Task Based Language Teaching (TBLT)The current study deems TBLT as an approach to develop fluency among the student-participants due to its internationality and authenticity. Albino (2017) implemented TBLT to improve the speaking fluency of 9th graders at PUNIV-Cazenga where results suggest positive improvement in the learners’ fluency. Other studies also examined TBLT and found significant enhancements in students’ communicative competence, and many other communicative aspects that may imply speaking fluency (Campo, 2016; Khoshima & Shokri, 2016; Munirah & Muhsin, 2015; Sar±§oban& Karakurt, 2016; Tawil, 2018; Ziyaeemehr, 2013; Zu±iga, 2016).
Task-based language teaching is an approach to teaching a second/foreign language that seeks to facilitate language learning by engaging learners in the interactionally authentic language use that results from performing a series of tasks (Ellis 2013, p.2). Task is the center of language learning in which language is not learned by dissecting or by simply regurgitating grammar rules, but by making it as a tool for communication.Plews and Zhao (2010) cited the main principles of TBLT derived from studies into the second language learning and teaching: Learners require exposure to the real (authentic) and varied language of speakers of the target language (often modified; always comprehensible).
Learners must be exposed to and use the kind of language that they want and need for their own interests or purposes. Learners must be provided with opportunities for unrehearsed and meaningful language use in purposeful interaction, where they take informed risks, make choices, and negotiate meaning while seeking solutions to genuine queries. Teachers ensure that activities are interconnected and organized with clearly specified objectives and promote the desire to learn. Teachers should elicit self-correction, enable personalized feedback, and consider learners’ individual developing language systems (interlanguage). Teachers must set learners activities that help them notice language forms; induction/discovery is preferable to deduction/presentation; teachers should (explicitly) instruct form in the context of activities where meaning is primary. The whole language (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) should be integrated. Teachers evaluate learners in a formative manner and in terms of the process of achieving a goal; learners need to evaluate their own performance and progress. (Plews & Zhao, 2010, p. 43)Ellis further elaborated:In a sense, then, TBLT seeks to replicate the conditions that prevail when a child learns his/her first language. Children are not taught language but pick it up through interacting with their caretakers. However, as the classroom constitutes a very different learning environment from that found in the intimate family contexts of first language acquisition, TBLT ” through the selection of tasks and how they are implemented ” seeks to create contexts suited to the more formal conditions of instructed learning (Ellis, 2013, p.2).TBLT is therefore a way to develop learners’ speaking fluency through real-life tasks that would allow them to use the language for a purpose, not because they will use it in a grammar test. Manta (2013) sustained that grammar instruction should be taught after determining its need upon the performance task of the learners.Moreover, there are studies suggesting the need for more evidence of the effectiveness of TBLT approach on learners’ communicative competence. Elmahdi (2013) recommended that more research should be conducted in light of TBLT approach and its effects on learners’ performance and fluency.Another study is conducted by Ismaili (n.d) which used TBLT to improve the speaking performance of the participants. The study revealed that students can learn more effectively and they were more comfortable, and cooperative in task-based instructions. Task based instructions, then, contribute to speaking improvement of the learners (Hasan, 2014; Sanchez, 2016; Sofyana, 2015; Tiwari & Mani, 2017).TBLT indeed have gained significant amount of positive data over the decade. However, Albino (2017) and other researchers have recommended to conduct more studies with more cases of language learners in different contexts.Frameworks for TBLTIn designingtasks, Nunan (2004) provided a framework for TBLT. It starts with a real-world task (e.g. shopping) where learners must perform/accomplish successfully with proper scaffolding from the teacher providing exercise, communicative activities, rehearsal, and activation tasks. The end, let say, is the successful shopping as a communicative task, and the means are the pedagogical tasks, enabling exercises and activities. Form then, is addressed as the need for it arises when learners encountered dilemmas in doing their tasks. The role of the teacher is then is like a coach. The current study will use the same framework for its purpose to improve the fluency of the student-participants.The same framework that will be applied in the intervention program is from Ellis (1996) as cited by Ting (2016). Pre-task is the enabling phase and activation stage of Nunan’s framework. Pedagogical tasks happen when students plan, report, and learn language forms. Both framework have the same recursive feature where the students test their pre-existing knowledge and skills in the task while the teacher enables them to gradually perform the task based on the given standard. Thus, the task cycle is repeated until the students have the autonomy to do it with their mastered language skills.