Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 5

A Framework for TBL Chapter 3

General overview. TBL is not just about getting Ss to do one task after another task. For the task to promote constant learning and improvement, we sho9uld see it as just one component in a larger framework. The framework consists of 3 phases: The pre-task phase introduces the class to the topic and the task, activating topic-related words and phrases The task cycle offers learners the chance to use whatever language they already know in order to carry out the task, and then to improve that Lg under teacher guidance. Exposure to Lg in use can be provided at different points, depending on the type of task. So TBL framework so far provides the 3 basic conditions for Lg learning: Exposure, use and motivation. Within the framework, there is a natural progression from the holistic to the specific. The last phase is language focus, which allows a closer study of some of the specific features naturally occurring in the Lg used during the task cycle. Ss will have already worked with the Lg and processed it for meaning, so they are ready to focus on the specific LG forms that carry that meaning. The study of these forms is clearly contextualized through the task itself. This final phase include analysis and practice components, and fulfils the fourth desirable extra condition for learning (explicit a study of Lg form). Lg learners need variety and security, and once they know that there will always be a Lg focus phase after the task cycle, they will begin to worry less about new Lg they meet during the task cycle as they know theyll have a chance to explore it later. The teaching techniques required are not very different from those of ordinary mainstream Lg teaching. Differences lie in the ordering and weighting of activities and in the fact that there is a greater amount of S activity, and less direct, up-front teaching. T roles in the framework. The T is generally a facilitator, it involves balancing the amount of exposure and use of Lg, and ensuring they are both of suitable quality. The T is involved in setting tasks up, ensuring that Ss understand and get on with them. The part the T plays also varies according to its aim. At the end of the framework, the T acts as Lg guide. The framework and lesson planning. The components within each phase of the framework provide a naturally flowing sequence, each one preparing the ground for the next.

The flexibility of the framework. With insecure false beginners, you may feel the report component is not appropriate. However, with learners who are confident and fluent but very inaccurate, you may want to spend more time on this component. If the topic is familiar and the tasks are short, there may be room for 2 task cycles within one lesson. If the topic is new or unfamiliar, the framework can be split between 2 lessons. The pre-task phase. It will usually be the shortest stage, lasting between 2 and 20 minutes. Advance preparation. A good textbook will have ideas for introducing the topic and the task, and will include preparatory activities for Ss to do. You may perhaps fine-tune the introductory plan to suit your own class, and once the topic i9s clear and the instructions are clearly set out, Ss can be encouraged to read them and plan individually how best to tackle the task. If you are designing your own task, there will be a certain amount of preparation to do beforehand (flashcards, vocabulary-building ideas, etc). Once the preparation is done, you will find during the task cycle that it will be the Ss who are doing most of the work rather thank you. Once the Ss are used to TBL, the can work independently without much T intervention. Theres very little marking to do after the lesson is over, since youll be helping them to edit and improve their own work as they plan their written reports in class. Introducing the topic. First of all you will need to help Ss define the topic area, but, Ss may, especially if they come from other cultures, hold different views on what some topics are about. So, you may have to spend time discussing with the class the different concepts and change that task focus before continuing. Identifying topic Lg. The second step is to help Ss recall and activate words and phrases that will be useful both during the task and outside the classroom. It is often difficult to gauge in advance how much topic-related Lg individual learners will know. The point of the introductory focus on topic and Lg is to boost Ss confidence in handling the task, and give them something to fall back on if necessary. Encourage Ss to pool topic-related words and phrases they know already. You could do this as a teacher-led brainstorming activity, writing the words and phrases on the board. Pre-task Lg activities. Pre-task activities to explore topic LG should actively involve all learners, give them relevant exposure, and create interest in doing a task on this topic.

