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TBLT: From theory to practice (Jan23)

(2 customer reviews)


Our fourth tutored online Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) course is now available for booking! This is a 100-hour course spread over 6 months to suit busy teachers, beginning January 20th 2023 (with pre-course activities from January 6th) and ending in early July, 2023. It includes contributions from TBLT, instructional design and assessment experts Peter Skehan, Roger Gilabert, Marta González-Lloret, Rose Bard and Glenn Fulcher, as well as recordings of the late Michael Long. The main tutors, Geoffrey Jordan and Neil McMillan, have written a chapter on this course for the illustrious Cambridge Handbook of Task-Based Language Teaching, edited by Mike Long and Mohammad Ahmadian (2021).

A free introductory taster session, Why TBLT?, is open now. Further sessions will open according to the course schedule once you have signed up.

Participants can sign up for individual modules or the whole course. Further modules can be taken in future iterations of the course to achieve complete certification.

Please see further below for a detailed description and module dates. You can contact us with any questions about future courses via the form on our home page, or sign up directly below these glowing testimonials!

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SKU: TBLT4-2-JAN23 Category:


This 100-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 dominant, structure-by-structure approach to teaching English and other languages, both in private and public sector contexts around the world, is inefficacious. 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, both in traditional and online environments.

To do this, we will argue that Mike Long’s version of TBLT is the optimum version. Our 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. 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.

We will also look at 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.

Course aims

Overall, the course aims are to:

  • Introduce, explore and connect the theory and practice of Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT)
  • Make the case for Long’s TBLT as the optimum version, informed both by research and classroom experience
  • Present lighter versions of this model for adoption in more restricted circumstances
  • Explore the implications of technology for TBLT
  • Prepare teachers and course designers to implement TBLT in a relevant context

Course structure & dates

The main part of the course is divided into five modules, with additional unassessed pre-course and mid-course modules. Each module, composed of two or three sessions and lasting 4-5 weeks, is built around a specific Output task which is linked to the wider project of developing and implementing a TBLT course. Most sessions take place over two weeks. Overall, we estimate that participants will need to dedicate 4-5 hours per week to the course, including background reading and assessment, with a total commitment of around 20 hours per module and 100 hours for the whole course.

The table below summarises the course structure and key dates.

Module/Output taskSessionStartEndMain tutor(s)Time estimated (hrs)
Why TBLT?Now available19/1/23Geoff4
1: Presenting TBLT
: Introduce TBLT to teaching staff in a relevant context
How we learn a L220/1/232/3/23Geoff8
Which TBLT?3/2/239/2/23Neil5
Long's TBLT in more detail10/2/2323/2/23Geoff, Roger8
2: Designing a TBLT Needs Analysis
: Outline a procedure for conducting an NA in your chosen context
Identifying target tasks24/2/239/3/23Geoff9
Needs analysis for tech and TENOR10/3/2323/3/23Neil8
Mid-course reflection weekMulling it over with Mike & Marta24/3/2330/3/23Roger, Marta4
Easter/Spring breakN/A31/3/2313/4/23N/AN/A
3: Designing a task-based pedagogic unit
: Suggest a sequence of tasks for a specific group of learners
Introducing pedagogic task design14/4/2327/4/23Neil, Rose9
Sequencing pedagogic tasks28/4/2311/5/23Geoff, Mike8
4: Task- Based Materials: Produce task-based materialPrinciples of Task-Based Material Design12/5/2325/5/23Neil8
Materials in Tech-Mediated TBLT26/5/232/6/23Marta, Neil5
5: Facilitating and evaluating tasks: Evaluate both teacher and student performance in a task-based learning environmentFocus on Form3/6/2315/6/23Neil8
Task-based assessment16/6/2329/6/23Geoff, Glenn, Neil9
Post courseEvaluating TBLT & course wrap-up30/6/236/7/23Geoff, Neil5

Most sessions include:

  • Carefully selected background reading
  • A video presentation from the session tutor (approx 30m)
  • 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 a tutor (Certificate of Completion only)
  • An Output task (e.g. short essay, presentation, task analysis etc.)

Course material, required reading & suggested reading

There is only one set text which participants need to acquire for themselves:

  • 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

  • Please use the contact form on our home page and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
  • The featured image is by by Wonderlane on Unsplash.
  • All other content (c) Serveis Lingüístics de Barcelona, 2018-2022. All rights reserved.

Additional information

Course component

Whole course, Module 1: Presenting TBLT, Module 2: TBLT Needs Analysis, Module 3: Designing pedagogic tasks, Module 4: Making TBLT materials, Module 5: Facilitating, supporting and evaluating task performance

2 reviews for TBLT: From theory to practice (Jan23)

  1. Claudia Fernández (verified owner)

    This course is so worth it! I have learned so much about how TBLT plays a central role in truly high-quality language teaching! Everything that I wanted to learn or better understand about needs analysis, pedagogic tasks, technology-mediated TBLT, and teaching materials found it here, and more. The course is extremely well-organized, the content and guest speakers are top-notch, and Neil’s and Jordan’s delivery is stellar. I *cannot* recommend this course enough!

  2. Phil Mathias (verified owner)

    This is a course packed with information and practical assignments that leave you understanding why TBLT is effective and how to apply it to your own teaching contexts. It covers the latest in research and methodology, with Geoff and Neil providing their full expertise and support, and plenty of opportunities to interact and share with the other participants. There’s a workload to get through but I found the course well-paced and manageable. Highly recommended!

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