The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Investigating Task-Based Language Teaching in a Big-size Second Language Spoken Classroom

Junming Chen, Xiamen University of Technology, Xiamen (China)


Since the documented record of Prabhu’s (1987) experimental study in Bangalore, India, Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) has become a popular phrase for researchers and teachers. TBLT practices language learning by designing and assigning tasks for learners in the classroom using the target language. It introduces authentic text, stimulates learners’ motivation, and helps learners acquire language with non-linguistic problems. However, although TBLT is assumed to affect learners’ oral language learning positively, previous TBLT investigations found less focus on spoken classrooms and less investigation on big-size classrooms. Therefore, this study seeks to examine how TBLT works in a big-size second language spoken classroom. Specifically, it aims to explore how TBLT facilitate second language learners’ oral learning in a big-size Chinese classroom. The participants were 40 English learners in a spoken English course at a Chinese university that lasted 16 weeks. Two types of tasks, authentic situation tasks and authentic interaction tasks (Ellis, 2003), were employed. Observations included learners’ attendance, willingness to communicate, speaking manners and language progress. Findings showed that TBLT generally benefited oral learning in the big-size second language spoken classroom. Learners showed good attendance during the study. They were active in communication, willing to talk to peers in English and share their stories, and spoke the target language relaxed. Learners also show clear oral communication progress with confident, fluent and complicated speech. Such findings provide a chance to understand better the effects of TBLT on a big-size second language spoken classroom while calling for more research on the detailed benefits of TBLT on oral language development.



TBLT, second language spoken course, English, a big-size classroom



[1] Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[2] Nunan, David. (1989). Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 40-41.

[3] Prabhu,N.S.(1987). Second language pedagogy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



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