Course Title:Rediscovering Task-based Language Teaching in the ICT Era
Rationale and justification for the course:• Disseminate the PETALL project and promote the teaching of foreign languages through task-based language teaching (TBLT).
• Increase language teachers’ awareness of teacher-friendly ICT tools.
• Encourage foreign language teachers to adopt motivating methodologies that help learners to learn a language more effectively.
Investigation of the field (state of the art) and innovative character:Several foreign language teachers still rely on the archetypal Presentation-Practice-Production (PPP) approach to language teaching. This course’s main objective is to help teachers shift from this approach to TBLT with the use of ICT tools. The aspiring outcome is to create a more motivating and engaging teaching and learning milieu.
Target groups:Primary and secondary school foreign language teachers in Western Greece.
Outcomes: changes in practices, procedures or didactic materials:• Promote and disseminate the PETALL project
• Encourage teachers to transform existing material into material based on a TBLT framework
• Incorporate teacher-friendly, free web tools to make material and lessons more engaging and motivating for students
• Create “global” tasks that can “transcend” national educational boarders and thus travel well to various countries and to diverse foreign language teaching contexts
• Create a more motivating language learning and teaching experience
Contents:• Introduce the TBLT frameworks (based mainly on the work of Ellis and Willis) and create the theoretical underpinning that permeates the TBLT approach
• Introduce teachers to and familiarize them with existing and easily-accessible as well as teacher-friendly ICT tools
• Blend TBLT and ICT tools and demonstrate to teachers how the latter can complement the former
• Evaluate and assess samples of existing tasks and suggest improvements
• Transform existing course book material into material based on the of the TBLT approach and ICT tools
• Evaluate participants’ own tasks that they currently use
• Promote the PETALL project
• Provide feedback regarding the national course
Methodologies:• Lecture (provide a brief literature review, present the theoretical components of TBLT and familiarize teachers with existing teacher-friendly ICT tools)
• Workshops (put theory into practice, “hands-on” activities)
Evaluation procedures:• Questionnaire to check the understanding of the TBLT theoretical underpinnings following their presentation.
• Informal Discussion (questionnaire participants are often reluctant to use lengthy discourse in making suggestions or improvements, thus an informal, “non-threatening” discussion may be carried out where participants are encouraged to freely express their views and opinions
• Completing a “global” Feedback Questionnaire (participants fill in a questionnaire designed for all partners to record the strengths and weaknesses of the course as well as the proposals and suggestions they may have for improvement)
• Trainees’ reflection report on the implementation of the selected tasks.
• Guidelines for evaluation criteria about task designing and task planning:
Adequacy of the learning task for the stated CEFR level
Product / product requirements / situation / theme
Detailed planning programme
Follow-up strategy:Participants will first have to design and try out in their teaching context their own lesson based on TBLT and the use of web tools. Alternatively, participants have the option of selecting one of the tasks designed by partners and implement it in their own foreign language teaching context. Secondly, they will submit their lesson plan and a reflection report of this particular teaching session where they will comment on how the lesson went and propose possible revisions or improvements. Participants will be issued a certificate of attendance provided that they have submitted their lesson plan and reflection report.
The criteria participants use to select a task to implement should stem around:
• Appropriateness and suitability for the teaching context (age-language level-available resources etc.)
• Teacher’s knowledge and previous experience in the use of ICT tools
• How explicitly the instructions on how to carry out the tasks are stated (clear, easy to follow step-by–step instructions.
Participants will be invited to join the PETALL platform and to participate in training and research initiatives to be carried out within the scope of the project.
Schedule:Timeframe 12 hours total (taught over a weekend)
3-4 teaching sessions (follow up) for each participant
Number of sessions 2
Total number of hours for each type of session 6 hours
Approval by the national body:Name of national body: Regional Directorate of Education of Western Greece
Date of approval: 16/11/2015
Ref. No.: Φ.11/ΚΔ/10456
Scientific advisor:Name: Dr. Julie-Athena Spinthourakis (Professor, Department Chair); Dr. Ioannis Karras (Assist. Professor)
Affiliation: Department of Primary Education, University of Patras
Bibliography and other resources:ELLIS, R. (2003). Task-based language learning and teaching. Oxford: OUP.
GONZÁLEZ-LLORET, M. & ORTEGA, L. (eds.) (2014). Technology-mediated TBLT: Researching Technology and Tasks. Amsterdam: John Benjamins
LOPES, A. (2012). Changing teachers’ attitudes towards ICT-based language learning tasks: the ETALAGE Comenius project (the Portuguese case). The EUROCALL Review 20(1): 100-103.
LOPES, A. (2014). PETALL: A European project on technology-mediated TBLT. In S. Jager, L. Bradley, E. Meima and S. Thouësny (eds.), CALL Design: Principles and Practice - Proceedings of the 2014 EUROCALL Conference, Groningen, The Netherlands. Dublin: Research-publishing.net: 209-213.
NUNAN, D. (2004). Task-based Language Teaching. Cambridge: CUP.
NUNAN, D. (1989). Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge: CUP.
SCHROOTEN, W. (2006). Task-based language teaching and ICT: Developing and assessing interactive multimedia for task-based language teaching. In: K. van den BRANDEN (ed.), Task-based language education: from theory to practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 129-150.
THOMAS, M. and H. REINDERS (2010).Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching with Technology. Continuum Publishing Corporation.
WILLIS, D. and J. WILLIS (2007). Doing Task-Based Teaching (Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers). Oxford: OUP.
WILLIS, J. (1996). A Framework for Task-Based Learning, London: Longman.