Using Task‐Based Activities to Restructure Class Discussions

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ABSTRACT  In this article, I present an approach to task‐based instruction relying on the familiar instructional technique of the class discussion as the point of departure. After proposing that communication be viewed as the expression, interpretation, and negotiation of meaning rather than as simply questions and answers, classroom practices are developed that reflect all three dimensions of communication. Specifically, I take four discussion questions and transform them into task‐based activities. Each of the four task‐based activities is analyzed according to the following criteria: a. identify a desired outcome; What information are students supposed to extract from the interaction? b. break down the topic into subtopics; What are the relevant subcomponents of the topic? c. create and sequence concrete tasks for learners to do: lists, charts, tables; What tasks can the learners carry out to explore the subcomponents? d. build in linguistic support: lexical, grammatical; What linguistic support do the learners need?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-446
Number of pages10
JournalForeign Language Annals
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1995


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