Relevance of a task-based Approach to English Language Learning based on the Organising Principle of Modules, Units and Tasks.
In Hong Kong, many primary schools adapt task-based approach in school-based English language curriculum. Using task-based approach, learners should have opportunity to interact with someone in school, in addition, comprehensible and purposeful activities in the approach can motivate learners to achieve a sense of achievement (The Curriculum Development Council, 2004). Sometimes, those activities can give learners a sense of achievement. In my point of view, adopting task-based approach can benefit students because of above advantages, this approach can also train students to develop their generic skills and apply what they learn in real life. Quality of tasks is critical in the approach and this time, I also design a unit of tasks for primary students.
There are five tasks in this unit. The outline of sample tasks can refer to appendix 1. The module and unit of sample tasks is ‘relationships’ and ‘nice to meet you’ respectively. Under this unit, there are four tasks for students to complete. After finishing those four tasks, learners have to use what they learnt in previous tasks to complete task 5. The aims of designing this unit of tasks are to train learners to apply their language skills and tenses to write a letter and make a travel plan. In addition, this unit of tasks provides some opportunities for learners to interact with others in school and give oral presentation. The later part of the paper will give more details about those tasks.
Module, unit and tasks
Unit: Nice to meet you
The following cluster of tasks is developed with a story about Karl, an imaginary student from the United States. Karl has some impressing experiences during his exchange in a Hong Kong primary school. Learners imagine that they are Karl’s classmates and have to accomplish some tasks related to the story.
Task 1: A letter from Karl
The class receives e-mail from Karl, an imaginary student from the United States. In this mail, Karl shared about his travelling experiences, his family background and hobbies. He also wants to know the hobbies of his future classmates and whether he gets a chance to go picnic with his future classmate. Through shared writing, the class drafts a reply mail to answer Karl’s questions and introduce themselves. Appendix 2 is the mail from Karl and appendix 3 is the mail with some footnotes that allow students to understand the basic structure of mail. After that, students can complete appendix 4 to come up some ideas to write a mail to Karl.
Task 2: Let’s plan for picnic
After asking principal’s permission, the class can have a picnic with Karl. However, students have different ideas about the location and activities during picnic. Teacher divides them into group and each group has to read the mail again and surf the Internet to find more information about picnic. Group members have to discuss details …