TESOL%20Arabia's%2015th%20Annual%20International%20Conference%20English%20in%20Learning:%20Learning%20in%20English%20Content,%20Language%20and%20task-based%20learning:%20a%20balancing%20act%20Jane%20Willis%20Honorary%20Visiting%20Fellow%20Aston%20University - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Title: TESOL%20Arabia's%2015th%20Annual%20International%20Conference%20English%20in%20Learning:%20Learning%20in%20English%20Content,%20Language%20and%20task-based%20learning:%20a%20balancing%20act%20Jane%20Willis%20Honorary%20Visiting%20Fellow%20Aston%20University

TESOL Arabia's 15th Annual International
ConferenceEnglish in Learning Learning in
EnglishContent, Language and task-based
learning a balancing actJane WillisHonorary
Visiting Fellow Aston University
A balancing act
Content, Language and task-based learning a
balancing act
  • Overview
  • Learning in English
  • Content and tasks CLIL and TBL together
  • 3. A focus on English in learning - getting the
    balance right

1. Learning in English
  • What are the main benefits for your students of
    Learning in English?
  • Exposure to language in use rich potential
  • Real purpose for using language to learn
    something new
  • Real purpose for learning language - integrated
    within a real context

  • If well implemented, it can
  • increase learner motivation and participation
  • save time and lead to higher language levels
  • - be satisfying and rewarding for the teacher and
  • If well implemented, learning in English can
  • increase learner motivation and participation
  • save time and lead to higher language levels
  • be satisfying and rewarding for the teacher and

So what is Content and Language Integrated
  • Do Coyle, CLIL Motivating Learners and Teachers,
  • explores the dual aims of CLIL and defines it
  • a powerful pedagogic tool which aims to
    safeguard the subject being taught whilst
    promoting language as a medium for learning as
    well as an objective of the learning process
  • http//www.scilt.stir.ac.uk/Downloads/slr/i

Some successful FL projects
  • Content Based Instruction in FLs e.g. NASA space
    team, diplomats, peace keeping forces intensive
    courses in the USA 1990s
  • Immersion Education in Canadian schools French
    and English
  • Bilingual Schools Project integrated
    Spanish/English Curriculum 3-16 year old
    children in Spain 1966
  • Content and Language Integrated Project (CLIP)- 8
    UK schools begun in 2002
  • In the Middle East a variety of projects at a
    range of levels to be reported at this conference

In what ways were these successful?
  • A recent evaluation of the Spanish project has
    reported the following successes
  • interest and motivation on the part of the
  • the enthusiasm of the parents
  • a growing sense of satisfaction from head
    teachers in schools, many of which are in
    economically deprived areas
  • learning in two languages not only contributes to
    the progress of the children in their first
    language, but would appear to assist the
    children's cognitive development.

Feedback on the UK CLIL project
  • a researcher
  • it allows pupils to use language in a range of
    different ways, and in more complex ways they
    have a higher level of comprehension skills,
    develop better strategic skills focus less on
    word-by-word comprehension..
  • a teacher
  • You change your mind about what is possible. I
    would never have believed it before- that
    beginners could make so much progress so quickly.

Do such projects always succeed?
  • NO!
  • David Graddol speaking at the IATEFL CLIL debate
    in 2005
  • . there is a potentially large downside to it.
    In many countries they just don't seem to be
    equipped to implement Clil. When it works it
    works extraordinarily well, but it is actually
    quite a difficult to do well. My feeling is that
    it may actually take 30 or 40 years for a country
    to really to pull this one off.

Hong Kong - Secondary Schools
  • Amy Tsui reported at the same CLIL debate
  • a) the students who learned content through
    English ended up two years behind those learning
    in Chinese
  • b) Chinese-medium school students got much higher
    grades when taking the Chinese school-leaving
    public examination
  • c) by the 3rd year of CLIL, the self perception,
    self esteem of English-medium students were
    significantly lower than Chinese-medium students
    - and motivation as well.

Possible reasons for failure
  • Teachers perceived linguistic competence
  • Stakeholders beliefs
  • Assessment procedures and grading schemes

Other challenges mentioned by teachers
  • Making content input comprehensible
  • new concepts and new language together
  • Mother tongue use when to allow it
  • Learner motivation how to increase it
  • When and how to work on language
  • and focus on form? Before? In parallel but
    separate? Integrated?

  • The last four challenges can be met by making
    flexible use of tasks within a coherent framework
  • Need to start small with support..
  • So on to Part 2.

2. CLIL and TBL together How can tasks
  • There is a rich literature on TBL which can be
    applied to the problems of CLIL .
  • Tasks have to be about something and Content can
    provide the topics.
  • Content has be broken down into activities that
    learners can engage with, and these fit our
    definition of a Task.

