Taking Text to Task
Issues and Choices in Curriculum Construction1
Cori Crane |
University of llinois at Urbana-Champaign
This article argues that the construct of task can provide a principled and effective foundation for the development of extended, multi-year curricula and pedagogies for second/foreign language learning of adults. That assertion is made with an important condition: "task" must be expanded, both theoretically and empirically, toward issues that arise in conjunction with textuality and literacy rather than being grounded primarily in psycho linguistic, sentence-oriented processing considerations, as original proposals by Long and Crookes (1992) had suggested.The article presents that overall theoretical argument and then describes how genre-based tasks have been used (1) for selection and sequencing decisions within an existing contentoriented collegiate curriculum in the German Department at Georgetown University; (2) as a way to inform pedagogical choices that target advanced levels of L2 ability, particularly the crucial area of vocabulary development; and (3) to devise genre-based tasks that assess L2 learners' language abilities and content knowledge across the curriculum and also help to further specify learning objectives and curricular choices.