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Content-based, taskbased, and participatory approach

Moises Ramirez

In these three approaches rather than learning to use English, students use English to learn it.
What is content-based instruction? What is task-based instruction? What is participatory approach? Which techniques are involved within these approaches?

What is content-based instruction?

Content-based instruction (CBI) is "the integration of a particular content with second language aims. It refers to the concurrent teaching of academic subject matter and second language skills. The special contribution of content based instruction is that it integrates the learning of language with the learning of some other content, often academic subject matter

Principles of the content-based intruction

1. The subject matter is used for language teaching purpose.

2. Teaching should build on students previous experience.

3. When learners pensive the relevance of their language use, they are motivated to learn. They know that it is a means to an end, rather than an end in itself.

4. The teacher scaffolds the linguistic content, i.e. helps learners say what it is they want to say by building together with the students a complete utterance.

5. Language is learned most effectively when it is used as a medium to convey informational content of interest to the students.

6. Vocabulary is easier to acquire when there are contextual clues to help convey meaning.


7. When they work with authentic subject matter, students need language support. For instance, the teacher may provide a number of examples, build in some redundancy, use comprehension, checks, etc.

Language immersion programs

It is defined as a method of foreign language instruction in which the regular school curriculum is taught through the medium of the language. The foreign language is the vehicle for content instruction; it is not the subject of instruction.

What is task-based instruction?

The task-based instruction focuses on a work which students are expected to fulfill by using the target language. It is believed that task is more related to doing something with a language. Because task needs so many language skills and items to be completed.

There are three types of tasks to (Prabhu, 1987):

An information-gap activity involves the exchange of information among participants in order to complete a task An opinion-gap activity requires that students give their personal preferences, feelings, or attitudes in order to complete a task A reasoning-gap activity requires students to derive some new information by inferring it from information they have been given

The principles of the task-based instruction

1. The class activities have a perceived purpose and a clear outcome. 2. A pre-task, in which students work through a similar task to one that they will later do individually, is a helpful way to have students see logic involved in what they are being asked to do. It will also allow the language necessary to complete the task to come into play.

3. The teacher breaks down into smaller steps the logical thinking process necessary to complete the task. The demand on thinking made by the activity should be just above the level which learners can meet without help. 4. The teacher needs to seek ways of knowing how involved the students are in the process, so she can make adjustments in light of the learners perceptions of relevance and their readiness in learn. Such teacher-class negotiation ensures that many students as possible in a mixed-ability class grasp the nature of the activity.

5. The teacher does not consciously simplify her language; she uses whatever language is necessary to have students comprehend the current step in the pre-task. Here she switched from an abbreviated wh-question question to a yes/no question. This switch is natural strategy that proficient speakers use when interacting with less proficient speakers inside and outside of the classroom

6. The teacher supplies the correct target form by reformulating or recasting what the students have said. 7. This jigsaw task, where students have to listen to different parts of a total set of information they need to complete a task, gives them plenty of opportunity to engage in authentic speaking and listening and provides opportunities to develop their comprehension and speaking skills.

8. Students should receive feedback on their level of success in completing the task. The overall focus is on the meaning. 9. Students have input into the design and the way that they carry out the task. This gives them more opportunity for authentic and meaningful interaction.

What is the participatory approach?

The participatory approach is based on solving the learners problem in real life, using the target language as a tool this purpose. Learners bring their outside problems into class. The goal of the participatory approach is to help students to understand the social, historical, or cultural forces that affects their lives, and then help empower students to take action and make decisions in order to gain control over their lives.

Participatory approach principles

1. What happens in the classroom should be connected with what happens outside that has relevance to the students, the teacher listens to themes in what students say that will provide the content future lessons. 2. The curriculum is not a predetermined product, but the result of an ongoing context-specific problem-posting process.

3. Education is most effective when it is experience-centered, when it relates to students real needs. Students are motivated by their personal involvement. Teachers are colearners, asking questions of the students, who are the experts on their own lives.

4. When knowledge is jointly constructed, it becomes a tool to help students find voice and by finding their voices, students learn to see themselves as social and political beings. 5. Focus on linguistic form occurs within a focus on content. Language skills are taught in service of action for change, rather than in isolation.

6. Students can create their own materials, which, in turn, can become texts for other students. 7. A goal of the participatory approach is for students to be evaluating their own learning and to increasingly direct it themselves.

Which techniques are involved within these approaches?

Listing Brainstorming, fact-finding.

Ordering and sorting Comparing

Problem solving

Sequencing, ranking, categorizing, classifying. Matching, finding similarities, finding differences

Analyzing real or hypothetical situations, reasoning, and decision

Sharing personal experiences Narrating, describing, exploring and explaining attitudes, opinions, reactions Creative tasks Brainstorming, fact-finding, ordering and sorting, comparing, problem solving and many others

Concluding, Content, tasks and real life problems is what this methods use as the thematic that is going to be the focus of the communication in the classroom. Also, the content-based, tasked based, and participatory approach are focus in learning to communicate by communicating, this means use the language rather than study it. In order to learn the target language the student have to use the language, in other words, learning by doing. The aim of learning a new language is to communicate in that language but what people have to do is not just study the language but use it as every language is use. Target language is not just a subject matter is communication.

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