Conference Program

 

Time SchedulePlenary SpeakersInvited Colloquia | Invited Workshops

 


TIME SCHEDULE

Wed, 31 August till Fri, 2 September 2022 (new date)

Time Schedule to be announced

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PLENARY SPEAKERS

Martin East
University of Auckland
(New Zealand)

Martin East
© Martin East

 

Plenary

The Teacher Variable in TBLT: Broadening the Horizon through Teacher Education and Support 

Speaker: Martin East 

Martin East is Professor of Language Education in the School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics, at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. In 2021 he completes a four-year term as President of the International Association for Task-Based Language Teaching. His 2012 book, Task-Based Language Teaching from the Teachers’ Perspective, presented a detailed study into how task-based ideas have been understood and taken up by stakeholders who had been encouraged to consider TBLT as a possible outworking of curriculum reform.

Abstract

Over the last 40 years, TBLT has stimulated increasing interest from a wide range of stakeholders in the language teaching and learning endeavour. Researchers have investigated empirically how communicative tasks can promote second language acquisition. They have also looked at the impact of TBLT from the perspective of teachers and learners working in different contexts across the world. Additionally, teachers have increasingly shown great interest in TBLT, whether motivated by what they hear about TBLT in different contexts, or responding to task-based initiatives in their own contexts. However, research into the teachers’ perspective has demonstrated that teachers show variable understandings of, and commitment to, TBLT ideas, leading to a range of practices and outcomes in classrooms. This makes teachers a crucial variable in the success (or otherwise) of TBLT. Nevertheless, Hattie (2009) reminded us that teachers represent the major source of controllable variance in education systems. In this light, in this plenary I address the central teacher variable in TBLT and consider the range of ways in which teachers, who have such a critical role to play in advancing the TBLT project, can be supported in their work.


Marije Michel
University of Groningen 
(Netherlands)

Marije Michel
© Marije Michel

 

Plenary

Tasks for everyone - everyone a task: valuing the diversity in our classrooms

Speaker: Marije Michel

Marije Michel (PhD Applied Linguistics from the University of Amsterdam) is chair of Language Learning at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Her research and teaching focus is on socio-cognitive aspects of second language acquisition and task-based language pedagogy. In her recent work, she has used eye-tracking and key-stroke logging to investigate second language writing processes and alignment in digitally mediated communication. Marije Michel is treasurer of the executive committee of the European Second Language Association (EuroSLA) and board member of the Netherlands-based English Academy for Newcomers.

Abstract

Over the past 40 years, the task-based approach to language teaching and learning has inspired many scholars and practitioners in second language (L2) pedagogy worldwide, providing adults, youngsters and children with hands-on, authentic classroom activities for a large variety of target and source languages. While this diversity demonstrates the success of the task-based project, it cannot be denied that the majority of work targets English and that, in particular research, has focused on university student populations. In this presentation, I will shed light on initiatives that focus on less obvious but not less important learners and their teachers. With a focus on task design, I will report on some of my own recent projects where we created among others tasks for primary school children in Ireland learning Irish, dyslexic adolescent learners of German, and adult refugee learners of English in the Netherlands. I aim to show how we can use task-based principles to tailor the linguistic, cognitive and social demands of a task to the different needs of an inclusive learner community. By reverting to the basics of TBLT, we can create tasks for everyone to participate, so that every learner can engage in a task where they are valued for the diversity they bring to class.


Jörg Keßler
PH Ludwigsburg, University of Education
(Germany)

Jörg Keßler
© Jörg Keßler

 

Plenary

TBLT in the framework of PT (Processability theory) and TH (Teachability hypothesis) 

Speaker: Jörg Keßler  

Jörg Keßler is Professor of English and Applied Linguistics at Ludwigsburg University of Education, Germany, and since 2018 Vice Rector for Research and Internationalisation. He has closely worked with Manfred Pienemann and has brought research in PT (Processability Theory) to the school context with a special focus on beginner learners of English. Together with Pienemann and Di Biase he edits the John Benjamins book series Processability Approaches to Language Acquisition Research & Teaching. His research interests include bilingual language acquisition, immersion and CLIL, linguistic profiling (Rapid Profile), internationalization of teacher education and task-based language teaching.

Abstract

Processability Theory (PT; Pienemann 1998, 2005) is a psycholinguistic theory designed by Manfred Pienemann to explain and predict the developmental path of spontaneous oral speech production in second language acquisition. Though it has been designed as a psycholinguistic theory it includes various aspects that are important for second and foreign language teaching.

