Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 February 2010
Introduction and overview
In this book, I have made the claim that ‘task’ is more than a methodological device for classroom action, that it is a central curriculum planning tool. In Chapter 1, I argued that curriculum planning embraced the what, the why, the when and the how well of any language program. Tasks must therefore feature in decisions relating to each of these dimensions of the curriculum.
I have already devoted a considerable portion of this book to issues of task selection. In this chapter, I want to explore principles for grading, sequencing and integrating tasks.
If you examine a number of coursebooks, you will find that the content is graded in a variety of ways. The grammatical list in one popular coursebook, for example, introduces ‘subject pronouns’ and ‘the verb “be”’ in Unit 1, and relegates ‘regular past simple’, ‘possessive pronouns’, and ‘adjectives’ to Unit 9. In another, the functions ‘opinions’ and ‘arguments’ are introduced in Unit 3 while ‘explanations’ and ‘instructions’ are not introduced until Unit 8. Decisions on what to teach first, what second, and what last in a coursebook or program will reflect the beliefs of the coursebook writer or syllabus designer about grading, sequencing and integrating content. In commercial materials, it will also reflect the demands of the market.
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