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Our second tutored online Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) kicked off on November 8, 2019 and finished in April 2020. However, you can register interest in our next course via the form below.

Our course is aimed at experienced teachers, teacher-trainers, course managers and course designers, and is run by Geoffrey Jordan and Neil McMillan. It features special guest contributions from TBLT experts Mike Long and Roger Gilabert, and ELT assessment expert Glenn Fulcher.

Please see further below for a detailed description, or take a look at the free preview session.

    For more information on our next TBLT online tutored course in Spring 2020, including definite start dates and early-bird offers, please sign up below.

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    SKU: TBLT2 Category:


    This 90-hour, online tutored course is aimed both at classroom teachers and course designers who are interested in adopting task-based language teaching (TBLT) to deliver English as a second or foreign language. It will also be relevant to teachers of other languages who are interested in this approach, as well as teacher-trainers, directors of studies and materials writers. No prior experience of TBLT is needed but some grounding in the current theory and practice of English language teaching (ELT) will be necessary.

    Our premise is that the established, coursebook-driven approach to teaching English, both in private and public sector ELT around the world, is both inefficient and badly thought through. We set out to make the case why, and to argue that TBLT—which is aimed at learners’ specific needs and respects what we know about language learning—should take its place.

    To do this, we will argue that Mike Long’s version of TBLT is the optimum version. We’ll take you through its implementation from needs analysis through syllabus and material design to classroom delivery. At the same time, however, we acknowledge that Long’s TBLT is a resource-heavy model which is not easily applied in more restricted circumstances. We will therefore be exploring, in parallel, lighter versions of TBLT that could be adopted by smaller schools or individual teachers working with groups with specific needs.

    Course aims

    Overall, the course aims are to:

    • introduce the theory behind Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT)
    • make the case for Long’s TBLT as the optimum version, informed both by research and classroom experience
    • develop lighter versions of this model for adoption in more restricted circumstances
    • take course designers through the steps of designing a TBLT syllabus, from needs analysis to task design and sequencing
    • present a robust model to teachers for implementing and evaluating TBLT in the classroom

    Course structure & dates

    The course is delivered over 12 sessions, most of which are 2 weeks long and require 8 or 9 hours minimum work, and of which 10 have assessments (Session 0 is for orientation only). Participants have the choice of taking all the assessments (or Output tasks) for full certification, or choosing the teacher certification stream (5 Output tasks) or course designer certification (8 Output tasks).

    These differentiated outcomes are due to the fact that Mike Long’s TBLT is not meant to be set up and delivered by teachers alone. However, all participants are expected to take part in all sessions, even if they choose not to complete all Output tasks, in order to get a holistic view of Long’s TBLT.

    The table below outlines course dates, hours required and the differentiation between the streams.

    SessionStartEndTopicMain tutor(s)Assessed?*Time estimated (hrs)
    1Pre-course7/11/19Why TBLT?GeoffNo4
    28/11/1921/11/19How we learn a L2GeoffYes-all8
    322/11/195/12/19Which TBLT?NeilYes-all8
    46/12/1919/12/19Long's TBLT in more detailGeoff, RogerYes-CD8
    Festive break20/12/192/1/20N/AN/AN/AN/A
    53/1/2016/1/20The needs analysis: identifying target tasksGeoffYes-CD9
    617/1/2030/1/20Analysing target discourseNeilYes-CD8
    731/1/206/2/20Mulling it over with Mike LongMikeNo5
    87/2/2020/2/20Syllabus designGeoff, MikeYes-CD9
    106/3/2012/3/20Methodological and Pedagogical PrinciplesGeoffYes-T5
    1113/3/2026/3/20Focus on FormNeilYes-T8
    1227/3/209/4/20TBLT assessment & roundupGeoff, Glenn, NeilYes-CD9

    *‘Yes-all’ means the assessment should be done by all participants; ‘Yes-CD’ means the assessment is required for course designers and is optional for teachers; ‘Yes-T’ means the assessment is required for teachers, and is optional for course designers.

    You can begin the course now by working through Session 1, Why TBLT. This will also give you a feel for the course structure. Most sessions (from Session 2 onwards, starting on November 11 2019) will include:

    • Carefully selected background reading
    • A short (25-30 min) video presentation from the session tutor
    • Interactive exercises to explore key concepts
    • A forum discussion topic to explore with your tutor and fellow course participants
    • A 1-hour group videoconference with your tutor
    • An assessed task (e.g. short essay, presentation, task analysis etc.)

    We estimate that the time needed to work through most sessions (from Session 2 onwards) will be a minimum of 8 hours, including background reading and assessment.

    An outline of all sessions is available at the foot of the main course page.

    Course material, required reading & suggested reading

    There is only one required text:

    • Long, Mike. (2015). Second Language Acquisition and Task-based Language Teaching. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

    Aside from that, course material will be provided on a session-by-session basis.  We also recommend these websites for further reading and exploration:

    The following books and articles are also relevant as a general introduction to TBLT, although not all of these writers agree with each other (see Long’s critique of the approach of the Willises, for example, in Long (2015), pp. 210-212).

    • Long, M. H., Lee, J., & Hillman, K. (in press). Task-based language learning. In: Malovrh, P., & Benati, A. (eds.), Cambridge handbook of language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.*
    • Nunan, David (2004). Task-Based Language Teaching.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Skehan, Peter (2003). Task-based instruction. Language Teaching 36, 1-14.*
    • Willis, Jane (1996). A Framework for Task-based Learning. Longman.
    • Willis, Jane and David Willis (2007). Doing Task-based Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    *These articles will be made available to participants when they sign up, as will other supplementary materials on a session-by-session basis.

    More information

    All other content (c) Serveis Lingüístics de Barcelona, 2018-2019. All rights reserved.

    2 reviews for

    1. sabeyjl (verified owner)

      Comentarios sobre Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT): From Theory to Practice
      ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    2. ljiljah (verified owner)

      Thank you Geoff & Neil for an excellent course!
      The course content and carefully selected reading materials (especially Mike Long’s book on TBLT, 2015) and interesting tutorials and sessions helped me discover what task-based teaching was really about. This was also a unique opportunity to discuss SLA research findings and insights from language teaching with the experts in the field.
      I was particularly interested in Mike Long’s version of TBLT because I found it suitable for ESP – Aviation English courses in the technical secondary school I’m working in now. Also, Long’s version is the only version consistent with SLA theory and it really escapes from the clutches of the PPP approach and explicit grammar teaching of the sort found in coursebooks.
      Although Long’s TBLT is very demanding as learner needs analysis, syllabus design and materials writing involve a lot of work, it pays off and this work doesn’t have to be re-done every time a course is offered. The materials bank (created locally or internationally) enables teachers to share materials, which can greatly reduce preparation time.
      I highly recommend this course on TBLT to all the teachers, teacher-trainers and course designers who are interested in implementing this exciting and efficacious new approach.

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