Task sequencing
in academic writing
TBLT
September 2005
Leuven
P Gaye Tolunguc
Middle East Technical University
Ankara Turkey
[email protected]
TBLT
The rationale ?
 Developing implicit knowledge – learners can only develop
implicit knowledge of a second language incidentally as a
result of the effort to communicate.
 Automatization – learners can only gain in fluency by
attempting to use the L2 in real operating conditions.
Ellis, R. (n.d.) Task-Based Language Teaching. Slide presentation. Retrieved June, 2005,
from http://www.tki.org.nz/r/esol/esolonline/teachers/prof_read/taskbased.ppt
“teaching does not & cannot determine the way the learner’s
language will develop”
“teachers & learners cannot simply choose what is to be learned”
“the elements of the target language do not simply slot into place
in a predictable order”
The Basque team. (2003) Task Based Learning. Best Practice: Best Language Teaching
Methods, Leonardo II Project. Retrieved June, 2005, from http://www.languages.dk/
methods/documents/tbl-nl_01.pdf.
TBLT……
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“offers the opportunity for ‘natural’ learning inside the
classroom”
“emphasizes meaning over form but can also cater for
learning form”
“is intrinsically motivating”
“is compatible with a learner-centered educational
philosophy”
“can be used alongside a more traditional approach”
Ellis, R. (n.d.) Task-Based Language Teaching. Slide presentation. Retrieved June, 2005,
from http://www.tki.org.nz/r/esol/esolonline/teachers/ prof read/taskbased.ppt
A task?
“an activity in which the target language is used
by the learner for a communicative purpose in
order to achieve an outcome”
Goal oriented activity with a clear purpose
Meaning-negotiation involved
Communicative
Context-based
Learner-centered (concerning learners’ needs)
Achieving an outcome
Willis J. (1996). A framework for TBL. Harlow, U.K: Longman Addison-Wesley.
"a piece of classroom work which involves learners in
comprehending, manipulating, producing or
interacting in the target language while their
attention is principally focused on meaning rather
than form"
Nunan, D. (n.d.) What is task-based language teaching? Retrieved June, 2005, from
http:// www.nunan.info/presentations/TBLT_files/frame.htm
“a task is an activity which requires learners to use
language, with emphasis on meaning, to attain an
objective”
Skehan, P. (2003) Task-based instruction. Language Teacher 36, 1–14. DOI: 10.1017/
S026144480200188X printed in the UK c_ 2003 CUP. Retrieved June, 2005, from
http:// journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type= 1&fid= 146424&jid=
LTA&volumeId=36&issueId=01&aid=146423
form VERSUS message focus ?
Prabhu’s dictum: “form is best learned when the main focus
is on meaning”
Prabhu N S. (1987). Second Language Pedagogy. Oxford, OUP.
sequences
combining a task with pre- and post-task work
ways of injecting a degree of form focus into a message
focused activity
Johnson, K. (2003) From communicative activity to task: a short but
significant journey. Asia TEFL 2003 International Conference. TEFL in Asia:
Emerging Issues. Retrieved June, 2005, from http://www.asiatefl.org/
conference/down/Schedule_of_Presentations.pdf
a “negotiation of meaning” justification
VERSUS
the concept of a “focus on form” ?
(a) interaction, in itself, is not enough &
(b) insinuation of a focus on form into
interactions is vital
Skehan, P. (2003) Task-based instruction. Language Teacher 36, 1–14. DOI: 10.1017/
S026144480200188X printed in the UK c_ 2003 CUP. Retrieved June, 2005, from
http:// journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=1&fid=146424&jid=
LTA&volumeId=36&issueId=01&aid=146423
“focus on form (not forms)” ?
“focus on form refers to how attentional resources are allocated, and
involves briefly drawing students' attention to linguistic elements
(words, collocations, grammatical structures, pragmatic patterns, and
so on), in context, as they arise incidentally in lessons whose overriding
focus is on meaning, or communication…”
“focus on form … is learner- centred in a radical, psycholinguistic
sense: it respects the learner's internal syllabus...