CLIL through Tasks
  • Do Coyle lists Task design in her curriculum
    planning model and stresses the need for a
    strategy for promoting genuine communication in
    the FL if learning is to take place.
  • Tasks can be the main strategy
  • She adds The CLIL environment demands a level
    of talking and interaction that is different from
    the traditional language classroom.
  • Tasks provide opportunities for genuine
    communication and rich meaning-focused interaction

Characteristics of effective tasks
  • have a primary focus on meaning
  • have a clear outcome for learners to achieve
  • relate as far as possible to real world
  • engage learners interest

CLIL and Music - a task to try
  • MUSIC syllabus for children
  • Here is an activity with the aim to develop
    left hand / right hand co-ordination

How did that fit the criteria?
Characteristics of effective tasks a primary
focus on meaning a clear outcome a real world
skill engaging ---------------------------------
------------------------------------- Language
one hand / the other hand / both hands / both
together and lots of other input
  • Design a Library Brochure for new students
  • a sequence of enabling tasks planned by the
    students themselves
  • Followed by three evaluation tasks after the
    publication of the brochure
  • HCT Ras Al Khaimah Mens College

A Task-based lesson framework
  • Tasks are most effective when used within a
    coherent Framework.
  • Priming Preparation
  • Task Cycle
  • Task gtgt Planning gtgt Report of outcome
  • Form focus

Pre-task priming and preparation
  • can help make content input more comprehensible.
  • It requires
  • prior analysis of the linguistic and cognitive
  • a series of mini- tasks, often teacher-led
  • lots of visual support

BBC.co.uk GEOGRAPHY Rivers
  • http//www.bbc.co.uk/schools/riversandcoasts/index

Use the web and fine-tune activities
  • BBC HomepageSchools
  • gtgtWhat is a river?The water cycleHow do
    rivers change?People and rivers

What is a river?
  • A river is fresh water flowing across the surface
    of the land, usually to the sea. It flows in a
    channel. The bottom of the channel is called the
    bed and the sides of the channel are called the
  • All rivers are different, but they all work in a
    similar way. The key idea to remember is that
    water flows downhill. Flowing water has ENERGY!
  • Now make a diagram and label it.
  • Choose 3 useful phrases to remember.

Framework Task cycle
  • Priming Preparation
  • Task Cycle
  • Task gtgt Planning gtgt Report of outcome
  • Form focus

Sample tasks for rivers
  • All the next few tasks have a purpose for the
    report except one which one?
  • If water is flowing down the river to the sea,
    why doesnt the river empty, dry up, or run out
    of water? The answer lies in The Water Cycle.
  • Read the web-link, and write a full caption for
    each of the six stages in the process. Then mix
    them up to use as a quiz next lesson.

Map task settlements
  • Note Settlements are villages or towns
  • Use a map and trace a local (or famous) river
    from its sources to its mouth. How does the size
    of the settlements change? How does their shape
  • Work in twos. Plan how to report your findings
    to the class in English.
  • Compare your findings find one thing in common.

Exploring reasons why we settled by rivers
  • a) Why were so many towns and villages built by
    rivers? List 3 reasons. Prepare to tell the class
    and compare lists. Add one more reason.
  • b) In groups of 2 or 3, choose one reason and
    expand it further, giving two or three examples
    (do some research!) Exchange with another group
    and think of two questions to ask them.
  • (Written or spoken).

Problem-solving floods
  • Flooding is a major disadvantage of living near a
    river. How might this be overcome?
  • b) Flooding can also be an advantage in what
    way? Read the text on the river Nile .

Planning and Report stages
  • Which task did not specify a purpose or report
  • The report stage is important because it
  • - gives a purpose for task completion enhances
    motivation and chance of success
  • presents opportunities for learners personal
    language development at the planning stage,
    before going public- in English
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • Motivation was one problem L1 use was another

L 1 use when in the task framework?
  • Priming Preparation
  • Task Cycle
  • Task gtgt Planning gtgt Report of outcome
  • Form focus

3. A focus on English in learning
  • integrating language
  • and
  • getting the balance right.

When to work on language and focus on form?
  • Priming Preparation
  • Key lexis useful phrases
  • Task gtgt Planning gtgtgtgt Report of outcome
  • Language extension gtgt Prestige language use
  • Form focus
  • Analysis practice
  • of language features from
  • texts written or spoken that learners have read
    or heard
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • C. Eide (PI in Abu Dhabi)
  • Learners record their tasks, then listen,
    transcribe, discuss..

From a text-based Task. to form focus
  • TASK Look at your river on the map again. Read
    this text- how far is it true for your river?
    Compare with another group.
  • TEXT (from web-site)
  • Remember that the source of a river is on higher
    ground, and is often remote. The middle course is
    usually hilly ground. The lower course is usually
    flatter ground and the mouth of a river is nearly
    always at the sea.
  • The shape or form of the landscape through which
    a river flows will affect the form of settlements
    beside the river. Some towns and villages will
    be long and thin, along the river's banks, others
    will be able to spread out in all directions.

