A voluminous body of research has examined the implementation of task-based language teaching (TBLT) in English-as-a-Second/Foreign-Language (ESL/EFL) contexts. However, classroom-based research investigating frontline EFL school teachers’ perception of TBLT remains scant, especially in the less affluent regions of China. To address this research gap, this paper reports on a qualitative case study of teachers’ knowledge of TBLT, difficulties in deploying TBLT, and their perceived feasible solutions. Thirteen teachers from a private junior secondary school in Sichuan, China participated in individual semi-structured interviews. Interview data were triangulated with document data, including textbooks and teaching materials used by those teachers. Positioning TBLT from a sociocultural perspective and adopting activity theory as the analytical lens (Engeström, 1987), the implementations of TBLT are approached as discrete activity systems by individual novice and experienced EFL school teachers. From the two data sources above, inter-system similarities and differences towards problems in the implementation of TBLT in a Confucian-heritage setting were explicated by novice and experienced EFL school teacher participants. The study concludes by highlighting the need for strengthening teacher support and development, as well as providing a practical understanding that TBLT is a long-term goal related to English language education in mainland China which has still to be realized. In the meantime, task-supported language teaching (TSLT), a weak form of TBLT, is suggested as a more feasible alternative. Copyright © 2019 individual authors.
|Title of host publication||2018 International Conference on Bilingual Learning and Teaching: E-proceedings|
|Place of Publication||Hong Kong|
|Publisher||The Open University of Hong Kong|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
CitationYe, X., & Chong, S.-W. (2019). Task-based language teaching in secondary EFL classes in Southwest China: An activity theory perspective. In 2018 International Conference on Bilingual Learning and Teaching: E-proceedings (pp. 50-56). Hong Kong: The Open University of Hong Kong.
- Task-based language teaching
- Case study
- Activity theory
- Secondary school
- Southwest China