Teaching Methods part 3

English Notes
BSL Video
Teaching Methods part 3
Here we will provide more information about the TBLT method and how it works by giving an example.  Tasks are given to students and can be set at different levels.  Beginner level sign language learners will be set tasks appropriate to that level, for example, you may ask the students to look at a street map of a town and, in order to teach, for example, placement, ask the students to give directions from the university or college to the train station, which is near where you live.  The students will have to think carefully how to plan the route and then use the signing space to sign directions, showing how to get to the train station.  This is the type of activity that would be given for this level.  

As the learning level progresses, the task complexity will increase.  For example, at a more advanced level, you might set a group task asking the group to discuss booking a holiday in sign language.  The group will discuss holiday booking details, such as how to get there, the duration and price, and how many people are going.  After a thorough discussion, the group will sign the information that they have decided on, for example, the responses might be 'by plane, five of us are going for one month and we want the cost to be a maximum of £1,000'. Here the teacher may encourage the students to act out a role-play of a travel agent and customer to extend the task of booking a holiday and the result is that, through the task, the students have indirectly learnt, in BSL in this case, some of the underlying aims of the course.      

At an even more advanced level of learning, the teacher may set the students the task of, for example again, applying to go to a university of their choice.  So the students will have to plan the information that they are going to sign related to this task.  Pertaining to the British system, this may involve approaching UCAS for information regarding qualification requirements and other background information that they need, discussing finances and if a grant is required, considering the availability of courses, which university to select and so on and so on.  This task requires more complex information to be signed compared to the first example task of signing directions from a map and the next level task of booking a holiday.
So you can see how the difficulty of the task level increases as the level of language learning progresses. This is what is meant by task based language learning and this has given you an example of how it works.


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