Long, M. H. (1997) Focus on form in TBLT. Fourth Annual McGraw-Hill Satellite
Teleconference. The McGraw-Hill Companies. Retrieved June, 2005, from http://www.
mhhe.com/socscience/foreignlang/top.htm
* role for the teacher: monitors from a
distance ready to provide the
unpredictable help that will be required
Skehan, P. (2003) Task-based instruction. Language Teacher 36, 1–14. DOI: 10.1017/
S026144480200188X printed in the UK c_ 2003 CUP. Retrieved June, 2005, from
http:// journals.cambridge.org/action/ displayFulltext? type=
1&fid=146424&jid=LTA&volumeId=36&issueId=01&aid=146423
** role for the learner: experiments with
the language & takes risks in an
independent spontaneous fashion
Willis J. (1996). A framework for TBL. Harlow, U.K: Longman Addison-Wesley.
A framework for TBLT
Real-world / target tasks
ie. group work discussion & decision making task
Pedagogical tasks
Rehearsal tasks
Activation tasks
Enabling skills
Language exercises
Communicative activities
Nunan, D. (2001) Aspects of Task-BasedSyllabus Design. Retrieved June,
2005, from http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/syllabusdesign.html
the relationship of the task to the real
world ?
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“things people do in everyday life”
“bears a resemblance, direct or indirect, to the way language is
used… an emphasis on “the nature of the response by the learner”
“the reaction of the learner or the research subject which is key,
rather than the fact that a particular task may have, at some time,
been used by native speakers (possibly in a different context)”
“genuineness rather than a form of authenticity defined only in
relation to the real world occurrence of an activity”
Skehan, P. (2003) Task-based instruction. Language Teacher 36, 1–14. DOI: 10.1017/
S026144480200188X printed in the UK c_ 2003 CUP. Retrieved June, 2005, from http:/
journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=1&fid=146424&jid=LTA&vol
meId=36&issueId=01&aid=146423
planning ?
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“…pre-task planning can have beneficial effects upon the
nature of task performance, consistently leading to greater
fluency and complexity and, less dependably, greater
accuracy”
“…a post-task activity (such as the need to re-do a task
publicly after the task has been done ‘privately’, or the
requirement that learners transcribe one minute of their
own task performance subsequent to the task itself ) leads
to significantly greater accuracy”
Foster, P. & Skehan, P. (1999) The influence of source of planning and focus
of planning on TB performance. Language Teaching Research,
Volume3, Number 3, 1 September 1999, pp. 215-247(33). Hodder Arnold
Journals. Retrieved June, 2005, from http://www.ingentaconnect.
com/content/arn/ltr/1999/00000003/00000003/art 00003
components of the framework ?
Pre-task
 Introduction to topic and task
Task cycle
 Task
 Planning
 Report
Language focus
 Analysis
 Practice
Willis, J. (1998) Task-Based Learning: What Kind of Adventure? The Language Teacher
Online 22.07. Retrieved June, 2005, from http://www.jaltpublications.org/tlt/files/
98/jul/willis.html
PREPARING FOR ACADEMIC
WRITING (PAW)
Oniz S & Tolunguc G. (2003) Middle East Technical University Press.
Ankara
Samples from academic writing materials for
post-beginner level students at The Middle
East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
STEP 1 PRE-TASK:
INTRODUCING THE TOPIC
What trends are indicated in these graphs? Briefly discuss.
1400
1300
1200
934
1000
1027
722
800
600
474
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
307
1998
136
1996
1994
1995
56
0
Years
88
35
1993
200
204
1997
400
Graph 2: GSM subscriber growth
1000
790
800
in millions
Number of subscribers
Number of subscribers in millions
Graph 1: World cellular subscriber growth
628
600
457
400
258
200
0
Years
705
1
5
13
33
71
138
1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
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The two body paragraphs on the next page
respond to the following question by
incorporating the data in the graphs.
Question:
Innovations in cell phone technology are
increasing. Discuss the reasons.
Discuss the possible answers to the
question with the person sitting next to
you and note down your ideas.
Read the paragraphs and compare your
ideas with the writer’s. Any
similarities/differences? Discuss how far
the writer answered the question. Discuss
his conclusions.
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Question:
Innovations in cell phone technology are
increasing. Discuss the reasons.
Innovations in cell phone technology are
increasing as a result of the soaring number of
cell phone users all over the world. This growth
can be detected in the ever-increasing numbers of
cell phone subscribers and GSM subscribers. First
of all, global figures indicate an enormous
increase in the number of subscribers using cell
phones. According to statistics provided by the
EMC World Cellular Database, in the period
between 1993 and 2002, the number of cell
phone subscribers increased from 35 million to
over a billion. The figure reached 1.3 billion in
2003, which shows how great the demand is for
cellular technology. Secondly, worldwide figures
also display .......................................
