Studiu de specialitate: How Task-based learning functions in the classroom adopting Tabasco approach

Teacher: Anghel Camelia Luminiţa
Liceul Tehnologic Meserii şi Servicii Buzău

Task-based learning is one of the main learning theories that can be used for foreign language teaching. According to this learning theory, students are asked to perform communicative activities in which they have to use the foreign language.

TABASCO (Task-Based School Organisation for the Acquisition of Languages in Europe) is based on the strong belief that Language Teaching and Learning in a school context should   be organized in such a way that the activities turn the student into a better user of the target language, but also into a better language learner and even into a better learner in general.

Italian Experiential Learning Task


Teaching context: Learners have never studied Italian before. They are offered a lot of materials (cassettes, dictionaries, flashcards, pictures, photographs, etc) to use them during the task.


There are 35 learners (teachers of foreign languages from Turkey, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Cyprus and Finland) who will have an improved understanding of what it feels like to learn through a task-based approach (practice what you preach).


In TABASCO approach, the duration of the task is different from Willis’ approach: there are four lessons of 1 hour and 45min each (a lesson of 1 hour and 45 min per day).


The Italian learning task begins with making groups of five learners having as partners, learners from different countries having in common the English language.


Class work / group work

The task was the result of learners’ negotiation, being one of the tasks they really used in real life. They found it interesting, as they like going shopping and useful and really needed some products from the Italian shops. Most of the learners agreed enthusiastically as they think it was an easy task.


The teacher started the first lesson trying to make it very pleasant: the learners listened to Laura Pausini with ‘Non c`e’ and they tried to sing, having the lines of the song. She explains them some pronunciation rules on the lines of the song.

During the pre-task stage, the teacher is addressing some question to the learners: What do you want to be able to do? Which language of instruction do you want to use? What material do you need? What do you expect from the teacher? There are questions instead of actions because there is no action in the sense of working together in the class. At this stage, she uses English observing that most of the learners do not understand Italian. They complain about the fact that they do not know Italian so the teacher asks them to write all the Italian words they know.  (fragment)