Edited by Martin Bygate
[Task-Based Language Teaching 11] 2018
► pp. 193–222
Chapter 8. Perform, reflect, recycle
Enhancing task repetition in second language speaking classes
In this chapter I review my research into the benefits of various forms of internal repetition in speaking tasks created for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses at the University of Edinburgh. A common objective of the tasks was that they should create a context for language learners to recycle their performance – adapting and modifying their previous output, rather than merely doing the same thing again. I discuss four different speaking tasks and analyze the specific forms of recycling that they involved. After summarizing the evidence that each promoted improved learners’ spoken output in later task cycles, I contrast the findings with those from my recent replication study. In that study, I used one of the speaking tasks in a different pedagogic context, and found virtually no change in learners’ performances. I will suggest how this difference in uptake might stem from the way in which participants translated task-as-workplan into task-in-process, as well as from other contextual factors. Drawing on this synthesis of two decades of research, I propose a model of task recycling that incorporates the use of reflection activities, feedback, and comparator recordings, through which teachers can help second language learners to recycle and enhance their spoken English output.
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