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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

21 - Task-Based Language Learning

from Part V - Pedagogical Interventions and Approaches


The psycholinguistic rationale proposed for TBLT varies somewhat, but is usually an amalgam of cognitive-interactionist and usage-based theories (see, e.g., Long, 2015a, pp. 30–62; Robinson, 2007, 2015; Skehan, 1998, 2015) developed with language learning as the explanandum. When students are adults, whose capacity for purely incidental learning, especially instance learning, is weaker than in young children, a variety of devices is required to enhance incidental learning and thereby speed up the process. The enhancements seek to help learners either detect or notice new items in the input by increasing their perceptual saliency and by drawing learners’ attention to needed lexis and collocations and grammatical patterns, especially when non-salient forms and form–function or form–meaning relationships are concerned. However, most of the attention-drawing procedures are deployed in response to learner performance, not in advance, as in synthetic approaches.