SLB: Task-Based Language Teaching Course No. 4

The fourth run of our online TBLT course starts on October 22nd, 2021 and subscription is now open. It’s a 100-hour, online tutored course aimed at classroom teachers, course designers, teacher-trainers, directors of studies and materials writers.

Our premise is that current ELT practice contradicts what we know about how people learn an L2 and is therefore inefficacious. We argue that TBLT — which is aimed at learners’ specific needs and respects what we know about language learning — should take its place, both in traditional and online environments.

The course is built around a series of tasks relating to key aspects of Long’s TBLT, from needs analysis through syllabus and material design to classroom delivery and assessment. Given that many who are attracted to TBLT work in contexts that make Long’s TBLT over-demanding, we also explore lighter, more feasible versions of TBLT that can be adopted by smaller schools or individual teachers working with groups with specific needs.

There will be contributions from the following experts:

Roger Gilabert: An expert on TBLT, Roger worked with Mike Long on several projects and has developed a TBLT course for Catalan journalists. His contributions to our three previous courses have been extremely highly rated by participants.

Marta González-Lloret: Marta did her PhD with Mike Long at the University of Hawai’i, is currently book series co-editor of Task-Based Language Teaching. Issues, Research and Practice, Benjamins, and is espcially interested in using technology-mediated tasks.

Glenn Fulcher: Glenn is a renowned testing & assessment scholar. His (2015) Re-examining Language Testing. A Philosophical and Social Inquiry was winner of the 2016 SAGE/ILTA Book Award, jointly with Fulcher and Davidson (2012) The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing.  He’ll help us with our discussion of task-based, criterion-referenced performance tests.

Cathy Doughty: Cathy is an expert in SLA, and technology & language teaching. She will contribute to our discussions of syllabus design and materials production.

Peter Skehan We’re still waiting for Peter to confirm his acceptance of our invitation. Peter is one of the most influential scholars in SLA, and with a particular interest in TBLT, Peter was the inaugural recipient, along with Mike Long, of the IATBLT’s Distinguished Achievement Award, made in 2017 at the Barcelona conference. Peter will help us get to grips with designing and sequencing pedagogic tasks.

Ljiljana Havran Ljiljana is an experienced teacher and teacher trainer who works in Belgrade. Her blog is one of the most read and respected in the ELT community. Ljiljana will share her experiences of designing and implementing a TBLT course for pilots and air traffic controllers.

Rose Bard Rose Bard works in Brazil and, like Ljiljana, has a blog which enjoys a wide audience. In this course, Rose is going to tell us how she uses Minecraft in her TBLT courses aimed at young learners.

Mike Long: The course will also include exclusive recordings of Mike Long, who inspired Neil and me to design the course, and who contributed to all its earlier versions. As many of you will know, Mike died in February of this year; we dedicate this course to his memory.

1. Now you can choose individual modules or the the whole course. The whole course takes 100 hours and consists of five modules (see below). If you choose to do one or two individual modules, you’ll have the chance to do further modules in later courses to achieve complete certification.

2. We will give more attention to the increasingly important influence of new technologies on the TBLT field. As the tasks people need to perform are increasingly mediated by technologies, so is TBLT itself, with consequences for how TBLT courses are designed and run.

3. Thanks to the truly impressive work of the participants in the three previous courses, we’ve learned a lot about the problems of implementing a full version of Long’s TBLT, and we now better appreciate the need for a flexible case-by-case approach to the design and implementation of any TBLT project. In the third course, we were very pleased to see how each participant slowly developed their own TBLT agenda, working on identifying their own target tasks, breaking these down into relevant pedagogic tasks, finding suitable materials, and bringing all this together using the most appropriate pedagogic procedures. Another gratifying aspect of all the courses has been the way participants have learned from each other; most of the individual participant’s TBLT models contain common elements which have been forged from the forum discussions. So in this course, we’ll make even more effort to ensure that each participant works in accord with their own teaching context, and at the same time contributes to the pooled knowledge and expertese of the group.

1. Neil McMillan and I (both experienced teachers with Ph.Ds) do most of the tutoring.

2. There are 5 modules:

  • Presenting TBLT
  • Designing a TBLT Needs Analysis
  • Designing a task-based pedagogic unit
  • Task-Based Materials:
  •  Facilitating and evaluating tasks

3. Each Module contains:

  • Background reading.
  • A video presentation from the session tutor and/or guest tutors.
  • Interactive exercises to explore key concepts. 
  • An on-going forum discussion with the tutors, guest turors and fellow course participants.
  • An extensive group videoconference session with the tutors and/or guest tutors. 
  • An assessed task (e.g. short essay, presentation, task analysis etc.). 

Sneak Preview

To get more information about the course, and try out a “taster” CLICK HERE