The task-based approach: Some questions and suggestions

William Thomas LITTLEWOOD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

157 Citations (Scopus)


This article first addresses the question of what tasks are. It suggests that rather than accept the common ‘communicative’ definition, we should return to a broader definition and then focus on key dimensions that distinguish (from the learner’s perspective) different types of task, notably degrees of task-involvement and degrees of focus on form or meaning. This approach helps us to conceptualize the complementary roles of form-focused and meaning-focused tasks in our methodology. It also shows the continuity between task-based language teaching and the broader communicative approach within which it is a development. Finally the article asks whether ‘task-based approach’ is really the most appropriate term at all for describing these developments in language pedagogy. Copyright © 2004 Oxford University Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-326
JournalELT Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004


Littlewood, W. (2004). The task-based approach: Some questions and suggestions. ELT Journal, 58(4), 319-326.


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