Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 February 2010
Introduction and overview
In the first section of this chapter, I introduce a framework for task-based language teaching. The framework defines and exemplifies the key elements in the model that underlies this book including real-world/target tasks, pedagogical tasks and enabling skills. The next section outlines a procedure for creating an integrated syllabus around the concept of the pedagogic task. The section that follows is devoted to materials design considerations. It provides a procedure that can be used for planning lessons, materials and units of work. In the final section, the principles underlying the procedures described in the body of the chapter are laid out.
A task framework
As we saw in Chapter 1, the point of departure for task-based language teaching is real-world or target tasks. These are the hundred and one things we do with language in everyday life, from writing a poem to con-firming an airline reservation to exchanging personal information with a new acquaintance. These three examples, by the way, illustrate Michael Halliday's three macrofunctions of language. Halliday argues that at a very general level, we do three things with language: we use it to exchange goods and services (this is the transactional or service macrofunction), we use it to socialize with others (this is the interpersonal or social macrofunction), and we use it for enjoyment (this is the aesthetic macrofunction).
Typically, in everyday interactions, the macrofunctions are interwoven, as in the following (invented) example:
A: Nice day.
B: That it is. What can I do for you?
A: I'd like a round-trip ticket to the airport, please.
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