Foreign Language Learning, although a rare thing 10 years ago is becoming a major activity now a days as the people in India are more and more interested in learning a Foreign Language, it might be because of globalization, as more and more companies from various countries are coming to India for doing business, also since Common Wealth games are being held in India this year, wehave seen a sudden encouragement amongst the people to learn a foreign language.
Earlier foreign language was taught using various methodologies for example,
Grammar translation, Audio-lingual and direct method. Grammar translation was the most prevalent method where teacher used to translate each and everything.
However, it had certain drawbacks, although English is still taught in the samemanner, but Spanish teaching started changing in the last decade, when communicative approach was adopted to teach Spanish in India.
TBL however is relatively new in India and only in last five years it is being used moderately by some teachers in different institutions in teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language in India. However, while observing classes in Instituto Cervantes I observed thatthey teach using TBL, that is where I noted how useful it is for students who have problem while they speak the language, TBL encouraged them to speak in the classroom and because of the confidence they got in classrooms they got motivated to speak the language outside as well.
So I wanted to practice the same in my classroom, I wanted to see if it can be practised in an Indian classroom andwhat kind of difficulties one can face.
What is a TASK?
A task is an activity "where the target language is used by the learner for a communicative purpose (goal) in order to achieve an outcome.” (Willis, 1998)
By task, I mean a goal-oriented activity with a clear purpose. In a communication (in a classroom), task involves achieving an outcome, creating a final product that can be appreciatedby others. (Jane Willis) (1).
“A task is a work plan that requires learners to process language pragmatically in order to achieve an outcome that can be evaluated in terms of whether the correct or appropriate propositional content has been conveyed. To this end, it requires them to give primary attention to meaning and to make use of their attention to meaning and to make use of their ownlinguistic resources, although the design of the task may predispose them to choose particular forms. A task is intended to result in language use that bears a resemblance, direct or indirect, to the way language is used in the real world. Like other language activities, a task can engage productive or receptive and oral or written skill and also various cognitive processes.” This is how Ellisdefines a pedagogical task.
However Nunan says that, “a pedagogical task is a piece of classroom that involves learners in comprehending manipulating, production or interacting in the target language while their attention is focused on mobilizing their grammatical knowledge in order to express meaning and in which the intention is to convey meaning rather than to manipulate form. The task shouldalso have a sense of completeness, being able to stand alone as a communicative act in its own right with a beginning, a middle, and an end.”
While these definitions vary somewhat, they all emphasize the fact that pedagogical tasks involve communicative language use in which the user’s attention is focused on main objective rather than grammatical form.
Task-based learning (TBL), also known astask-based language teaching (TBLT) or task-based instruction (TBI) focuses on the use of authentic language and on asking students to do meaningful tasks using the target language. Such tasks can include visiting a doctor, conducting an interview, or calling customer service for help. Assessment is primarily based on task outcome (in other words the appropriate completion of tasks) rather than on...