Task – based language teaching

Task – based language teaching is activity that deals with primarily meaning focused language use. Though learners should pay attention to meaning and form the aim of task – based class is using of the language in the real situation which can be unpredictable or unplanned. According to Ellis (2004), there are some criteria which can be identified as:

  • A task is a work plan, which means, a task constitutes a plan for learner activity. This teaching plan can be from existing learning material.
  • A task involves a primary focus on meaning; this task engages learners in using language pragmatically rather than displaying language. For example, initially information is presented  with a lack of some details. Learners are supposed to fill that gap of information.
  • A task involves real world processes of language use. The work plan may require learners to engage in a language activity such as that found in the real world, such as completing a form, dealing with misunderstandings.
  • A task can involve any of the four language skills. The work plan may require learners to: listen to or read a text and display their understanding, produce oral or written text, or employ a combination of receptive and productive skills.
  • A task engages cognitive processes. The work plan requires learners to employ cognitive process such as selecting, classifying, ordering, reasoning, and evaluating information in order to carry out the task.
  • A task has a clearly defined communicative outcome. The work plan stipulates the non-linguistic outcome of the task, which serves as a goal of the activity for the learners.

As a conclusion, this teaching becomes gradually more and more popular. In secondary schools in Kosova, they are usually applying task – based language teaching. By teaching 8 to 10 years old learners, I am applying this teaching too, but only during practicing, and for the vocabulary of these learners is quite limited, the quality of conversation is not very high, but it is improving after each practicing.




Rod Ellis, (2004) “Task – based Language Learning and Teaching” retrieved on 30.11.2013 from http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=coO0bxnBeRgC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=task-based+language+teaching+in+foreign+language+contexts&ots=sUB531qxsV&sig=zqwcdeuYU-T4TJMXvrZ_Uqmg5Jg#v=onepage&q=task-based%20language%20teaching%20in%20foreign%20language%20contexts&f=false



I agree that motivation, age, language learning strategies are the most important factors that influence learning second language, but I do not agree that gender has any impact in learning a second language.

According to my experience it does not matter if the learner is male or female. If the learner was motivated and had good conditions to learn, I could not notice that one gender was more successful than the other. Probably, by choosing a technical topic, male learners acquire easier new expressions than female learners, but it is because of field of interest, with other words because of their motivation. It is known that young people, especially children learn easier second languages, but if the child does not want to learn other language and is pushed to do it, in compare with elder person who is highly motivated, the child will have worse outcome. So, again is it because of motivation. Though, motivation is divided in instrumental and integrative motivation, research of Richard Schmidt showed that “…it did not seem to matter whether learners held integrative or instrumental orientations towards English. What mattered was that some learners were highly oriented towards the goal of learning English for both types of reasons (and others besides), while others attributed little value of any kind to the study of English.”(p.313). The statement that both, integrative and instrumental motivation are crucial elements of success, it is integrative motivation which has been found to sustain long-term success when learning a second language (Ellis 1997; Taylor, Crookes et al 1991; Meynard and Rheault 1977) is challenged by my personal experience. In the secondary school I learned German language. I was not the best student, but one of the good students. At that time, according to definitions for both kind of motivation, my motivation was instrumental. After I completed the school I did not have any contact with German language in any way for ten years. When I went to Switzerland, ten years after I completed the secondary school, it took only couple of days till I have started talking in German. The words came on my mind, simply the right word at right time as it was a day before and not ten years ago that I learned the language. My opinion is that if somebody does not use learned language it is equal what motivation he/she has had initially, they will “forget” the language till they need it, and if they use the language, it is the same what motivation they initially have had, both will be confident in using it.

Learning strategies are also very important for second language learning and there were some studies which have found links between motivation for language learning and reported strategy use. Oxford and Nyikos (1989) found that motivation was the best predictor of strategy use in a large-scale study of university students. More motivated students used learning strategies of all kinds more often than did less motivated students.

Taking in consideration all these I wrote, it seems that motivation is the most important stimulus for second language learning.



Richard Schmidt, Motivation, strategy use, and Pedagogical preferences in foreign language learning, 313.

Oxford, R., & Nyikos, M. (1989). Variables affecting choice of language learning strategies by university students. The Modern Language Journal, 73, 291–300.



Assignment 2 – the fifth grade students



Describe your best friend. Write what are you doing together.


Write in English language, write only one paragraph with about 100 words using, among the others, words:

friend,   play,   see,   best,   help,  meet,   listen to,  share,   gift,  birthday,   party,   give, take,  together,   new,   old,  …

Grading will be as followed:

Well formulated paragraph and all words I recommended were used                         3 points

Lack of mistakes in vocabulary and grammar                                                                              3 points

Well expressed idea                                                                                                                                      2 points

Use of all words I recommended, but severe mistakes in grammar or spelling         1 point

Some words I recommended were not used, but the writing is without mistakes.  1 point






The assignment 1- Five Grade Students



Describe your school and your class.

Write in English language, write only one paragraph with about 100 words using, among the others, words:

learn,   play,   read,   write,   listen,   like,   do not like,   teacher,   friends,   girl,   boy, pupil,   big,   small,   new,   old,  …

Grading will be as followed:

Well formulated paragraph and all words I recommended were used                         3 points

Lack of mistakes in vocabulary and grammar                                                                              3 points

Well expressed idea                                                                                                                                      2 points

Use of all words I recommended, but severe mistakes in grammar or spelling         1 point

Some words I recommended were not used, but the writing is without mistakes.  1 point