PT has incorporated and formalized Pienemann’s Teachability Hypothesis from 1984 and has turned this hypothesis into one of the crucial aspects of PT. In a nutshell the Teachability Hypothesis spells out that learners can only learn (second) language structures that their current state of the language processor can handle. By understanding and diagnosing the current state of each learner’s interlanguage development teachers can fine-tune learning goals for which their learners are actually ready to learn.

One promising approach to utilize this well researched theoretical underpinning in second and/or foreign language classrooms is the task-based approach.

In my talk I will sketch out the impact of PT and especially the Teachability Hypothesis as a sound theoretical framework for task-based approaches in the language classroom. It will be shown how focused tasks can be selected and fine-tuned for individual learners in heterogeneous classrooms.  

 

Rhonda Oliver
Curtin University
(Perth, Australia)

Rhonda Oliver
© Rhonda Oliver

Plenary

Tasks for diverse learners in diverse contexts: A case study of Australian Aboriginal vocational students

Speaker: Rhonda Oliver

Professor Rhonda Oliver is Head of the School of Education, Curtin University, Western Australia. She has researched extensively about second language and dialect acquisition, especially in relation to child and adolescent language learners in schools and universities. Her more recent work includes studies within Australian Aboriginal education settings.

Abstract 

In this presentation I will describe how authentic tasks can support vocational skill learning whilst promoting second language learning. I will focus in particular on Aboriginal, high school students who come from remote locations in Western Australia and who have English as their second language or dialect. The research setting for this study – which is located a considerable distance from their homes is a vocational boarding school. I have spent over a decade researching and working alongside the teachers and their students at this school. I have used an ethnographic approach, classroom observations supplemented with interviews to document suitable tasks and the students’ engagement with these. The findings show the important contribution that a needs analysis makes to the selection of tasks enabling them to be contextually relevant and culturally appropriate and to serve the learners’ long-term needs.


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INVITED COLLOQUIA

 

YouJin Kim
Georgia State University (USA), KAIST (South Korea)

YouJin Kim
© YouJin Kim

 & Naoko Taguchi
Northern Arizona University 
(USA) 

Naoko Taguchi
© Naoko Taguchi

 

Colloquium

Task-Based Interaction and Learning in L2 Pragmatics 

Convenors: YouJin Kim & Naoko Taguchi

YouJin Kim is specialized in second language acquisition, task-based language teaching, and classroom-based research. She has been particularly interested in the role of interaction during task performance in language development involving two target languages: English and Korean. She recently co-edited a book Task-Based Approaches to Teaching and Assessing Pragmatics.

Naoko Taguchi is a professor in the Applied Linguistics program at Northern Arizona University where she teaches courses in TESOL, second language acquisition, and linguistics. Her research interests include second language pragmatics, technology-enhanced teaching, intercultural competence, and English-medium education. She is the co-editor of Journal of Applied Pragmatics.

 

Roger Gilabert
University of Barcelona
(Spain)  

Roger Gilabert
© Roger Gilabert

 

Colloquium

Task design and research methods

Convenor: Roger Gilabert

Roger Gilabert is currently associate professor and researcher within the Language Acquisition Research Group (GRAL) at the University of Barcelona. His research interests include second language production and interaction, task design (with a focus on needs analysis, task complexity and linguistic difficulty), as well as oral and written CAF, on which he has published extensively. More recently, he has been working on issues of personalization and adaptivity in serious games. He is also the PI at the University of Barcelona of a Horizon 2020 project led by University College London, which explores novice and EFL readers’ development of reading skills through adaptive and integrated technologies (iRead project https://iread-project.eu/). In a recent Spanish Ministry project, he has also worked on the effects of captioned video under different TV genres on early vocabulary learning. 

 

Eva Kartchava
Carleton University
(Ottawa, Canada) 

Eva Kartchava
© Eva Kartchava

 

Colloquium

Teacher education and TBLT

Convenor: Eva Kartchava

Eva Kartchava is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESL at Carleton University's School of Linguistics and Language Studies. Her research interests include (instructed) second language acquisition, Form-Focused Instruction, corrective feedback, individual differences, task-based language learning and teaching, as well as teacher cognition and education. Kartchava’s research has been published in various journals and a monograph, entitled Noticing Oral Corrective Feedback in the Second-Language Classroom: Evidence and Classroom Applications (2019, Lexington Books). She has also co-edited (with Dr. Hossein Nassaji) two volumes: Corrective Feedback in Second Language Teaching and Learning: Research, Theory, Applications, Implications (2017, Routledge) and The Cambridge Handbook of Corrective Feedback in Language Learning and Teaching (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press). Dr. Kartchava is currently Co-Editor (with Dr. Michael Rodgers) of the Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics and was the conference chair of TBLT 2019 in Ottawa, Canada.

