The Student as Interviewer and Presenter : A Task-based Approach to English Textbook Content
task-based language teaching (TBLT)
task-supported language teaching (TSLT)
A long-standing aim of Japanese education policy for the 21st century has been for all adult citizens to achieve a communicative competence in English. With Japan due to host the Summer Olympics in 2020, this aim has become ever more pressing. However, despite the efforts of policy makers, success measured against international standards has proved elusive. Congruent with this aim, and in response to the, thus far, disappointing outcomes, new approaches to English education are being introduced at all levels of the education system. This paper is presented as an empirical case study, comparing various approaches to teaching non-English major students at one Japanese university. In the context of a common syllabus and testing policy, with minimal allowance for any variation in L2 proficiency, and a requirement to cover a limited number of textbook-determined content areas, four different approaches to teaching, ranging from a single teacher, PPP approach, to team-teaching a TSLT approach were examined. Making use of a self-assessment survey, results indicate a favorable response to task-based activities, with participants expressing improved motivation and a recognition of the relevance of the set tasks. The respective roles of teachers in a team-teaching environment and the practicability of such an approach are also considered.