Title

Are Tasks at All Possible in Fully Online Language Learning? Introducing: Talking to Avatars & the Maze Game.

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Starting in the 1980s, psycholinguistically-motivated methodological principles of taskbased language teaching (TBLT) transformed the foreign language classroom, as researchers and practitioners in the field of second language acquisition (SLA) turned tasks into the guiding unit for research and lesson planning. With the development of the field of computer-assisted language learning (CALL), we have seen that computerdelivered tasks have also gradually evolved from behavioristic “drill and kill” e-tutors to 142 more carefully designed psycholinguistics-based e-tutors and sophisticated videogames and simulations that use authentic tasks. While there are clear criteria that help distinguish whether a pedagogical activity is more “task-like” or more “exercise-like,” (cf. Ellis, 2003 & 2009), the question that stands is: can stand-alone, task-like CALL resources promote second language (L2) development without sacrificing the methodological principles stipulated by TBLT? The description of two separate CALL resources: Talking to Avatars (Cerezo, 2010) and The Maze Game (Leow, 2015), will help us answer this question.

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