.Task-based Language Learning and Teaching ( Ellis, 2003 ) together with Planning and Task Performance in Second Language ( Ellis, 2005 ) are among the latest of Rod Ellis ‘ more than two decennaries ‘ part to research in linguistic communication acquisition and instruction. More specifically is his part to research on Second Language acquisition and instruction. He has written on a broad scope of countries of concern in Second Language including developing a model for depicting the field of 2nd linguistic communication acquisition, and countries for farther research ( Ellis 1994 ) , how people learn a linguistic communication other than their female parent lingua ( Ellis 1997 ) , reappraisals of a scope of research in schoolroom acquisition, and developing theories of instructed 2nd linguistic communication acquisition ( Ellis, 1990 ) . Others are his part to learning methodological analysis in 2nd linguistic communication ( Ellis 1999, 2001 ) .
Task-based Language Learning and Teaching ( Ellis 2003 ) is first, and foremost about what undertaking in linguistic communication acquisition and instruction is. This in-depth book thoroughly covers several of import subjects on undertakings in linguistic communication acquisition and instruction. As a fillip, it reviews other literature on this facet of linguistic communication teaching method, and thereby efforts to get married theory and pattern. It is of import to therefore expression at the subjects that have been covered by this text book.
Language acquisition and teaching method
There is a clear statement by Ellis ( 2003 ) in chapter 1 particularly that there is an interrelatedness between undertakings and larning. All the four accomplishments of linguistic communication acquisition may be cardinal in these undertakings. When utilizing talking undertakings, for illustration, Ellis argues that the instructor should be careful to distinguish between ‘focused ‘ and ‘unfocused ‘ undertakings. Focused activities may help linguistic communication acquisition through the activation of linguistic communication eloquence and cognition building. For illustration a ‘focused ‘ undertaking may affect giving verbal way on how to make point B from A. This manner, both eloquence in linguistic communication being learned is improved and cognitive accomplishments enhanced. Therefore, the usage of appropriate pedagogical accomplishments and linguistic communication acquisition are linked.
Ellis ( 2003 ) attempts to convey out clearer apprehension of undertakings in linguistic communication acquisition. He has argued that what most instructors consider to be undertakings are what he calls ‘task-supported ‘ classs. Tasks emerge as work programs touching on any of the linguistic communication accomplishments, and involves real-world procedures of linguistic communication usage ( Ellis 2003: 11 ff ) . Undertakings in linguistic communication acquisition engages cognitive procedures and have a clearly defined communicative result. He, nevertheless, acknowledges that there are dissensions among research workers as to what constitutes a undertaking, doing the definition problematic ( Crookes 1986: 1 ) . Ellis, hence, gives a figure of definitions of undertaking drawn from research and pedagogic literatures.
These definitions address a figure of dimensions such as the range of a undertaking, the position from which it is viewed, the genuineness of the undertaking, the lingual accomplishments required to execute a undertaking, the psychological procedures involved in undertaking public presentation and the result of a undertaking ( Ellis 2003:2 ) . The writers whose definitions of undertaking are given include Long ( 1985 ) ; Richards, Platt and Weber ( 1985 ) ; Nunan ( 1989 ) : Alistair cookes ( 1986 ) ; Breen ( 1989 ) and Prabhu ( 1987 ) .
In chapter 2 Ellis ( 2003 ) clearly lays accent on listening undertakings as portion of the four linguistic communication accomplishments. He notes that listening is cardinal in linguistic communication acquisition. He differentiates between listening for comprehension and listening for larning. In position of this difference, there would be need to change undertakings and schemes for listening and develop certain scheme for listening. Note-taking, for illustration, is one such undertakings that aids listening for larning new cognition. He notes that research workers and instructors have their ain purposes in prosecuting hearing as a linguistic communication accomplishment. For research workers, listening provides agencies for look intoing scholars ‘ ability to treat specific lingual characteristics ( Ellis 2003: 37 ) . In position of this, he suggests that focused undertakings can be devised by ‘seeding ‘ the input with the targeted characteristic and planing the undertaking in such a manner that the merchandise result can merely be achieved if the scholars are successful in treating the targeted characteristic. Therefore, listening undertakings provide an first-class agencies for mensurating whether scholars have acquired the characteristic in inquiry. On the other manus, listening accomplishments can be devised to ease the acquisition of the targeted characteristic ( Ellis 2003: 37 ) .