To form focus for Geography
  • Underline 4 phrases for parts of a river what
    others do you know? What other landscape
    features are mentioned?
  • Find 5 or 6 phrases with prepositions, describing
    location. Write them with a gap omitting the
    preposition. Play what is where?
  • Find 4 phrases with frequency adverbs expressing
  • Find 3 phrases with will. What does will mean
    here? Is it expressing future? Or predicting?
    Does this happen in Arabic?
  • Remember that the source of a river is on higher
    ground, and is often remote. The middle course is
    usually hilly ground. The lower course is usually
    flatter ground and the mouth of a river is nearly
    always at the sea.
  • The shape or form of the landscape through which
    a river flows will affect the form of settlements
    beside the river. Some towns and villages will
    be long and thin, along the river's banks, others
    will be able to spread out in all directions.

Form focus for science
  • From science experiment to form focus
  • Analyse language. identify typical features,
    patterns, functions
  • How are experiments laid out?
  • What general language features are typical in
    each section?
  • What topic specific collocations? (e.g.
    properties of materials, verbs that are used with
  • Create exercises to focus on these.

A fundamental shift in the language syllabus
  • Both TBL and CLIL recognise the need for a
    fundamental shift in the language syllabus
  • No longer can the FL be parcelled into a
    grammatical progression, leaving past tenses and
    more complex linguistic structures until later.
    The topic of
  • sustainability requires access to expression of
    future the Industrial revolution will require
    past tenses

Analyse the language of the content area
  • Written visual sources, e.g.
  • web,
  • text book,
  • other learners output,
  • journals, magazines
  • Realia e.g. notices, leaflets, brochures
  • Spoken sources (planned and spontaneous) e.g.
  • teacher monologue,
  • teacher class interaction,
  • group discussion,
  • presentations,
  • outside experts
  • CDs, DVDs, radio, podcasts
  • A need to analyse the language features typical
    of each subject.
  • What discourse types? What language is typically
    used in each?

Materials planning process
  • Work with specialist to choose content and break
    it down
  • Design your target tasks task sequences
  • Design priming and preparation tasks for your
  • Devise form focused exercises
  • Evaluate and follow up with learners and
  • And before long you will succeed in and enjoy.

getting the balance right!
(No Transcript)
  • Advice from CLIL and TBL practitioners
  • Any new project needs management / institution
    /stakeholder backing
  • to clarify rationale and support mechanics and
    motivation for change - and allow time for
  • co-operation between content specialists and
    language teachers
  • to plan, trial and evaluate materials and methods
    for teaching and assessment
  • co-operation is the key
  • Teachers need motivation to change, a strong
    project leader and ongoing support especially in
    early stages, and regular, confidence-boosting
  • Students need an understanding of the process and
    end objectives - not just content syllabus aims
    but what levels of English are acceptable for
    each type of activity?
  • Start small choose a topic and design some
    simple task sequences with clear achievable
  • Involve learners
  • Be positive

Bibliography and references
  • About CLIL
  • If you only have time to read one article about a
    CLIL project see Do Coyle
  • http//www.scilt.stir.ac.uk/Downloads/slr/issue_13
  • She reports on the results of a pioneer project
    run in 8 Secondary schools in the UK for
    different FLs . She gives a sample lesson plan
    and a Framework for the process of CLIL
    Curriculum Design.
  • For a shorter very basic account of what CLIL is
    about, Steve Darn
  • http//www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/articles/c
  • Useful background
  • http//www.teachingenglish.org.uk/transform/teache
  • http//www.britishcouncil.org/spain-education-bili

  • Resources
  • http//www.bbc.co.uk/schools/websites/4_11/
  • http//www.bbc.co.uk/schools/websites/11_16/
  • http//www.bbc.co.uk/schools/riversandcoasts/index
  • http//www.internet-at-work.com/hos_mcgrane/egypt/

  • Bygate M. P. Skehan and M. Swain (eds) 2001.
    Researching Pedagogic Tasks Second language
    learning, teaching and testing
  • Edwards, C. and J. Willis (eds) 2005. Teachers
    Exploring Tasks in ELT. Palgrave MacMillan.
    Prize winner - British Council ELT Innovations
    Awards 2006
  • Ellis R. 2003. Task-based Language Teaching and
    Learning. Oxford, OUP
  • Estaire S. and J. Zanon, 1994. Planning
    Classwork a task-based approach. Oxford
    Macmillan Heinemann
  • Foster P. 1996. Doing the task better how
    planning time influences students performance.
    In Jane Willis Dave Willis (eds) Challenge and
    Change in Language Teaching. Heinemann pp17-30
  • Leaver B.L. J. Willis, (eds) 2004. Task-based
    Instruction in Foreign Language Education
    practices and programs. Washington DC, Georgetown
    University Press. (See Chapter 1 for an overview
    of TBL perspectives and practices).
  • Mohan, B. A. 1986 Language and Content
  • Paterson, A and Willis, J. 2008 English Through
    Music OUP
  • Stryker, S. B. and Leaver, B. L. 1997
    Content-Based Instruction in Foreign
  • Language Education models and methods.
    Georgetown University Press
  • Willis D. 2003. Rules, Patterns and Words
    Grammar and Lexis in English Language Teaching.
    Cambridge University Press
  • Willis, D. and Willis, J. 2007. Doing Task-based
    Teaching Oxford University Press
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