On the comparability of strong and weak versions of task-based approaches to improving Iranian elementary-level EFL learners’ reading comprehension

Open access

Abstract

Task-based language teaching (TBLT) is an instructional approach that aims to develop learners’ communicative competence and focuses on the use of tasks as the main unit of instruction. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of strong and weak versions of TBLT approach over more traditional approaches in improving reading comprehension of Iranian elementary-level EFL learners. Moreover, the distinction between the strong and weak versions of this approach is taken into account in order to investigate which version is more beneficial over the other version. To achieve the objective, 90 male learners in the 15-17 age range who were studying in an institute in Rasht were selected. The findings showed that utilizing both versions of TBLT approach can provide tremendous opportunities for learners to enhance their reading comprehension compared to traditional language teaching methods. More specifically, the results of this study revealed that the use of the weak version of TBLT approach leads the learners to more proficiency in reading comprehension. It is worth pointing out that this study was conducted with Iranian male elementary-level EFL learners in the 15-17 age range studying in Soroush English Institute in Rasht, Iran. It indicates that a small size of population, a specific age range, and male gender were considered. Thus, for other researchers, more participants at different proficiency levels, with other ranges of age, and both genders may be considered in order to make broader generalization about the results.

Alderson, J. C. (2000). Assessing reading. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Anderson, R. C., & Pearson, P. D. (1984). A schema-theoretic view of basic processes in reading comprehension. In P. D. Pearson, R. Barr, M. L. Kamil, & P. Mosenthal (Eds.), The handbook of reading research. New York: Longman.

Barnett, M. A. (1988). Reading through context: How real and perceived strategy affects L2 comprehension. The Modern Language Journal, 72(2), 150-162.

Butler, Y. G. (2011). The implementation of communicative and task-based language teaching in the Asia-Pacific region. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 31, 36-37.

Byrne, D. (1976). Teaching oral English. Harlow: Longman

Carless, D. R. (2003). Factors in the implementation of task-based teaching in primary schools. System, 31(4), 485-500.

Chalak, A. (2015). The effect of task-based instruction on reading comprehension of Iranian EFL learners. Applied Research on English Language, 4(1), 19-29.

Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based language learning and teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ellis, R. (2009). Task-based language learning and teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Grabe, W., & Stoller, F. L. (2011). Teaching and Researching Reading. In C. N. Candlin, & D. R. Hall (Eds.), Applied linguistics in action series. Harlow: Pearson.

Harmer, J. (2001). The practice of English language teaching. London: Longman.

Harvey, S., & Goudvis, A. (2007). Strategies that work: Teaching comprehension to enhance understanding. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.

Hashemi, L., & Thomas, B. (2010). Objective test. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Keyvanfar, A., & Modarresi, M. (2009). The impact of task-based activities on the reading skill of Iranian EFL young learners at the beginner level. The Journal of Applied Linguistics, 2(1), 81-102.

Leaver, B. L., & Willis, J. R. (2004). Task-based instruction in foreign language education. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Lin, Z. (2009). Task-based approach in foreign language teaching in China: A seminar paper research presented to the graduate faculty. Retrieved from http://minds.wisconsin.edu/handle/1793/34571

Nunan, D. (2004). Task-based language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Peacock, M. (1997). The effect of authentic materials on the motivation of EFL learners. ELT Journal, 51(2), 144-156.

Poorahmadi, M. (2012). Investigating the efficiency of task-based instruction in improving reading comprehension ability. Journal of Language and Translation, 3(1), 29-36.

Prabhu, N. S. (1987). Second language pedagogy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Rahimpour, M. (2008). Implementation of task-based approaches to language teaching. Research on Foreign Languages Journal of Faculty of Letters and Humanities, 41, 45-61.

Skehan, P. (1996). A framework for the implementation of task-based instruction. Applied Linguistics, 17, 38-62.

Skehan, P. (2003). Task-based instruction. Language Teaching, 36(1), 1-14. doi:

Skehan, P. (2009). A framework for the implementation of task-based instruction. In K. Van den Branden, M. Bygate, & J. Norris (Eds.), Task-based language teaching. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Van den Branden, K. (2006). Task-based language teaching: From theory to practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Widdowson, H. G. (1990). Aspects of language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Widdowson, H. G. (1998). Skills, abilities, and contexts of reality. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 18, 323-333.

Willis, J. (1996). A framework for task-based learning. London: Longman.

Willis, D., & Willis, J. (2001). Task-based language learning. In R. Carter, & D. Nunan (Eds.), The Cambridge guide to teaching English to speakers of other languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Willis, D., & Willis, J. (2007). Doing Task-based Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Willis, D., & Willis, J. (2009). Task-based language teaching. The Language Teacher. 33(3), 3-4.

Zhao, H. (2011). How far do the theories of task-based learning succeed in combining communicative and from-focused approaches to L2 research. Journal of Cambridge Studies, 6(1), 41-56.

Journal Information

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 386 385 15
PDF Downloads 160 160 8