2018 MLTAWA State Conference

The Curtin University School of Education and the Modern Language Teachers’ Association of Western Australia (MLTWA) invite you to attend the 4th Biannual Conference on Applied Linguistics/2018 MLTAWA State Conference – designed for teachers and pre-service teachers of Languages and EALD, students of Linguistics and academics. Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) is an approach which offers students opportunities to actively engage in communication in order to achieve a goal or complete a task. This approach seeks to develop students’ interlanguage through providing a task and then using language to solve it.

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Day 1 – Friday 20 July

Keynote Address 1: Professor Rod Ellis, Using Tasks in Language Teaching.

“In the first part of my talk, I will define what a task is and illustrate how tasks differ from exercises. In the second part, I provide a classification of tasks with examples to illustrate different task characteristics and also suggest which types of tasks are best suited to different groups of learners. The third part will then consider how tasks can be incorporated into language lessons in terms of task-supported and task-based language teaching, the rationale for these two ways of using tasks, and the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches.  The final part of the talk will then consider how teachers can tell if a task has worked.”

Rod Ellis is a Research Professor in the School of Education, Curtin University. His published work includes articles and books on second language acquisition, language teaching and teacher education. He has held university positions in six different countries and has also conducted numerous consultancies and seminars throughout the world.

Keynote Address 2: Dr Lindy Norris, Task-based language learning and teaching: So what? So that…

For more than 30 years tasks in language learning and teaching have been the subject of both extensive research, and also debate and action within teacher education and languages methodology. What this all means exactly, and how you do it, have been the subject now of considerable discussion over an extended period of time.

So what?

In this session tasks, and task-based learning and teaching, will be interrogated from the point of view of why practitioners should be discussing such things now given that the area can in no way be considered novel. The use of a task-based approach in an educational climate where ‘tick boxing’, numbers, and conformity are pre-eminent will be examined. This will be done

so that …

teachers can evaluate the possible benefits of prioritising tasks in their work in schools.

Dr Lindy Norris is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Education at Murdoch University. She has extensive experience in languages education in both school and university contexts. Her teaching and research interests have encompassed many different dimensions of languages education and professional development.  These include curriculum design, program evaluation and change management and also, second language socialisation within international and intercultural contexts.

Day 1 concurrent sessions and presenters include:

  • Making written corrective feedback effective:  The roles of error type and learner proficiency, Kai Zhang.
  • Multilingualism on University Campus: Teachers’ Perspectives on Linguistic Diversity, Dr Qian Gong.
  • Empowering student leaders: The Club Venn Experience, Haruko Nomoto, Nathan Harvey & Denise Chionh.
  • Coding, Algorithms, Digital Technologies and Languages, Halina Sobkowiak.
  • Task Design and Learner Engagement in the Use of English and Chinese as Foreign Languages, Craig Lambert & Grace Zhang.
  • From topics to concepts – Integrating the Languages curriculum with other learning areas, Laura Bava.
  • The Collaborative Online Language Classroom, Kate Williams.
  • Creating Rich Tasks, Kate Reitzenstein, Hoda Nawar & Tamara Alberts.
  • Input-based task instruction for lower-proficiency EFL learners’ oral production, Thi Huyen Thanh Do.
  • Content and Language Integrated Learning classes for child Mandarin L2 learners: A longitudinal observational study, Rhonda Oliver.
  • Mentoring and leading – Lead Language School and the WAC:L, Nathan Harvey, Christine Ashkenazy & Yvette Foulk.
  • Role-plays – from Scripted to Spontaneous, Nadia Civa
  • Language Perfect’s LIA 2.0: Online learning and assessment starts here! Tania Christie
  • My journey through five years of CLIL Art, Mariel Howard
  • German Symposium, TAGWA

Day 2 – Saturday 22 July

Keynote Address 3: Associate Professor Paul Toth, Contextualise this: Can we teach grammar in communicative tasks?

This talk will explore the teacher’s role in shaping the dynamics of classroom interaction by challenging common notions of what it means to “contextualize” language tasks. Video recordings of classroom interactions during grammar-focused and conversation-focused tasks will be shown and discussed with respect to the participation patterns they facilitate and the objectives they achieve.  The quantity and quality of learner participation will be investigated, as well as self-reporting from students on the strategies they use to figure out how to participate successfully in class.  Conclusions drawn from the presentation will be related to broader explanations of how humans contextualize information when participating in discourse.  The talk will conclude with suggestions for the design of activities, the evaluation of teaching materials, and classroom management.

Paul D. Toth is an associate professor of Spanish applied linguistics at Temple University, in Philadelphia, U.S.A.  There, he teaches courses on language pedagogy, coordinates the Spanish language curriculum, and mentors graduate students and language instructors. He has published 18 research articles and book chapters on instructed second language learning, and has twice been awarded the Paul Pimsleur Award for research excellence from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Keynote Address 4: Associate Professor Craig Lambert, The Educational Rationale for task-based language teaching

This talk will begin by outlining 10 key principles of task-based language teaching (TBLT) and relate these principles and their associated teaching practices to those of experiential learning theory. It will be pointed out that the cognitive dimensions of experiential learning, particularly learners’ attentional focus during task performance, have had a greater impact on TBLT than the affective dimensions, such as learners’ personal responses to tasks and their engagement in task performance. Recent work that expands TBLT practice to address the role of the learner and promote learner engagement in language use will be discussed.

Craig Lambert is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Curtin University. He has taught in post-graduate programs in TESOL at Anaheim University in the United States and at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. He also has 22-years teaching experience in Japan where he has worked an EFL teacher, course coordinator and teacher trainer.

Nick Norris Memorial Lecture: Professor Krishna Sen.

Krishna Sen will be delivering the Nick Norris Memorial Lecture on Leadership in Languages education. Her talk will focus on her period as Dean and the institutional context in which language learning, grew and thrived at UWA.

Krishna Sen is Professor Emerita in Asian Studies at the University of Western Australia. She is a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a member of the New Colombo Plan Reference Group, which is chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. She is internationally recognised for her research and publications on the Indonesian media and she has held many leadership positions in the tertiary sector including most recently as the Dean of Arts at UWA.

Day 2 concurrent sessions and presenters include:

  • The effect of pre-task planning in second language writing, Jingwen Wu.
  • Task-based methodology from theory to practice – what courses are available for the classroom in European languages?, Jillian Symons
  • Empowering student leaders: The Club Venn Experience, Haruko Nomoto, Nathan Harvey & Denise Chionh.
  • From topics to concepts – Integrating the Languages curriculum with other learning areas, Laura Bava.
  • Virtual Treasure Hunt – Engaging Students in Problem-Solving, Lynne Rockliff.
  • The Collaborative Online Language Classroom, Kate Williams.
  • Task-supported language teaching and Japanese Kanji teaching, Dr Hiroshi Hasegawa.
  • Side by Side Competition: a case study, Helen Kuehs
  • TBLT in the Japanese classroom; implications for pedagogy, Anne Becker

To register please contact [email protected]

Register now for the Conference!