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Contextualization and authenticity in TBLT: Voices from Chinese classrooms

Lookup NU author(s): Qi Chen, Dr Clare Wright


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© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016. In view of ongoing debates about the future of task-based language teaching (TBLT) in contexts of English as a foreign language (EFL), we present a detailed case study of teacher beliefs and practices regarding TBLT conducted in a secondary school in mainland China with a long history of communicative and task-based teaching approaches. We used a mixed-methods approach to gather a broad range of triangulated data, combining individual interviews, material analysis and observations coded using a novel task-focused version of the scheme ‘Communicative Orientation of Language Teaching’ (COLT). Quantitative and qualitative findings revealed positive beliefs about TBLT principles in general, reflecting strong institutional support for communicative teaching. However, there was marked variability between beliefs and practices in using tasks, especially with beginner-level learners. Most teachers demonstrated an intrinsic lack of confidence in using tasks as more than a communicative ‘add-on’ to standard form-focused teaching. We argue that this demonstrates a need for building teacher autonomy, in implementing TBLT, even in supportive settings, to support successful authentic contextualizing TBLT principles in different EFL contexts.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chen Q, Wright C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Language Teaching Research

Year: 2017

Volume: 21

Issue: 4

Pages: 517-538

Print publication date: 01/07/2017

Online publication date: 05/04/2016

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN (print): 1362-1688

ISSN (electronic): 1477-0954

Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd


DOI: 10.1177/1362168816639985


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