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.


Help! Someone emailed me about the way they had introduced TBL by doing a short task cycle - with the same format - at the start of every lesson - to give students a chance for real speaking and to get them used to doing tasks.

But I have had computer problems and that email has disappered. It was a great idea and  I want to put it on this blog - can you please re-send?  Big thanks!

Hello Jane,

I just saw your note. Sorry to hear about the computer gremlins. Much of this has been adapted from ideas in your books on task based learning. I hope it can help.





One time saving suggestion I might add here would be to repeat activities
with diffterent contents. For example, we recently began using a short task activity
at the start of each lesson with 13 year olds in Japan. The goal is for students to
understand how to work through the steps of the activity and undertsand
what to do at each step. The L1 may be used to explain, if needed.

Warm up by asking what snacks are popular. Get lots of ideas from the
learners. List these on the board. Next, present a list of five snacks to
rank from 1 to 5 in popularity in the class. This is a teacher prepared
print. The 5th slot is for 'anything else' not mentioned in snacks 1-4. We
ask students to imagine the results of the survey, ranking the snacks from
1 through 5. The students then interview 5 friends to get speaking and
listening practice, and confirm their guess.

We follow up with a teacher led discussion of 'who did you interview' and
'what did they say'. Finally, all students are asked to vote for one snack.
We tally the results and compare guesses with the actual results. Finally a
short chat about the snacks, descriptions, and their merits. If time allows, writing up the results might be a good follow up when interest is high. After this

short 15 minute task, the class continues with the formal textbook lesson.

In the following weeks, we will work through favorite TV programs, rice
ball tastes, comic books, and so on. The task format will stay the same. As
the students understand the task format, they will create their own surveys
to try out in class. They become better at carrying out each task stage.
Recycling tasks with new content can help to save time. And once a
foundation has been set, the tasks can be expanded.