Mysteries of the past: a Task based on Learning in a Bilingual Section
The Task based on Learning approach was presented in 1996 by Jane and Dave Willis as a development of Communicative Language Teaching. This approach tries to incorporate activities that involve real communication as an essential issue for learning language. According to this, it proposes activities in which learning is used for carrying out meaningful tasks that promote learning. In our Bilingual Section, we designed a project to research several mysteries that happened in the past, specifically for the Prehistory and the Ancient Age.
At the beginning of the task, the teacher showed what was expected of the students in the task phase, providing resources, web tools and a vocabulary list and grammatical constructs. In the task stage, the students performed the task working in pairs, and exceptionally in groups of three people. During the process, the teacher’s role was limited to perform as an observer or counselor. The students drafted what they wanted to write and they put their conclusions in a slide about different topics. I would like to show you a set of this presentations, which were created cooperatively using Google Drive:
After that, some groups reported their conclusions making podcasts. These podcasts were played in the classroom and published on the web in a channel of our digi-radio. I want to share with you a podcast referred to the legend of Troy, that includes a summary of the Greek myth and different notes about the archaeological site of Troy. Furthermore, some groups used Present.me to couple their podcasts to their slides, generating a quite interesting material. You can consult an example about Tutankhamun’s tomb curse.
Finally, in the post-task stage, the focus returned to the teacher who reviewed what happened in the task, in regards to language and contents. The teacher analysed problems that students had and he emphasized key language.