Ellis ( 2003: ) describes how listening undertakings may supply instructors with an chance for a task-based class designed for low-proficiency scholars, such as simple listening undertakings, or they may, like research workers, use listening undertakings to show the pupils with input enriched with specific characteristics they wish to aim. For research workers there are two inquiries refering listening that recur. The first is what consequence the belongingss of the undertaking have on hearers ‘ comprehension, and secondly, what consequence the belongingss of the undertaking have on 2nd linguistic communication acquisition. Underliing these two inquiries are the two different maps of listening, listening-to-comprehend and listening-to-learn. Of important importance is to what extent the two sorts of procedures involved in groking and larning from input are the same or different. Ellis studies that applied linguists now by and large agree that listening is an active instead than a inactive accomplishment ( Ellis 2003: 39 ) . Anderson and Lynch ( 1988 ) position hearers as active ‘model builders ‘ instead than people who merely receive information. Rost ( 1990 ) suggests that listening involves ‘interpretation ‘ instead than ‘comprehension ‘ because hearers are involved in hypothesis-testing and inferencing, non merely decrypting what is said. Further Ellis brings to the reader ‘s attending Brown ‘s ( 1995 ) statement that listening is a procedure by which hearers construct ‘shared common beliefs ‘ instead than ‘shared common cognition ‘
Language Learning through Social Interaction
Learning linguistic communication through interaction seems to be a perennial subject of this writer ( see Ellis and Foto 1999 ) . Social interaction between scholars as a beginning of input and agencies of acquisition is given prominence in chapter 3. Harmonizing to the Interaction Hypothesis, scholars excessively contribute to linguistic communication input and acquisition. In line with this theory, three facets of undertakings and linguistic communication are dealt with in this chapter. These are the dialogue of significance, communicative schemes and communicative effectivity. By supplying grounds Ellis ( 2003 ) argues that there are a figure of design and execution characteristics that have a great influence on interaction. Ellis discusses cases of dialogue of significance as a scheme ( Ellis 2003:69 ) which linguistic communication scholars use to rectify themselves, utility content or even conversation. He besides discusses how different research workers use different footings to depict these schemes. For illustration, he discusses Varonis & A ; Gas ‘s ( 1988:74 ) proposed theoretical account for deciding misinterpretation. He besides emphasises that most research workers agree on four schemes of dialogue of intending viz: ( I ) comprehension cheques ( two ) elucidation petitions ( three ) verification cheques and ( four ) recasts. Recasts are defined as an vocalization that rephrases an vocalization by altering one or more of its sentence constituents ( capable, verb or object ) , while still mentioning to its cardinal significances ( Long 1996: 436 ) . . Other research workers such as Rulon and McCreary ( 1986 ) have coined another term dialogue of content alternatively of significance.
Productive Activities and Skills
Although productive activities and accomplishments have been touched on in other chapters, they are given more prominence in chapter 4. To the extent that both focussed and unfocussed undertakings benefit from production activities ( Ellis 2003: 103 ) , the measure, quality, eloquence, truth and complexness of end product is is given much accent here. Language scholars normally desire eloquence, truth and flawless address. In order to turn to this, Ellis ( 2003 ) tackles how lingual cognition is represented, the procedure of cognition in production, and how lingual cognition contribute to linguistic communication acquisition. Ellis ( 2003 ) explains that variables impacting undertaking design have had a big influence on complexness, and besides sets the conditions which elicit progressive complexness ( 126-127 ) . In understanding with surveies by Krashen ( 1978 ) Ellis explains that in order to advance truth more clip should be given to Second Language talkers. Meanwhile strategic planning should be put in topographic point to better eloquence and complexness. He recommends striking a balance between truth and eloquence or else excessively much accent on one will impact the other.
