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28 Nov 2007
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DescriptionContentsAuthors

Tasks in Second Language Learning aims to bring more fully into debate the holistic nature of language learning, which tasks are one way of achieving, and to outline the research implications of this perspective. It sets language learning tasks within a broad educational and social science perspective, with a consistent focus on the principles and practices of their use in the language classroom. The authors review and examine previous research from a pedagogic perspective, before exploring the theoretical and practical classroom issues which language learning tasks give rise to. This forms the basis for the development of a research agenda focusing on classroom-based practice. Throughout, the book maintains a clear enquiring stance towards the principles and practices of the use of tasks for language learning. Using case study data, illustrative materials, transcript data, and close analyses of published research studies, it provides ample and lively illustration of the contributions of a range of specialists in research, teaching methodology and materials development, and of the authors' own argument.


Description

Tasks in Second Language Learning aims to bring more fully into debate the holistic nature of language learning, which tasks are one way of achieving, and to outline the research implications of this perspective. It sets language learning tasks within a broad educational and social science perspective, with a consistent focus on the principles and practices of their use in the language classroom. The authors review and examine previous research from a pedagogic perspective, before exploring the theoretical and practical classroom issues which language learning tasks give rise to. This forms the basis for the development of a research agenda focusing on classroom-based practice. Throughout, the book maintains a clear enquiring stance towards the principles and practices of the use of tasks for language learning. Using case study data, illustrative materials, transcript data, and close analyses of published research studies, it provides ample and lively illustration of the contributions of a range of specialists in research, teaching methodology and materials development, and of the authors' own argument.


Contents

Introduction
PART I: BACKGROUND
Language Use, Holistic Activity and Second Language Learning
Holistic Tasks in an Educational Context: Some Key Issues
Holistic Tasks in a Research Context: Some Key Issues
Tasks in Second Language Pedagogy
Defining Pedagogic Tasks: Issues and Challenges
Engaging Learning Processes: Implications for the Use of Second Language Tasks
Researching Second Language Pedagogic Tasks
PART II: INTERACTIONS BETWEEN RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
Task Research from a Pedagogical Perspective
Pedagogic Perspectives on Second Language Tasks
PART III: EXPLORING TASKS
Research Directions
PART IV: RESOURCES
Further Resources
References
Index


Authors

VIRGINIA SAMUDA is Researcher in Linguistics and English Language, at Lancaster University, UK. She has worked as a language teacher, teacher educator, materials writer and classroom researcher in North and South America, SE Asia and the UK. Throughout her work, she has had a long-standing interest in tasks and task design. She is particularly interested in how tasks function in classrooms, and the ways in which teachers and students work with them.

MARTIN BYGATE is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Language Education at Lancaster University, UK. He teaches and researches in second language acquisition and second language education. He is the author of Speaking and co-editor of Grammar and the Language Classroom (with Alan Tonkyn and Eddie Williams) and Researching Pedagogic Tasks: Second Language Learning, Teaching and Testing (with Peter Skehan and Merrill Swain).