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Teachers Learning and Adaptation of TBLT in the ESL Context


Native Speaker (NS) English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers' learning and ... (5) Focus on Form Exercises ... (6) Evaluation (throughout) Bridget's Adaptation ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Teachers Learning and Adaptation of TBLT in the ESL Context

Teachers Learning and Adaptation of TBLT in the
ESL Context
  • Kangxian Zhao
  • University of Toronto
  • kangxian.zhao_at_utoronto.ca
  • 09-14-2009, Lancaster, UK

  • Recent Literature
  • Current Study
  • Discussion
  • Limitations and Future Directions

Recent Literature
  • Gatbonton Gu (1994) Chinese NNS EFL teachers
    in Beijing
  • Carless (2003, 2004) Hong Kong teachers
    difficulties involved in implementing TBLT in
    primary schools
  • Carless (2007) Suitability of TBLT for secondary
    schools in Hong Kong
  • Jeon Hahn (2006) Korean teachers perceptions
    of TBLT
  • Watson Todd, R. (2006) NNS teachers in Thailand
  • McDonough Chaikitmongkol (2007) teachers and
    learners reactions to a TBLT course in Thailand

Recent Literature
  • Lack of comparable studies on NS teachers
  • Impression Avoiding or adapting or not
    comprehending TBLT professional trait of NNS
  • All is well with NS teachers TBLT?

Current Study
  • Qualitative study
  • Six NS 1 NNS Canadian ESL teachers teacher
  • Narrative inquiry Approach
  • Semi-structured Interviews
  • Classroom Observations
  • Follow-up Interviews
  • Native Speaker (NS) English as a Second Language
    (ESL) teachers learning and teaching experiences
    of TBLT in the Canadian context

Research Participants
Learning TBLT
  • Bridget
  • I kind of ran into task-based (14 years ago).
    Task-based was one of the principles of the TESL
    training program... My first hands on experience
    with TBLT was after I came back to Canada (3
    years ago)Ive done a little bit of research on
    Task-based (in my Masters study)

Learning TBLT
  • I was introduced to Task-Based when I was in New
    Zealand (5 years ago). (Cynthia)
  • I learned TBLT in a diploma course in PolandAnd
    I was at the network of the schools,
    international high school organization, so there
    are 140 schools, in 40 countriesEverything I
    know is from them. (David)

Learning TBLT
  • Franks experience with TBLT
  • Teaching EFL for seven years
  • No training before teaching
  • Started teaching with a textbook and a teachers
  • Returned to Canada for Family reason
  • TESL training after teaching for 10 years TBLT

Bridgets Frustration
  • I find some difficulty with itonce the task is
    finished, and then you do the language work, what
    do you do next? Okay, you are supposed to give
    themwell, have they finish the task? Well
    theyve already done it. They communicated. The
    communication might not have been pretty, it
    might not have been accurate, but it was
    accomplished. Why would they want to go and do it
    all over again? So it is great to focus on the
    language afterwards, but my feeling is and my
    experience has beenthey do want to know at the
    beginning how they are supposed to say something,
    and there is a higher level of frustration with
    students who dont have guidelines, or they dont
    have any language suggestion on how to accomplish
    a task?

One Framework of TBLT
  • Adapted from Willis (1996)
  • (1) Pre-Task Language Activities
  • (2) Task (or tasks)
  • (3) Planning (the representation of task
    completion or process)
  • (4) Report / Presentation / Performance / etc.
  • (5) Focus on Form Exercises
  • (6) Evaluation (throughout)

Bridgets Adaptation
  • First I stuck with task-based. Give it a try, do
    it this way. But you know what? Why am I putting
    them through that? Why am I putting me through
    that? You know, I just say, okay, I try it in a
    different way. I will give you a list of phrases
    before we try the task. I am not going to tell
    them that this isI just thought okay, this is
    what I am going to do. And it is part of my
    lesson plan. To elicit before hand. And then have
    them work on the task.

