The choice of tasks will be based on the interests of students while at the same time covering as broad a range of areas of experience as possible. It is important that the task be flexible enough to allow for some differentiation. In this way, students with different levels of proficiency, different interests, and different backgrounds can work together and learn from one another. Good projects or tasks should • match the interests of the students • require students to focus on meaning and purpose • draw objectives from the communicative needs of students • involve language use in carrying out the task • provide opportunities for language practice • allow for flexible approaches to the task, offering different routes, media, modes of participation, procedures • allow for different solutions, depending on the skills and strategies drawn on by students • be challenging, but not threatening • require input from all students in terms of knowledge, skills, and participation • promote sharing of information and expertise • allow for co-evaluation by the student and the teacher of the task and of the performance of the task • provide opportunities for students to talk about communication (metacommunication) and about learning (metacognition) • provide for monitoring and feedback • be effective and efficient (i.e., the effort to master aspects of the language should “pay off” in terms of communicative competence, or cognitive and affective development of the learner) The order in which the tasks are undertaken is usually decided based on their level of difficulty, which depends on a number of factors: • the characteristics of the learner • the amount of contextual support provided to the learner • the cognitive difficulty of the task • the amount of assistance provided to the learner • the complexity of the language which the learner is required to use • the amount and type of background knowledge required
S ENIOR 1 TO S ENIOR 4 S PANISH L ANGUAGE AND C ULTURE • Planning Planning – 13 Some of these factors are variable (e.g., the amount of support provided), while others are not (e.g., characteristics of the learner). In the following table, some of the factors which determine the relative difficulty of a task are outlined. By examining a task in relation to these factors, a task that is appropriate for the students can be chosen. Sometimes a task may, at first, appear too difficult for the students, but if it is of great interest to them, it can be sometimes be undertaken by adjusting some of the above variables to make it less difficult. In the same way, the same task can also be made more or less difficult for different groups of students in mixed-level classes. less difficult more difficult cognitive complexity describing sequencing choosing classifying identifying principles evaluating listening one speaker two speakers three speakers four or more speak- ers familiar topic unfamiliar topic speaking taking short turns taking long turns
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 687 pages?
- Fall '16
- Second language acquisition