A task is a purposeful activity to acquire new knowledge (Murphy 140).The article intended to show the findings of a research carried out to find out how tasks based learning influences. This was done through the evaluation of learning of languages in a classroom setting through understanding the concept of tasks, evaluation and conclusion of studies to support the findings. The study sought to explore the effectiveness of teaching and learning using task based learning. In the teaching of languages, various tasks are used to help the student grasp the course content. These tasks can either be mechanical (those focusing on the language) or communicative (use of language).The language learning tasks are concerned with the design, selection, operation and their sequence in the learning programme (Murphy 142).
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The task design is concerned with how the task fits into the learners’ need, and the predicted result. I agree with the writer on this. For example, when teaching in a fishing village concerning investments on stock exchange, one need to see how the students understand this topic, and how they link what they are learning with their locality. The material designers for the tasks are also important. Where the teacher and the materials design the task, the learners are ignored. The learners should also be in control of the task, as Breen (1987: 23) says “Learners are capable of playing havoc even with the most carefully designed and much used task”. The students attitudes and will redefine the task as observed in the planning stage and the execution of the same task. The writer also shows in the research done that there is always a mismatch between the learners and teachers interpretation of the task (Murphy 147). My view is that the learners interpret the task in their own manageable terms, and will execute it in a different path from the teachers view point.
In the task operations, teachers and learners should be involved in the design and execution of the task. This ensures that they can choose appropriate tasks for their objectives. I think that especially when learning a foreign or second language, it’s easier for students to get a better understanding or pronunciation by watching a film that they have previously watched in their native language, and then watch the same film in a translation of the foreign language. At the same time the teachers also interpret the curriculum or syllabus in a different way, which is then passed on to the learners who modify it to suit their interpretation. They interpret the content based on their background, philosophies and locality (Murphy 151).
In view of the above points, it can be argued tasks should be work plans of how the learning process takes place, giving detailed procedures for learners to follow. Task based learning should not be a planned curriculum, but a provision of resources for the teachers and learners. Evaluation in the classroom is carried about by the teachers who provide information to assist in the selection, and sequencing of tasks in the learning process. The outcome of these evaluations may not always be used immediately, but can be useful at a later date. The evaluations are concerned with the efficiency and effectiveness of the learning process.
In conclusion, in the exploration of task based learning, the teachers need to evaluate the learners as the tasks are carried out to measure the motivational strategies in language. This is by the examination of the tasks aim, content and tool of instruction (language). This leads to overcoming the problem of selection and sequence of the tasks.
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