Task Based Learning

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What is TBL?

Originally developed by N Prabhu in Bangalore, southern India, is based on the belief that students can learn more effectively when their minds are concentrated on the task, rather than the language they use. In the model of task-based learning described by Jane Willis, it reverses the traditional PPP (presentation, practice, production) lesson. Students begin the task. When completed, the teacher draws attention to the language used, make corrections and adjustments in student performance.

What is a task?

'Task' is the central part of the TBL lesson, students propose a specific problem or procedure to be carried out successfully to achieve a common goal. Many authors have provided different definitions of a task, for example, Richards, Platt and Weber (1986) define it as: "an activity or action that occurs as a result of processing or understanding language." However, a "task" is more complex than that, actually a task must have the following characteristics:

A task is goal-directed and implies a primary focus on meaning.

A task consists of a vacuum.

A task consists of real world processes of language use.

The participants select the linguistic assets required to entire the task.

A task has a clearly defined result of communication

Design of a task The design of a task can be very difficult if we do not have the right criteria. Here is a checklist adapted given by Candlin (1987). Agood job should ...

have objectives that match the communication needs of students.

require the participation of all students regarding their learning styles.

allows for different modes of participation and solutions.

be challenging, but not death.

ensure profitability and high return on investment.

Below there is a table which supply the conceive features of a task:




The reason of the task.


The data provided by the task.


The way in which the data is presented.


The methodological procedures.

Predicted outcomes

The outcomes and the linguistic processess

Task types

Sale and / or brainstorming. Students can list people, things, places, things to do in certain circumstances, etc. Example: Working in small groups and write a list of five places people should visit your country. Decide on a reason for the inclusion of each place.

Sorting and classifying. Students can classify, rank or sequence.Example: Look at the list of places they wrote and classify most popular of the popular. Be arranged to support your answer.

Matching. It may coincide with subtitles. texts, excerpts of recorded images, headlines and long texts.Example: Read the texts that describe the differnt places and match the pictures. Then notify your colleague how.

To compare. Such tasks can be from two similar texts or images or students can compare their work with another student or group.Example: Compare the list of places that have created the list from another group, say by why you chose these places. Can you find the place in common? Combine your lists, but keep them at five locations.

Problem solving. In the design of this type of task, we must consider a specific context ...
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