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What task designers do.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2000
<mark>Journal</mark>Language Teaching Research
Issue number3
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)301-321
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper describes part of a research project which is concerned with the design procedures followed by those engaged in designing pedagogic tasks for use in classrooms. The project as a whole is at first briefly described. The paper then focuses on that part of the project which involves actual observation of designers in the process of developing one specific task for class use. Two groups of designers are observed, specialist designers and non-specialists. Findings are presented under three headings. The first, ‘control procedures’, relates to the overall design patterns followed by the subjects. On this level, significant differences between specialists and non-specialists are identified. Second, the ‘design schemata’ of the subjects -the knowledge and belief systems they bring to the activity -are identified, particularly as they relate to the way design is undertaken. On this level, two broad designer types emerge, called language-oriented, and task-oriented. The main concern of the former is to develop tasks with valuable language content, while the latter are more concerned with providing what they regard as interesting and meaningful activities. The third heading, ‘heuristics’, deals with how specific and detailed design problems are tackled. On this level, a number of characteristics are identified, some though not all relating to the specialist/non-specialist distinction. The paper concludes with some observations regarding the production of a Task Design Guide, which the project undertook as part of its aim.