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Volume 13 Number 2, Summer 2016, Pages 72-161 PDF Download

Teachers' Beliefs About Task-Based Language Teaching in Japan

    Justin Harris

As task-based language teaching (TBLT) has grown in popularity in many Asian EFL countries, it has sometimes been the target of criticism from locally situated researchers and teachers, who question its appropriateness for such contexts (Burrows, 2008), often in contrast to more traditional methods, such as the “presentation, practice, production” (PPP) approach (Sato 2009). Partially in response to this criticism, the Task Based Language Learning Special Interest Group (TBLSIG) of the Japanese Association for Language Teachers was formed in 2010 in order to contribute to research into the implementation of TBLT in Japanese and Asian EFL classrooms. As the majority of TBLSIG members are teachers, presently interested in using TBLT in classrooms, they provide an ideal source of insight into how the approach can be implemented effectively in Japan, and by extension, in other similar EFL countries in Asia. This study investigated these teachers' beliefs about TBLT in Japanese classrooms through an online survey. The aim of the study was to add to existing research on teacher beliefs by not only investigating teachers' understanding of the principles of TBLT, but also by enquiring into what special considerations practicing teachers have made when implementing TBLT in Japanese classrooms.

Keywords: task-based language teaching, teacher beliefs, teaching methodology, contextdependent teaching methods