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Volume 5 Number 3, Autumn 2008, Pages 1-223   

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Task Design to Task Enactment: How Teacher Interpretations of a Given Task Manipulate its Evolution as a Pedagogical Construct

    Damian John Rivers

This exploratory research tracks the development of a process orientated task-based lesson entitled Deserted in order to identify how materials design can be more ergonomically aligned with and conducive to variability in classroom task enactment. This sequence begins with the visualization of a series of communicative micro-level tasks functioning within the boundary of a larger macro-level task as proposed by a university materials designer. The sequence concludes with the enactment of these micro-level tasks within an EFL classroom environment. Incorporating a dual case-study research design, two university lecturers at a Japanese university were interviewed pre-lesson in order to elicit their attitudes toward the notion of task. They were also required to present a workplan outlining their intended use of the Deserted materials. Subsequently, two 90-minute lessons were observed and field notes were combined with post-lesson interviews. It was found that there were distinct differences in teacher enactment. This not only changed the material designer's visualized enactment procedure but also changed the nature of the task as a pedagogical construct. Detailed reports of each teacher's enactment are presented and the need for further large-scale research looking at the variability between task design and task enactment is called for.

Keywords: pedagogical task, materials design, teacher enactment, task-based language teaching