Doing Task-Based Teaching

Doing Task-Based Teaching

A practical guide to task-based teaching for ELT training courses and practising teachers.

Format: Paperback
See also: e-book | e-book
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Shortlisted for the Ben Warren Prize 2007

A practical guide to task-based teaching for ELT training courses and practising teachers.

  • ISBN: 978-0-19-442210-9

Task-based teaching has created enormous interest among teachers in recent years. But how does the idea of designing tasks (e.g. discussions, problems, games) that encourage learners to use real language work in practice?

This book explains the basic principles behind task-based learning and teaching and gives practical examples of how to make it work in different teaching situations.

Key features

  • Gives a clear explanation of the basic principles of task-based teaching
  • Contains many examples of tasks and lesson plans from teachers around the world
  • Provides sample materials and lesson plans showing how to focus on meaning, language, and form
  • Includes guidance on adapting existing course materials to include a task-based element
  • Suitable for teacher training courses or for individual teachers
  • Authors are leading world experts on task-based teaching


The idea of using practical tasks to encourage students to use real language in the classroom has generated lots of interest among teachers in recent years. But how does task-based teaching actually work in practice?

Doing Task-based Teaching aims to answer this question by explaining the underlying principles of task-based teaching and learning, and by giving a practical, hands-on guide to designing, creating, and using tasks in the classroom.

The book draws on a worldwide survey of over 100 teachers currently involved in task-based teaching and includes many of the tasks and teaching ideas they sent in. These practical examples are set in the framework of the authors' extensive research into language learning.

After an introductory chapter explaining the theoretical basis of a task-based approach, the remainder of the book is firmly focused on classroom practice. There are chapters on:

- Task-based sequences in the classroom
- Tasks based on written and spoken texts
- From topic to task types: listing, sorting, and classifying
- From topic to task types: matching, comparing, problem-solving, projects, and storytelling
- Language focus and form focus
- The task-based classroom and the real world
- Adapting and refining tasks (to meet the needs of specific classes)
- Designing a task-based syllabus
- How to integrate task-based teaching with coursebooks, and other frequently asked questions

There are reader activities throughout the book and at the end of most chapters to help you reflect on the previous section and anticipate what is going to be covered in the next section. Many of these tasks are practical, e.g. designing a task or writing instructions for a class of your own. You can use these tasks individually, or as part of your teacher training course.

There are also practical examples of simple task-based lessons, projects and scenarios, and task-based course plans in appendices at the back of the book. These appendices also include transcripts of the task recordings referred to in the book, templates for lesson planning, and word frequency lists.