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INVITED WORKSHOPS

 

Claudia Harsch
University of Bremen
(Germany) 

Claudia Harsch
© Claudia Harsch

 & Bart Deygers
Ghent University
(Belgium) 

Bart Deygers
© Bart Deygers

 

Workshop

Task-based assessment in the context of migration and integration 

Organizers: Claudia Harsch & Bart Deygers

Claudia Harsch is a professor at the University of Bremen, specialising in Language learning, teaching and assessment. She has worked in Germany and in the UK, and is active in teacher training worldwide. Her research interests focus on areas such as language assessment, language and migration, the development of language assessment literacy, and the implementation of the CEFR. Claudia was president of the European Association of Language Testing and Assessment from 2016-2019.

Bart Deygers is professor of second language learning and assessment at Ghent University. His main research interests include language testing for migration purposes and for the purpose of university admission, and fairness and justice in language testing policies. He has worked on the development and validation of a centralized task-based language test for university admission and has examined the implications of scenario-based testing on learners with diverging educational backgrounds.

Abstract

Assessment practices are well-documented in TBLT theory and research. Questions about validity, task complexity and test design have been addressed in excellent papers, books and workshops. In this workshop, we build on that knowledge to explore task-based assessment in the context of migration and integration policies. Here, too, scenario-based assessment or task-based test designs have become common, but the target audience is considerably more diverse (e.g., literacy, educational background, etc.) than that of a university entrance test, for example.

In this workshop, we will briefly address task-based language assessment theory and offer an overview of task-based language assessment research. We will work with examples of task-based tests for occupational purposes, used in the context of skilled migration and discuss issues of standardization, fairness and validity. We will then take into consideration the needs of functionally illiterate low-educated adult language learners, thereby examining how tasks may obfuscate measuring the language proficiency of this group of test takers with differing educational backgrounds.

Against this backdrop, workshop participants will analyse existing tasks from language tests for occupational or professional purposes with a focus on how to best adapt these tasks so as to minimise educational and literacy bias. Making these adaptations – without causing construct underrepresentation – may reduce barriers to societal and professional participation for an especially vulnerable group of migrants.

 

Koen Van Gorp
Michigan State University
(USA) 

Koen Van Gorp
© Koen Van Gorp

 

Workshop

Making it real! Doing TBLT and content-based language learning through project work 

Organizer: Koen Van Gorp

Dr. Koen Van Gorp is Head of Foreign Language Assessment at the Center for Language Teaching Advancement, and core faculty in the Second Language Studies Ph.D. Program at Michigan State University. He also serves as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Language and Education (KU Leuven, Belgium) where he worked from 1991 until 2015, and was involved in developing task-based curricula (for language and content), teacher training and research into the impact and implementation of TBLT. From 2010 until 2015, he was the Director of the Certificate of Dutch as a Foreign Language (http://cnavt.org/). Koen is Co-Editor (together with Kris Van den Branden) of TASK. Journal on Task-Based Language Teaching and Learning (John Benjamins, first issue to appear in Spring 2021) and Treasurer and Executive Board Member of the International Association for Task-Based Language Teaching (IATBLT). His research interests are task-based language teaching and assessment, and, specifically, the use of tasks in developing the language of schooling and critical multilingual awareness in language learners, teacher training, and creating a school-wide language-in-education policy.

Abstract

Content-based language learning creates an authentic setting for meaningful learning where students can engage in exploring and finding out about the world while using language to do so. As students explore the world through meaningful and engaging tasks, they develop not only their content knowledge and skills, but also the academic register needed to master that content.

In this workshop, we will explore the connections between TBLT and content-based language instruction with a particular focus on project-based learning. Project-based learning engages students “in investigation of authentic problems” (Blumenfeld, Soloway, Marx, Krajcik, Guzdial and Palinscar 1991, p. 369) and should include student-oriented goals, a challenging problem or question to solve, sustained student inquiry, authenticity, student voice and choice, reflection, critique and revision, and a public product (Buck Institute for Education, https://www.pblworks.org/what-is-pbl/gold-standard-project-design). A project allows for contextualized language work over a longer period of time (Skehan, 2014), and creates a series of connected tasks that have a unique contribution to the project outcome. Project work is one of the most efficient ways of making and keeping TBLT and content-based language learning real.

In this interactive workshop, first, we will consider the commonalities between TBLT and content-based language learning, and how project work can play a central role in both. Second, we will look at projects for a wide range of language learners and evaluate their language and content learning potential. Third, in small groups, participants will develop projects for their own local contexts, and present them to the audience. The participants will leave the workshop with guidelines to create meaningful and engaging projects, and ideas and partially developed materials to try out in their own teaching context.

 


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