Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Impact of Task-Based Language Teaching (Tblt) on Iranian Female Intermediate Efl Learners' Writing Performance

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Impact of Task-Based Language Teaching (Tblt) on Iranian Female Intermediate Efl Learners' Writing Performance

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Tasks have a central role in modern SLA research and especially in language pedagogy. It is in the natural setting where the word "task" entered language leaching through work with adults who needed to use the second language outside the classes (Allwrights, 1979; Breen, 1984; Nunan, 1989; 1993 as cited in Rosa, 2004).

The advent of "task" can be traced back from 1980s, responding to dissatisfaction with dominate principles of traditional methods which had resulted in disappointing outcomes and unsuccessful learners. At that lime, tasks were considered as mechanisms for production phase of teaching a language (Norris).

Scholars have defined tasks in several different ways. Long (1985) has defined task as a piece of work undertaken freely or for the some rewards: painting a fence, filling out a form.... For Crooks (1986) task is a piece of work or activity with some specified objectives, as a part of educational course, or at work. While according to Bygate (2001), task is an activity which requires learners to use language with emphasis on meaning to attain an objective.

Considering the importance and implementation of task, Task-based language teaching approach has been proposed the notion of "task" in modem pedagogy followed communicative approaches of language teaching as the mam pedagogical tool.

TBLT can be defined as a process-oriented approach to language teaching that focuses on communication (Little wood, 2004; Nunan, 2004; Richards, 2005 as cited in Lai & Li, 2011). The basic point in Task-based language leaching is communicative tasks that serve as major units of curriculum while the primacy is on meaning (Lai & Li, 2011). Recently, Task-based language leaching has gamed great popularity among researchers, teachers and syllabus designers in a variety of educational settings due to its signs of crystallizing in to a robust domain of inquiry, with an international conference series (www.tblt.org), a book series (Task-based language teaching: issues, research and practice), and a healthy hterature (Norris, 2009).

Rod Elfis (2003) was the pioneer researcher who proposed and elaborated "Task-based" instructional approach, which encompasses tasks of various lands to develop learners' communicative' language ability. Harmer (2002 as cited in Rosa, 2004, p.208) summarized very clearly the stages of the TBL framework:

In the pre-task, the teacher discusses the topic with the class and may highlight useful words and phrases, helping the students to understand the task instructions. The students may hear a recording of people doing the same task. During the task cycle, the students perform the task in pairs or small groups while the teacher monitors from a distance. The students then plan what they will tell the rest of the class, what they did and how it went, and they then report on the task either orally or in writing. In the language focus stage the students examine and discuss specific features of any listening or reading text which they have looked up for the task and the teacher may conduct some form of practice of specific language features which the task has provoked.

Wray (2011) believes the mam feature of Task-based Language Teaching is that it emphasizes on the complexity of tasks and primacy of communication. Basically, according to Ellis (2003), TBLT involves taking task as the basic for the whole language curriculum, which is a unit of syllabus in language pedagogy by applying a procedural syllabus consisting graded set of tasks to be accomplished by students. He states that "tasks are seen not a means by which learners acquire new knowledge of restructuring their inter-language, but simply as a means by which learners can activate their existing knowledge of the L2 by developing fluency" (Ellis, 2003, p. 30).

Prabhu (1987) was the first researcher to consider task as the central notion of learning and teaching a language. Later, Foley (1991) described the psychological framework of TBLT. …

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