Edited by Virginia Samuda, Kris Van den Branden and Martin Bygate
[Task-Based Language Teaching 12] 2018
► pp. 72–95
Chapter 3. Teacher perceptions and use of tasks in school ESL classrooms
Although Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) is becoming increasingly popular among researchers and practitioners worldwide, teachers’ perceptions about tasks and their use within school classrooms have received scant attention in the literature. Given that perceptions about ‘task’ influence pedagogy, not only in terms of syllabus design, but also with respect to classroom approaches, teaching style, assessment methods and ultimately even learning outcomes, there is a real need to investigate them in the classroom context. This chapter presents findings of a research study with this aim.
Primary and secondary school ESL teachers in Western Australia were surveyed, and written samples of the tasks they use were collected and analyzed to reveal the ways teachers design tasks, define their aims and assess students’ performance. The results indicate that there is little consistency among teachers in relation to these things. The survey data clearly indicates different levels of teacher awareness of TBLT. At the same time, differences in task definition and design by these practitioners might be partially attributed to the inconsistency that exists in the literature itself. The findings are discussed in light of this, and suggestions for pedagogy made.