In 2006 Jane Willis and Corony Edwards won a British Council ELT Innovation award for their book Teachers Exploring Tasks in English Language Teaching and donated their award to finance a scholarship to the IATEFL Exeter Conference in 2008. The number and quality of applications for this scholarship indicated that it should be offered annually. International House have kindly stepped in to 'adopt' this scholarship and there will be two awards a year from Cardiff 2009 for the next three years at least.
Response to Frank in Mexico, who asks:
From grammar-based teaching to task-based teaching - how to help other teachers make the shift (and keep it going)?
Basically, the challenge with TBL is to help teachers understand that, in order to produce learners who really can use English for themselves, we need to shift the main focus of English lessons from grammar to meaning. This is not always easy.
How can you increase writing in a TBL lesson? Can/Should writing be task-based? Two people have written in about this and I have replied - see page 2 of the comments on my first article. If you have ways of incorporating more extensive writing into a task-based lesson - please post your suggestions. Jane's blog is now closed - see our Guest Writer's page to find out who our current blogger is.
In a survey we carried out a few years ago, we asked teachers who were implementing task-based learning in their lessons what their biggest problems were. Nearly everyone mentioned TIME! or rather LACK of it! Time to think up new tasks and prepare lessons, and time to fit tasks into the text book syllabus. And then other teachers suggested answers to these problems.
Albert's Engineering students' needs analysis task, (see his posting), where his students went out and visited an IT company to talk to company employees to find out exactly what its employees used English for, is an excellent example of a real-world task with an outcome that is both useful and sharable with others. The students were able to make recommendations to their teacher about what to include in their course. So it gives them a feeling of empowerment and this should raise individual motivation.
Hello everyone, I've just posted a longish response to Jorgelina from Argentina about TBA and Young Learners at the end of my biography. Do have a look! Jane Jane's blog is now closed - see our Guest Writer's page to find out who our current blogger is.
Hi everyone - I've enjoyed reading your comments at the end of my biography and look forward to getting more comments and queries
Martin Peacock from the British Council carried out a video interview with me about my teaching career and views on ELT issues. You can download a transcript of the interview below.