Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 4421-4425
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Teachers have been using tasks for centuries. They started with such a simple task as filling in the sentence gaps with some prepositions or translating some extracts. Recently, tasks started incorporating more sophisticated tasks, requiring student’s personal involvement in task solving process such as projects elaborating, oral presentations, radio plays, video shooting, websites design and dramatic performances. The common feature for all these rather different tasks is that they exploit a wider range of language and require different communicative language skills usage. Thus task-based model draws teachers’ attention.
There is common belief that students may learn more effectively when their minds are focused on the task, rather than on the language they are using. Our empirical research reveals it proves to be more effective when applied to adult learners.
One of the ways to tailor task-based activities to motivation for language learning is to combine Semantic Map and Concordance technologies to train LSP oriented skills in a professional setting. As our experience deals with teaching English for lawyers-to-be we suppose to outline some steps that combine professional task-based LSP learning and training with IT technologies that professionals use in the work.
LSP (Language for Specific Purposes) training is known to seek for innovative ways to enhance professional vocabulary. One way to reach this goal is to support this task implementation with new IT technologies that are part and parcel of a professional’ every day activities at work. Nowadays lawyers can’t stand without the LexisNexis Concordance's case management. On the other hand legal terms much depend on the extra linguistic context and concrete social/professional culture settings. Thus to make the natural language processing effective the semantic mapping of the English language is a must for LSP training.
Semantic Map is based on the Cognition's technology that interprets the meaning of words in the context. In addition, due to the technology's understanding of synonymy, it is able to retrieve more relevant results. Cognition returns results reflecting the desired contextual meaning. Cognition makes the review process much more efficient and productive by identifying more relevant documents for attorney review, shrinking cycle time and increasing case throughput. What can encourage even more is the fact that currently, Cognition's Semantic NLP technology is integrated with the LexisNexis Concordance's case management. While our adult students are looking for some legal task solution they come across and keep in their minds many different contextual meanings of standard legal terms.
A framework for task based learning regards task-based learning as a three stage process:
• pre-task - introduction to the task topic
• task cycle - task planning and report
• language focus - analysis and practice.
This three stage process presumes a shift in the traditional teacher's role. The teacher does not introduce and 'present' language or interfere during the task cycle. The teacher is an observer during the task phase and becomes a language supporter and supervisor only during the 'language focus' stage. Concrete examples are supposed to be analysed in the paper.
communicative approach to language teaching, task-based teaching and learning.