas which came under this paradigm shift is the traditional Present-Practice-Produce method of teaching English. It has been replaced by Communicative Language Teaching. An offshoot of Communicative Language Teaching is Task-Based Teaching. This paper, as a point of departure, strongly argues that ‘Task based teaching has an edge over other traditional methods of teaching’ through the description of a project undertaken with a group of second language learners from a school in Bangalore, India, where the medium of instruction is Kannada. The project was based on the assumptions of Constructivism, Krashen’s (i+1) Input Hypothesis and the concept of ‘whole language’. Our project began with the hypothesis that task based teaching enhances the language proficiency of learners. As we could not do away with the use of textbook mandated by the school, the textbook was recreated into meaningful tasks which were introduced during the pre-task stage and the learners were actively involved in working through them. A discussion on the forms used by the learners while doing the tasks was found to be very fruitful. The paper reports in detail on the objectives of the project, the planning and implementation phase, the difficulties faced during the implementation of the plan, and the insights gained from this project.

See pages 140-164

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 8 Issue 3