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TBLT: From theory to practice (Jan24)


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Our fifth tutored online Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) course is now underway, but you can still subscribe to individual modules. The next one, on task-based material design, runs from 10/5/24 to 23/5//24.

Our full 100-hour course is spread over 6 months to suit busy teachers, with approximately 5 hours per week required to complete the tasks. It includes contributions from TBLT and assessment experts Peter Skehan, Roger Gilabert, Marta González-Lloret 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 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 still sign up for individual modules. 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, and please check out these glowing reviews on earlier iterations of our course here and here.

SKU: TBLT5-2-JAN24-1 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 sections. 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 available18/1/23Geoff4
1: Presenting TBLT
: Introduce TBLT to teaching staff in a relevant context
How we learn a L219/1/231/2/24Geoff8
Which TBLT?2/2/248/2/24Neil5
Long's TBLT in more detail9/2/2422/2/24Geoff, Roger8
2: Designing a TBLT Needs Analysis
: Outline a procedure for conducting an NA in your chosen context
Identifying target tasks23/2/247/3/24Geoff9
Needs analysis for tech and "LNP"8/3/2421/3/24Neil8
Easter/Spring breakN/A22/3/244/4/24N/AN/A
Mid-course reflection weekMulling it over with Mike & Marta5/4/2411/4/24Neil, Geoff, Marta4
3: Designing a task-based pedagogic unit
: Suggest a sequence of tasks for a specific group of learners
Introducing pedagogic task design12/4/2425/4/24Neil9
Sequencing pedagogic tasks26/4/249/5/24Geoff, Mike8
4: Task- Based Materials: Produce task-based materialPrinciples of Task-Based Material Design10/5/2423/5/24Neil8
Materials in Tech-Mediated TBLT24/5/2430/5/24Marta, Neil5
5: Facilitating and evaluating tasks: Evaluate both teacher and student performance in a task-based learning environmentFacilitating task performance1/6/2413/6/24Neil8
Task-based assessment14/6/2427/6/24Geoff, Glenn, Neil9
Post courseCourse wrap-up28/6/244/7/24Geoff, 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

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 (articles, chapters, video and audio content) will be provided 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 Virgil Cayasa on Unsplash
  • All other content (c) Serveis Lingüístics de Barcelona, 2018-2024. 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


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