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Tasks and Communicating in Language Classrooms is a significant new work in the area of classroom communication. This text takes a principled approach to how one can take the basic question-and-answer paradigm found in many, if not most, language textbooks and reformulate it into interactive tasks that place communication in the hands of the student-learners. This text is practical in terms of task development and task-based test design and development, and simultaneously well-grounded in theory and research. Continuing in the tradition of bringing theory, research, and practice together into one volume, Lee's work is a welcome addition to the McGraw-Hill Second Language Professional Series.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Each of the nine chapters in Tasks and Communicating in Language Classrooms begins with the "Chapter Overview" section so that students have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the main topics that they will study in greater depth for a given chapter.
The activities presented in each chapter's subsection illustrate the material in such a way that they help students make a meaningful connection to this subject. For example, a section called
Application Activities (which involves various types of student participation) asks students to develop lesson plans that would reinforce what they have learned in that particular chapter. These are actual analysis, research, and development type exercises and not simply true/false or multiple-choice type assignments.
Throughout the text are also special items designed like magazine "pull-quotes" that appear next to the topics they introduce to provide additional information, notes, and so on.
At the end of each chapter, the Summary outlines the chapter's general content, to help synthesize the topics just studied, and it often provides a brief preview of the next chapter.
The Summary is followed by a special section called Gaining Greater Perspective. Similar to an annotated bibliography, it provides a concise list of books with an accompanying description for each book listed. The books included in this section are especially relevant to the content of the chapter just presented to the reader and are meant to encourage students to pursue further reading and research in this area.
James F. Lee is the Head of the Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. His research interests are in the areas of second language reading comprehension, input processing, and exploring the relationship between the two. His research has appeared in a number of scholarly journals and publications, including the co-authored books with Alessandro Benati Second Language Processing: Theory, Problems and Possible Solutions (2007, Continuum) and Delivering Processing Instruction in Classrooms and Virtual Contexts (2007, Equinox). Other publications include the book Tasks and Communicating in Language Classrooms (2000, McGraw-Hill) and the co-authored book Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen, Second Edition (2003, McGraw-Hill). He has also co-authored secveral textbooks, including ¿Sabias que...? Beginning Spanish, Vistazos, ¿Qué te parece?, and Ideas: Lecturas, estrategias, actividades y composiciones. He and Bill VanPatten are series editors for the McGraw-Hill Second Language Professional Series.
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