Friday, March 11, 2016

Meeting With Mike Long About Task-Based Language Teaching

Carl and I had a wonderful visit with Mike Long yesterday. Our thanks to Mike for taking the time to meet with us and to listen to/brainstorm how we are rethinking our biblical language instruction. Mike deals with so-called "living" languages, not languages as they were spoken at a certain point in history. His insight was certainly valuable. There is a difference between building a course that is grammar-translation driven (which usually rolls out sequential like whatever textbook is used in the course [at least for beginning language courses]) and building a course that starts with asking what you want students to be able to do.

I have by no means whatsoever arrived, but my courses are more like the latter. My personal theory is teaching that is task-focused will transfer into continued use, increasing metalinguistic knowledge, an expanding lexical register, etc. If you give someone what they need to use what they are learning, they should, in theory, put that into practice. Fail to give someone what they can use, and even what you give them will be lost–and it usually doesn't take long at all to lose it.

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