Amanda Hoskins & Silvia Kunitz (Linköping University): Task-based language teaching: From task design to the analysis of students’ talk

21.11.2023 15:15 - 16:45

Amanda Hoskins and Silvia Kunitz from Linköping University, Sweden, will give a joint talk titled Task-based language teaching: From task design to the analysis of students’ talk on Tuesday, 21 November at 15:15. The talk will take place in Arcanum A116, and online participation will also be possible (please ask Teppo Jakonen for a Zoom link).

Task-based language teaching: From task design to the analysis of students’ talk

Amanda Hoskins & Silvia Kunitz (Linköping University)

In this presentation we will introduce a collaborative practice-based project conducted by researchers and schoolteachers in Sweden (Berggren et al., 2023; Kunitz et al., 2022). The project emerged from the practical problem of engaging students in meaningful language use (Ellis, 2009) through co-constructed interaction in the L2 classroom. Various cycles of task design and task implementation were carried out in EFL classes in lower and upper secondary schools. It was found that open-ended problem-solving tasks led to the kind of student interaction that the teachers were aiming for and, specifically, to collaborative imagining (Murphy, 2005). With the tools afforded by Conversation Analysis (see Sidnell & Stivers, 2013), it was then shown that the students attended to their coparticipants’ talk and produced fitting turns that accomplished a variety of actions (proposals, agreements, challenges, disagreements, etc.) and fostered the progressivity of the task-as-process (Seedhouse, 2005). In other words, it was found that this type of task allowed students to practice their interactional competence (Pekarek Doehler, 2018). At the same time, the findings from this project suggest that the use of material pedagogical artifacts (cutout pictures in the data shown here) has an impact on the social actions produced by students in these task-based interactions while also making their reasoning tangible and visually accessible. Overall, this study proposes some practical, pedagogical implications for the design of oral task in the L2 classroom.

Amanda Hoskins is a certified and experienced teacher of English and Spanish, currently a PhD candidate at Linköping University. With a conversation analytic approach, her research focuses on task-based interactions in the Swedish EFL classroom. Specifically, she is interested in how the design of speaking tasks affects EFL students’ interaction during task accomplishment.

Silvia Kunitz (PhD) is a senior lecturer at Linköping University, where she is involved in teacher education. In her research she adopts a conversation-analytic approach to study interaction in formal (e.g., classroom settings) and informal (e.g., language cafés) language learning environments with a particular focus on how participants do learning and teaching as socially situated activities in various material ecologies. So far she has studied task accomplishment in the classroom, instructed interactional competence, and interaction in language cafés for migrants. She is currently collaborating on two VR-funded projects: one on L2 storytelling and one on HRI in educational contexts.