Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 February 2010
Introduction and overview
In this final chapter of the book, I want to look at tasks and teacher development. In the first part of the chapter, I will describe a workshop case study where teachers explore the development, application and functioning of tasks in their own professional contexts and situations. The workshop describes ways in which teachers might be encouraged to think more systematically about tasks, and also – as it is a task-based workshop – demonstrates how tasks might be used as the basis for teacher development programs.
In the second half of the chapter, I will examine how to evaluate and create your own tasks. My checklist for evaluating a task draws on input from throughout the book, and should therefore serve as a summary of the salient points introduced in earlier chapters. The checklist can also be used as a tool for creating and developing tasks.
The self-directed teacher
An important trend in language teacher development in recent years has been a move away from the teacher as passive recipient and implementer of other people's syllabuses and methods, towards the idea of the teacher as an active creator of his or her own materials, classroom activities and assessment procedures (Nunan and Lamb 1996). Even in systems which have clearly articulated syllabuses and curriculum guidelines, there is scope for teachers to adapt and modify the syllabuses and materials with which they work. A major aim of this present book, with its points for reflection and analysis, has been to encourage a more self-directed approach on the part of teachers.
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