Recent Perspectives on Task-based Language Learning and Teaching: Iintroduction

2017

Abstract  Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) constitutes both an innovative language teaching method and a thriving area of investigation in the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA). The past three decades have witnessed a surge of interest in TBLT which is evidenced by numerous published monographs, edited volumes, and articles and special issues in major SLA and Language Teaching journals (Ahmadian 2016; Bygate 2015; Bygate 2016; East 2012; Ellis 2003; García Mayo 2007, 2015; Long, 2015; Samuda and Bygate 2008; Newton 2016; Shehadeh and Coombe 2012; Van den Branden 2006 to name but a few). Whilst, since the 1980’s, some significant progress has been made in TBLT research and a plethora of theoretical positions have been put forth to explain SLA-related phenomena, these theories have predominantly been construed as “oppositional and incommensurable” (Ellis 2008: 925) and therefore no single monograph, edited volume, or special issue has addressed TBLT from the perspective of these diverse but, in our view, mutually-informing theories (see García Mayo, Gutierrez Mangado, and Martínez Adrián 2013 for a recent attempt at covering all main theoretical approaches to SLA). The main impetus for this edited volume has been to reflect epistemological diversity in SLA and TBLT by bringing together distinct but complementary theoretical frameworks for task-based research, namely cognitive-interactionist theory, sociocultural theory (SCT), complexity theory, and education and pedagogy


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