Applicability Issues with TBLT in EFL Contexts

Document Type : Research Article


Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran


This paper examines the theoretical rationales and practical aspects of task-based language teaching (TBLT) with particular reference to research findings in EFL/ESL contexts. The definitional scope of the term ‘task’, polarizations in terms of task vs. non-task, and its relation to different language teaching approaches have engendered conceptual and methodological ambiguities.  Moreover, factors related to task difficulty and task procedures have been rarely examined empirically. The adoption of the approach has faced serious resistance due to the incompatibility of some of its underpinnings with the nonwestern cultures of learning, the long-held psychometric traditions of testing, and its claims about communication and task accomplishment as conducive to language acquisition. The unpredictability of the learners’ reactions during communication, disregard for the teachers’ sense of plausibility and learners’ level have created tension amongst teachers, learners, and authorities as to the suitability of this approach.  It is argued that the ideological stance of the approach needs to be tampered with greater realism thorough accountability reports and evidential research.