STEP 2 TASK CYCLE:
RESPONDING TO A QUESTION
Purpose:
To write an answer to a question paying special
attention to paragraph endings and considering the
criteria covered so far
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This task is about cell phones and their effects on
users. The question that you will answer later in
this task is as follows. Read the question so that
you have a general idea about what you will be
doing and follow the instructions below:
Question:
How have cell phones changed the users’
behavior?
A. Brief discussion
 As a cell phone user, think back to the
time when you first started to use a cell
phone.
 You may not be a cell phone user: Think
back to the time when someone you know
well first started to use a cell phone.
 How did the cell phone affect your/their
behavior and relationships?
 Are there any behaviors that specifically
only mobile phone users display?
 What are these?
 What do others think about them?
B. Mini class survey
 Prepare two questions about how
cell phone use has changed your
classmates’ behavior. Word your
questions so that the answers are
only one or two words. You will have
to group all the answers in the end so
formulate questions with short and
clear answers.
 Example:
 (Before you started using a cell phone),
how often did you used to talk to your
best friend (on a regular phone)?
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Go around the class collecting answers to your
questions.
Include the name of your classmate while noting
down the responses in the mini survey.
Group the answers in such a way that you can
generalize about frequencies or girls’ preferences
versus boys’, and so on.
Write down your findings/generalizations.
Form groups with four other classmates who have
at least one similar question as you do. Exchange
your findings.
C. The question
How have cell phones changed the users’ behavior?
In your group, analyze the question and plan your
answer using the Answer Layout Form.
Answer Layout
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Key words:
Write about:
From what aspect:
Stance:
Organization:
D. Collecting data & planning
You have conducted a mini survey and collected some data
about your classmates’ behavior. Now imagine you have gone
to the library, surfed the net and compiled all the info in
section F (The Data Sheet) as your notes and photocopies. In
your group, share the info on the next pages and read it in
order to select supporting ideas for your answer. Decide how
to outline the info in your answer.
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How many points will there be in your group
report?
What will each point be about?
How much of the survey findings can you
incorporate?
Do you have enough info (i.e. explanations and
examples)?
Present your ideas to the class and get feedback.
E. Writing & editing the answer
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At home write your answer on a piece of paper.
Using the criteria at the end of the task, evaluate
your work.
Hand in your work for feedback to another the
next day.
After you get your paper back, read the feedback,
rewrite parts if there are suggestions and hand in
your work to the teacher.
F. Data Sheet:
Behavioral effects of mobile phones
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Fingers and thumbs:
Sadie Plant, founder of the Cybernetic Culture Research
Unit at Warwick University, collected data on hundreds of
mobile phone users in nine cities around the world,
including Beijing, Chicago, London and Tokyo over six
months and discovered:
“People who've grown up with mobile phones tend to use their thumbs when
others would use their fingers.” ......................................
......................................................................................
Social status symbol:
Plant: “The mobile is fast becoming an essential prop in the
social life of 20-year-olds. It has even become part of their mating
display with young men trying to impress women with the advanced
technology of their phones.”
Donald Ball: “(the conventional telephone) was considered something
that one apologized.........................................
...................................................................
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Sources:
http://www.newscientist.com/hottopics/phones/phones.jsp?id=2315
1900
http://cellular.co.za/news_2002/061102mms_to_overtake_sms_mes
saging_by.htm
Mobile phone users: A small-scale observational study by Alice
Johns, Apr 2001
http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Students/abj0001.html
Mobile phone users: A small-scale observational study by Jonathan
Swallowe, Oct 2002:
http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Students/jos0101.html
Anonymous (2002): ‘On the mobile: Groundbreaking global study
explores behavioral effects of mobile phone use. [WWW document]
URL:
http://www.mobileguy.com/publish/article70.shtml
Ball, D. (1968). ‘Towards a Society of Telephones and Telephoners’.
In Marcello Truzzi (Ed.) Sociology and Everyday Life. Englewood
Cliffs, NJ.: Prentice-Hall.
STEP 3 POST-TASK: REFLECTION
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What are you really good at, concerning writing
at paragraph-level?
What seems difficult? Can you think of a solution
to your problem?
Which task in this unit was easy for you? Why?
FOCUS ON FORM 1
LANGUAGE TO DESCRIBE THE GRAPHS
FOCUS ON FORM 2
CONCLUDING SENTENCES (CSs)
FOCUS ON FORM 3
REFERRING TO RESEARCHERS &
AUTHORS
Please write to
[email protected]
for feedback
Thank you!
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Task sequencing in academic writing