the learners’ communicative needs. A UTHENTIC T ASKS Scholars such as Brown and Menasche (as cited in Shoomossi & Ketabi, 2007 , p. 152) provide a rather controversial view by noting that “there is probably no such thing as ‘real task authenticity’ since classrooms are, by nature, artificial.” However, Widdowson (as cited in Mishan, 2005 , p. 70) claims that “it is the relationship between the learner and the input text, and the learner’s response to it, that should be characterised as authentic, rather than the input text itself.” Thus, in foreign language learning contexts where exposure to the language being learned is scarce, there is an imperative need to implement materials and design tasks which will enable learners to meaningfully and purposefully use the language. According to Nunan (2001) , “a communicative task [is] a piece of classroom work which involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing, and interacting in the target language while their attention is principally focused on meaning rather than form” (p. 10). This definition is then refined by Bygate, Skehan, and Swain (as cited in Mishan, 2005 , p. 68) as they argue that a task is “an activity in which: meaning is primary; there is some sort of relationship to the real-world; task completion has some priority; and the assessment of task performance is in terms of task outcome.” As both definitions refer to in-class work with the added values of interaction and real-life simulation, it is then worth looking at the distinction made by Nunan (2001) between what he terms “real-world” tasks and the more traditional “pedagogic tasks.” Nunan (2001) states that “ real-world tasks require learners to approximate, in class, the sorts of behavior required of them in the world beyond the classroom . . . pedagogic tasks , engage learners in tasks they are unlikely to perform outside the classroom” (p. 40). Furthermore, McGrath (2002) highlights the use of authentic tasks in the classroom as they help learners replicate or rehearse the communicative behaviors which will be required of them in the real world. Hence, in order to design authentic tasks which involve learners in situations that emulate natural authentic language use, it is vital to consider the six guidelines proposed by Mishan (2005) with regard to task authenticity: 1. 1. Reflect the original communicative purpose of the text on which they are based. 2. 2. Be appropriate to the text on which they are based. 3. 3. Elicit response to/engagement with the text on which they are based. 4. 4. Approximate real-life tasks. 5. 5. Activate learners’ existing knowledge of the target language and culture.
6. 6. Involve purposeful communication between learners. Research Design The research methodology was developed from a mixed study perspective that integrated a quasi-experimental and a descriptive-qualitative research design. According to Hernández Sampieri, Fernández-Collado, and Baptista Lucio (2006) , the quasi-experimental research design deliberately manipulates, at least, one independent variable in order to observe its effect and relationship with one or two dependent variables. In this particular design, subjects
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 19 pages?
- Fall '19
- Language education, Teaching English as a foreign language, Communicative language teaching