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7 - Task-Based Syllabus Design

from Part III - Pedagogical Perspectives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 October 2019

Rod Ellis
Affiliation:
University of Auckland
Peter Skehan
Affiliation:
Birkbeck College, University of London
Shaofeng Li
Affiliation:
Florida State University
Natsuko Shintani
Affiliation:
Kansai University, Osaka
Craig Lambert
Affiliation:
Curtin University, Perth
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Summary

This chapter examines four different proposals for designing a task-based course. In Prabhu’s Communicational Language Teaching Project, the syllabus has low internal structure, leaving implementation issues to be decided by teachers. In Long’s syllabus, tasks have a training function. Target tasks are identified by a needs analysis and then restructured into pedagogic tasks. Robinson’s is the most ambitious proposal as he proposes a syllabus that takes into account the cognitive complexity of tasks, their propensity for promoting the kinds of interaction that facilitate acquisition, and the cognitive abilities and affective dispositions of individual learners. Finally, Ellis identifies a range of factors that influence task complexity but suggests that sequencing tasks is largely a matter of intuition that can be guided only roughly by these factors. In Ellis’s proposal there is room for a more traditional, structural module to fit alongside a task-based module in a complete course.

Type
Chapter
Information
Task-Based Language Teaching
Theory and Practice
, pp. 179 - 207
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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