TBLT Tuesdays 2022

A series of online talks from leading figures in TBLT

All sessions free of charge and at Japan Standard Time.
Poster available here. Please feel free to print out and  place in your teaching institution.

Tuesday, October 25th, 7:00pm

“Methodological issues in exploring task-based speech production processes”

Andrea Revesz
University College London

The last few decades have seen significant advances in describing and understanding the behaviours of L2 speakers during task-based work. Less is known, however, about the neurocognitive processes in which L2 speakers engage. In this talk, I will first propose that, to promote L2 theory-building and advance task-based pedagogy, it is essential that more research attention is allocated to task-generated processes. Then, I will turn to a review of various methods that have been used to explore task-based processes. I will also demonstrate how an interdisciplinary approach, combining cognitive and neuroscience methods, can help us obtain a fuller and more complete understanding of L2 speech production. In doing so, I will draw on my own and colleagues’ work examining the processes in which L2 learners engage during oral task performance. I will end the talk with methodological recommendations for future task-based research into speech production processes.

Register for Andrea Revesz, Tuesday October 25th

Tuesday, November 15th, 8:30pm

“Learner engagement and TBLT: Marrying the wisdom of teachers and researchers”

Masatoshi Sato
Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile.

In this seminar, I will critically evaluate TBLT research and its relevance to second language (L2) teaching. On the one hand, researchers have produced an amount of evidence supporting the impact of task-based interaction on L2 learning. This research has primarily investigated the nature of tasks, implementation processes of tasks, and students’ and teachers’ perceptions of tasks. On the other hand, teachers around the globe have reported difficulties when they implement tasks in their classes. Those include the lack of L2 production, first language use, and social relationships between learners, all indicating that learners may not engage with a task even when its effectiveness has been proven by researchers. To tackle this gap, I will explore psychological and social variables that may mediate learner engagement with tasks. I will argue that one option to increase learner engagement is to manipulate learner beliefs of and attitudes towards tasks. I will conclude the seminar by proposing research directions that may ultimately aid teachers to use tasks in more effective and efficient ways.

Register for Masatoshi Sato, Tuesday November 15th

Tuesday, December 6th, 7:00pm

“Do we really know what a task is? Insights and from textbook analysis”

 Jonathan Newton
Victoria University of Wellington

Commercially published ELT textbooks are the mainstay of many language classrooms around the world, and especially in Asia. Growing awareness of, and policy mandates for some version of TBLT raise the question of what affordances for teaching with tasks are available in these textbooks. In this talk, I present findings from an analysis and coding of textbooks activities from a selection of widely used secondary school textbook series in China and Vietnam. The analysis drew on the four features of tasks proposed by Ellis (2018): a primary focus on meaning, a gap, learners relying on their own resources, and a communitive outcome. The analysis revealed complexities and fuzziness around these constructs which need to be addressed if they are to be of practical use to teachers. The talk focuses on how the problems encountered in coding textbook activities were resolved and on steps to develop a heuristic that teachers could use to identify and maximize affordances for TBLT in the textbooks they use.

Register for Jonathan Newton, Tuesday December 6th