Friday, March 24, 2006

Types of tasks for web-based lessons

There are several ways of grouping task-based activities. For example, Willis (1996) groups them into:  

A. Listing  
B. Ordering 
C. Comparing  
D. Problem solving  
E. Sharing personal experiences 
F. Creative tasks 

Pica, Kanagy and Falodun (1993) classify these activities according to the type of interaction:
A. Jigsaw tasks c Information gaps tasks c Problem-solving tasks  
B. Decision-making tasks c Opinion exchange tasks. 

According to Richards & Rodgers (2002), they can also be classified into: one-way to two-way tasks, convergent or divergent, collaborative or competitive, single or multiple outcomes, concrete or abstract language, simple or complex processing, simple or complex language, reality based or not-reality based. 

For the web-based lesson suggested in this ICT-blog, we will use Willis’s classification (1996). For each type of task , Willis gives the outcome, processes involved, starting points and follow-up tasks. 

Check the summary chart of Willis’s tasks. You can use it as guide to plan your activities for your web based lesson. Remember that the main focus of a task based approach is meaning and communication. 

If you want to do some language exercises (e.g. grammar), you can do that after the follow up activity focusing on the problems students had while doing their tasks during the lesson (Harmer, 2002) .


* Willis, J. (1996). A Framework for Task-Based Learning. (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers). Addison Wesley Publishing Company. 
* Pica, T., R. Kanagy, and J. Falodun (1993). Choosing and using communicative tasks for second language instruction. In G. Crookes and S. 
* Gass (eds.), Tasks and Language learning: Integrating theory and practice. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 9-34 * Richards, J. and Rodgers, T. (2002). Approaches and methods in language teaching. Cambridge University Press. * Harmer, J. (2002). The practice of English language teaching. Longman.


Nahir Aparicio said...


It's me again. There are lots of people sharing what they do. Do I have your permision to disseminate yours? It's so professional!!!

Miguel said...

Sure, Nahir...This is what it is all about: sharing a bit with other EFL teachers interested on ICT.

Denise814 said...

This is information is so valuable. I'll share it with my Master's students. I hope you keep this blog comments for a long time for future reference.

Miguel said...

Wao...Thanks Yuly...It'll be an honor to share this info with your students...

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