An Economical Approach towards Interaction in the L2 Classroom: A Task-based Learning Experiment

| March 25, 2008
An Economical Approach towards Interaction in the L2 Classroom: A Task-based Learning Experiment

Keywords: analysis of learning tasks, clustered tasks, meaningful interaction, enhancement of interlanguage

Nilton Hitotuzi
Secretaria de Educai§i£o do Estado do Amazonas (SEDUC-AM)*
Fundai§i£o de Amparo i  Pesquisa do Estado do Amazonas (FAPEAM)

Bio Data
Nilton Hitotuzi holds an MA in TEFL/TESL from the University of Birmingham and a BA in Liberal Arts from the Federal University of Amazonas. He has taught General English and Composition at the Federal University of Amazonas, and General English at the State University of Amazonas. Currently he is on sabbatical from the Amazonas State Department of Education, studying for a doctorate in TEFL at the Federal University of Bahia. He is interested in teaching methodologies, formal pronunciation teaching, process drama, and classroom research.

This paper reports on a piece of classroom research involving a group of Liberal Arts/TEFL undergraduates from the Federal University of Amazonas. Informed by Jane Willis s framework for task-based language learning and Michael Breen s insights into the involvement of learners in the evaluation of learning task cycles, a unit of study was designed and implemented to experiment with clustered tasks as a means of maintaining peer-peer oral/aural interaction in the classroom at substantial levels. While the results indicate that Breen s suggestion is effective in keeping learners engaged in meaningful interactions in the classroom for an extended period of time, it is still only intuitively established that Willis s framework is an adequate way of dealing with the focus-on-form versus focus-on-use dilemma in the second/foreign language classroom. A key assumption underlying the experiment is that the longer learners use the target language to communicate in the classroom the more their interlanguage is enhanced. Furthermore, it is suggested that this analytical approach can be an alternative to the task-repetition approach proposed by Martin Bygate.

See page 228-258

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 10 Issue 1