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English Teaching dissertation sample of Uk University

Introduction


Speaking fluently and competently in the target language is one of the major goals for foreign language learners. David Nunan (1999) discusses that the ability to function in another language is generally characterized in terms of being able to speak that language. When someone asks, “Do you know another language?” they generally mean “Can you speak the language?”

 Naturally, how to facilitate speaking is a key problem for language teachers.
After trying many methods of teaching and their various shortcomings, now TBLT is regarded as the best way of teaching English, [This is simply not true. TBLT is just one of the methods. In any case, you cannot make such a sweeping statement without being able to prop it up from literature.] including speaking English. It is said that TBLT overcomes the shortcomings in traditional teaching models, because it emphasizes on learning to communicate through interaction in the target language; it introduces authentic texts into the learning situations; it provides opportunities for learners to focus, not only on language, but also on the learning process itself; and it attempts to link classroom language learning with language activation outside the classroom.(Nunan1991:279) [Is this a direct quotation? If so, you need to punctuate it accordingly.]


The theoretical foundations of TBLT also give it great strength to benefit language teaching. TBLT is based on development of language theory and language learning theory. The theoretical basis for TBLT originates from a wide range of aspects: psychology, socio-linguistics, language acquisition and curriculum theory and so on. As Long and Crooks(1992)put it, a task-based approach sees the language process as one of learning through doing--it is primarily engaging in meaning that learners' system is encouraged to develop.
I do not feel comfortable with this introduction. It is a rather uncritical praise of TBLT, suggesting that TBLT is wonderful and is the solution to all problems. There does not seem to be any balanced argument flashing up the possible shortcomings of TBLT, especially in the teaching of listening. The outline of the structure/content of the essay is also missing.

The Relevant Notions on Task
What does a ‘task’ exactly mean? The concept of the task is fairly variable: no two people [Do you mean ‘researchers’?] appear to have quite the same definition. The following is a sampling of definition from the literature in a chronological order.
1) A task is a piece of work undertaken for oneself or for others, freely or for some reward. Thus, examples of tasks include painting a fence, dressing a child, filling out a form, buying a pair of shoes, making an airline reservation, borrowing a library book, taking a driving test, typing a letter, weighing a patient, sorting letters, taking a hotel reservation, writing a check, finding a street destination and helping someone across a road. In other words, by ‘task’ is meant the hundred and one things people do in everyday life, at work, at play, and in between. Tasks are the things people will tell you they do if you ask them and they are not applied linguists (Long 1985:89).



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