Heres a selection of pre-task activities which rehearse topic Lg in a stimulating way: Classifying words and phrases: write jumbled-up words and phrases connected with the topic and task. Talk about them as you write, and ask Ss to classify them in different ways. Odd one out: write sets of related words and phrases inserting one item in each set that doesnt fit. Then ask Ss to discuss which the odd one out is and why. Brainstorming and mind-maps: write the main topic word/s in the centre of the board. Encourage Ss to call out other words and phrases, and ask whereabouts on the board you should write them. T recounting a similar experience (and see whether anything similar has ever happened to the Ss). Giving task instructions. The third step is to ensure that all learners understand what the task involves, what its goals are and what outcome is required. If it is a task you have designed yourself, write down the instructions before the lesson and try them pout on a colleague. There are alternative ways to ensure that Ss know how to do the task, and these provide different kinds of learning opportunities: Ss read the instructions by themselves: if your textbook has instructions which are specific enough, as your Ss to read and follow them on their own. T demonstrates the task with a good S: ask a good S to do the task with you, or just the first part if it is a problem-solving task or game. Then ask a pair of Ss to do a similar task together while others watch. You may need to talk to the chosen Ss about this before to give them time to think about it. Teacher plays audio or video recording of fluent speakers doing the task: this works well with experience-sharing tasks and comparing task based on learners own input. T shows the class what previous Ss have achieved. Remember that instruction-giving is a truly communicative use of the target Lg. it provides valuable exposure and a chance for learners to grapple with meaning and so should be considered another learning opportunity. Managing learner talk. Patterns of interaction and turn-taking. The way task is set up will directly influence the amount and quality of talk generated. Here are some typical interaction patterns: Individual Ss carrying out a task on their own; Individual Ss circulating, talking to different Ss; Ss doing a task singly, then exchanging ideas in pairs; Ss in pairs; Ss in groups;

T working with groups or pairs in turn; T working with the whole class. Each way will give rise to different patterns of turn-taking. In the patterns listed above, one person can be designed to lead the discussion and ensure that each person gets an equal chance to contribute. In other cases, speakers within a group or pair have equal rights, and can take turns to speak or choose simply to listen. Logically, the pairwork allows more individual S talk in a given time than groupwork can. The same task can be set up in different ways, resulting in different turn-taking patterns within the group or pair. There are 3 totally different ways of setting this up: In groups, knowing that one person will, after ten minutes, be sent as ambassador to another group, to explain what their own group has decided, and to compare outcomes. With one S chairing a group discussion, to ensure all members have a chance to express an opinion. Another S is asked to take formal minutes, in order to report the groups decision to the class. With each S beginning it in advance, for HW. In class, they explain their decisions to a partner, and reach consensus, justifying their ranking. Mixed level classes. In mixed level pairs or groups, weaker Ss can benefit by hearing what better Ss say, and better Ss too, improve, through having to paraphrase and explain. However, varying grouping is a good idea as it stops Ss paired with slow learners becoming frustrated. If some pairs or groups finish the task or planning stage long before the others, they could join up with another pair who have finished, and tell each other what they did. Talkative Ss. Some Ss perceive tasks as purely vehicles for self-expression and so dominate in any group or pair situation. Try asking a talkative S to be the group chairperson, whose job is to make sure everyone else gets equal chances to talk, Controlling large classes. Big classes may be a problem. The larger that class, the greater the need for small group or pairwork, to give learners more chance to practise speaking. Learning to speak a Lg often involves higher levels of noise and you will have to be considerate of your neighbours. Decide on a signal which means that Ss should lower their voices, and another which means that they should stop altogether until there is total silence. Always give a time limit and never wait for everyone to finish. Next time, your Ss will remember you stick to your time limits and work harder.

Balancing target Lg and mother tongue. Explain to Ss that if they want to communicate in the target Lg, they need to practise. Make sure they realize that doing a task is a leaning opportunity, a chance to practise in the privacy of their small group before having to talk in public in front of the whole class, or even in real life. Banning mother-tongue use altogether may not be advisable. If learners realize they are using the target Lg to communicate, they will still use their mother tongue on occasions, but they will use it in a way which is systematic, supportive and relevant to the task goals. They also use it to explain something complex so that others in the group, or the teacher, could help them express in English. By allowing such use of mother tongue, you are in fact allowing Ss to generate more opportunities for use of the target Lg, not fewer. A good idea is to introduce rules on the mother-tongue use from the start. You will find that because the planning and report stages in the task cycle need doing in the target Lg, this has a wash-back effect on the task itself. And, with encouragement, Ss gradually use more and more target Lg, so that even over a term, mother-tongue use decreases noticeably.