This book gives prominence to focussed undertakings in chapter 5. Focused undertakings are those activities that a specific productive acquisition purposes at as its aim, or they are tasks employed to arouse usage of specific lingual characteristics, either by design or by the usage of methodological processs that focus attending on signifier in the execution of a undertaking ( Ellis 2003:141 ) . For case, students may be given undertakings which ask them to execute certain functions, and undertakings are given which incorporates both linguistic communication exercising and job resolution. Through the focussed undertakings, linguistic communication accomplishments every bit good as job resolution accomplishments are exercised. On the other manus, unfocussed undertakings may non specifically have productive linguistic communication larning aims although other linguistic communication accomplishments may be used. Ellis ( 2003 ) emphasises the demand to do a clear limit, for case, between focused activity and grammar drill. Focused activity purposes at the content while grammar purposes at signifier of the linguistic communication.
Contextual and Cultural Differences
Not many linguistic communication authors pay attending to contextual and cultural issues as Ellis does in chapter six. He addresses the differences produced by contextual and cultural differences, which, he argues, modifies and affects the consequences of each undertaking. It may be argued that real-life undertakings are contextual and culture-oriented. A task-based international book published in Australia, for illustration, may non arouse predictable activities among students in Africa, India or China. Harmonizing to Ellis ( 2003 ) because undertakings may be contextual, a wholly different activity may originate from a undertaking planned by the instructor in his lesson design. This, nevertheless, does non bespeak hapless planning or instruction by the instructor. There is hence a demand for research in sociocultural tradition ( Ellis 2003:2 ) in 2nd linguistic communication acquisition.
The 2nd half of this book is intended to ease practical instruction, and covers many subjects related to lesson design and instructors ‘ processs in learning.
Lesson Design and Participatory Structures
How does task-based linguistic communication acquisition ( TBLL ) affect class design, types of undertakings, lesson content and instructors ‘ processs for implementing TBLL? These are issues that are given equal attending by Ellis in chapter 7. In chapter 8 accent is on the practical ways of making TBLL. Various methodological facets underlying professional pattern and Ellis ‘ conceptualization of TBLL is outlined. Lesson design and participatory constructions are laid out clearly. Clear instructions on design and instructors ‘ undertaking public presentation are covered. This subdivision offers more than a complementary screen to what Willis ( 1996 ) and Skehan ( 1998 ) have done on task-based acquisition and instruction.
For case, Ellis deals with a figure of of import issues that none of the above writers tackle. Ellis ( 2003 ) has in this subdivision discussed degrees of undertaking trouble, ends and public presentation orientation. An of import country possibly, is the pupils ‘ active function and the demand for their self-evaluation of advancement and public presentation. Other subjects covered include chances to concentrate on signifier, taking hazards and concentrate on significance.
As in all acquisition and instruction environments, appraisal is of import in task-based linguistic communication acquisition. In TBLL, undertakings are encouraged to organize the anchor of appraisal. Hot subjects in appraisal such as genuineness, cogency and dependability are reviewed by Ellis in chapter 9, and so is the affair of processs to execute task-based rating. Harmonizing to Ellis the foundations in task-based appraisal is that undertakings have to be meaningful and should reflect what has been taught. Tasks non merely necessitate to demo what is being learnt, but how acquisition is traveling on. Task-based appraisal can be used to mensurate long term acquisition and Ellis advises that they should be used together with other assessment types.
Criticism of Task-based Courses
In chapter 10 Ellis offers a review of task-based classs. Harmonizing to Ellis ( 2003 ) most instructors use task-supported classs instead than task-based 1s. He suggests that most of the alleged undertakings are ‘chunks ‘ of work instead than taking procedures. He explains that cultural and execution grounds have created the current incredulity towards task-based acquisition among applied linguists. However, he suggests that most troubles in TBLL can be overcome. Compared to Skehan ( 1998 ) and Willis ( 1996 ) , Ellis openly presents troubles that may originate in TBLL and the demand for more research in those hard countries.
Task-based Language acquisition and instruction ( Ellis 2003 ) is a response to inquiries that have been raised about the cogency of TBLL. Ellis brings up new theories and thoughts that attempt to turn to issues that have earlier on dour TBLL. An of import facet of this book is how Ellis has been able to summarize the latest surveies and analysis of them. The book has a current annotated Bibliography and glossary at the terminal to ease the reading and handiness of stuff to the reader.
The book has some strengths every bit good as defects. For research workers in task-based linguistic communication acquisition and learning it has in-depth stuffs, but for instructors the information may be excessively inordinate. However, Ellis uses a batch of drumhead and hence makes the book easier to synthesize.