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22 - Task and Syllabus Design for Morphologically Complex Languages

from Part V - Pedagogical Interventions and Approaches

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 June 2019

John W. Schwieter
Wilfrid Laurier University
Alessandro Benati
American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
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Like planes that after thousands of hours of careful engineering design can successfully take us to our destination, task design for second or foreign language (L2) use and learning should be able to take learners who do not know or have not mastered a language to successfully and appropriately communicating in it. In this chapter, we reflect on how task design may be carried out when second languages are morphologically complex.

The goals of task design are manifold, and most L2 task designers and researchers would agree on the following facts: firstly, task design should guarantee that the pedagogic tasks used in a classroom slowly but steadily approximate L2 learners to real-life performance (see for example the concept of “target tasks” in Long, 2005; 2015). Secondly, while maintaining a focus on meaning, task goals, and task completion, task design should facilitate the conditions for language processing and language learning to take place through focus on form (Doughty & Williams, 1998; Doughty, 2001), and hence guarantee exposure to rich and meaningful input, the provision of opportunities for interaction, production, and feedback (Gass & Mackey, 2007).

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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