Teacher Talking Time: The Learn YOUR English Podcast

Episode 11: Talking Task-based Language Teaching with Neil McCutcheon

May 20, 2019

In this episode, Leo chats with teacher and teacher trainer Neil McCutcheon. Neil lives in Strasbourg, France and is the head of CELTA and DELTA training at the ELT Hub in both Strasbourg and Leon. He began teaching in 1991 and has taught in Ghana, Hungary, the UK, and now in France. His main interests are teacher education and developing materials that reflect what we know about second language acquisition. 

On this note, one of Neil's areas of focus is TBLT: Task-based Language Teaching, sometimes referred to as Task-based Learning. He strongly believes this approach is one of the most effective in terms of language acquisition, and he encourages more teachers and programs to adopt it. In this episode, he sits down with Leo about the approach, how it works, why it is effective, and why he thinks many teachers are apprehensive about implementing it in their classrooms. 

Neil has also recently published a book on TBLT, co-authored by Neil Anderson, called "Activities For Task-Based Learning." It's a fantastic book on TBLT, not only because it outlines the approach and activities used therein, but it allows novice teachers to use it includes language that is likely to emerge from each proposed task - a common apprehension among instructors with low levels of language awareness, Neil explains. 

Pick up your copy on Amazon today

Neil McCutcheon and Neil Anderson also founded an enterprise called "Fluency First ELT" where they believe that learning is prompted by the need to communicate, and that out of fluency comes accuracy.

As always, thank you for listening. If you like the show, consider subscribing on Spotify, iTunes, or Google Podcasts and sharing it with a friend. If you have a comment or question about today's show, we'd love to hear from you: info@learnyourenglish.com 

Contact Neil:

Email: neil.mccutcheon@theelthub.com

On Twitter: @NeilJMcCutcheon

Website: Fluencyfirstelt.com

Show Notes:

Challenges in Teacher Training - 6:00

Most don't Identify TBLT in Training Courses - 16:00

Experienced Teachers too Reluctant to Change - 20:00

Value of Tasks and "deep end" teaching - 22:00

Focus on Form vs Focus on Forms vs Focus on Meaning - 32:00

Why PPP Doesn't Work - 35:00

Neil's book motivation - 38:00

Tips for Implementing TBLT in your classroom - 48:30

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