Franks Concern
  • My concern is students interactions with each
    other. (I see myself) as a model for their
    language useI remember in university, always,
    there is a reliance on the professor. All
    questions are directed at the professors. the
    students arent supposed to be doing like this.
    Not this way. And it has taken me a long time to
    and I still fight against it because I think I
    like to be involved with it. But my director of
    study at the school, shes often said, in the
    last couple years, yeah, just leave the room, if
    they are doing something, a task. And you trust
    them if they are mature enough, leave the room,
    and let them complete the task. And then you
    assess the task later. And that seems to be like
    a foreign thing to me. Because I am thinking that
    the students pay money, then they expect to see
    the teacher.

Observation Notes
  • Bridget gave a list of words and phrases before
  • Cynthia changed her lesson plan because of my
    visit. She did a a test-teach-test lesson.
  • Cynthia liked to give detailed explanation and
    clear instruction of grammar during and after
  • David demonstrated a TBLT lesson
  • In addition to TBLT, Frank taught according to
    his own beliefs (e.g., dictation)

Discussion Task Repetition
  • Current Study
  • Research literature
  • Previous experience of a task can have effect on
    subsequent performance (more complex, more
    fluent) and task repetition might enable students
    to shift their attention from meaning to form
    (Bygate, 2009)
  • Well theyve already done it, they communicated.
    The communication might not have been pretty, it
    might not have been accurate, but it was
    accomplished. Why would they want to go and do it
    all over again? (Bridget)

Discussion Different versions of TBLT
  • Research Literature
  • Current Study
  • A strong version of TBLT a weak version of TBLT
    (Skehan, 2003)
  • a weak version of task-based teaching is likely
    to be most suitable ... (Carless, 2007)
  • A weak version of TBLT

Discussion Difficulty with TBLT
  • Research Literature
  • Current Study
  • Classroom management
  • Avoidance of English
  • NNS Teachers English proficiency
  • Teachers lack of knowledge of TBLT
  • Conflict with educational values and traditions
  • (Littlewood, 2009)
  • Student interactions
  • Students proficiency
  • NS teachers
  • Teacher beliefs

  • Teachers learn TBLT during TESL training and ESL
  • Some NS teachers struggle with, resist, or adapt
    TBLT in ways that are similar to those of NNS
    teachers, as reported in research literature
  • Both NS and NNS teachers may adapt TBLT in ways
    that might not be congruent with the theoretical
    underpinnings of a certain version of TBLT
  • Downplaying language or speaker identity as a
  • Research v.s. Classroom practice

Limitations Future Directions
  • Small sample
  • Contextual factors
  • Truth
  • Bigger sample
  • In-depth investigation
  • In different provinces
  • NNS in ESL Context
  • NS in EFL Context

  • Bygate, M. (2009). Chapter 12. Effects of task
    repetition on the structure and control of oral
    language. In K. Van den Branden, M. Bygate J.
    Norris (eds.), Task-based language teaching A
    reader (249274). AmsterdamJohn Benjamins.
  • Carless, D. (2003). Factors in the implementation
    of task-based teaching primary schools. System,
    31(4), 485-500.
  • Carless, D. (2004). Issues in teacher's
    reinterpretation of a task-based innovation in
    primary schools. TESOL Quarterly, 38(4), 639-661.
  • Carless, D. (2007). The suitability of task-based
    approaches for secondary schools perspectives
    from Hong Kong. System, 35, 595-608.
  • Gatbonton, E., Gu, G. (1994). Preparing and
    implementing a task-based ESL curriculum in an
    EFL setting Implications for theory and
    practice. TESL Canada Journal, 11(2), 9-29.
  • Jeon, I. J., Hahn, J. W. (2006). Exploring EFL
    teachers perceptions of task-based language
    teaching A case study of Korean secondary school
    classroom practice. Asian EFL Journal. Retrieved
    May 3, 2006, from http//www.asian-efl-journal.com
  • Littlewood, W. (2009). Communicative and
    task-based language teaching in East Asia
    classrooms. Language Teaching, 40, 243-249.
  • McDonough, K., Chaikitmongkol, W. (2007).
    Teachers and learners reactions to a task-based
    EFL course in Thailand. TESOL Quarterly, 41(1),
  • Skehan, P. (2003). Task-based instruction.
    Language Teaching, 36, 1-14.
  • Watson Todd, R. (2006). Continuing change after
    the innovation. System, 34, 1-14.
  • Willis, J. (1996) A Framework for Task-Based
    Learning, Harlow, UK Longman Addison- Wesley.

Thank you!
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