TASK VERSUS EXERCISE
TASK VERSUS EXERCISE
By David Nunan
At the risk of oversimplication, the essential difference between a task and an exercise is that a task has a nonlinguistic outcome, while an exercise has a linguistic outcome. Thus, in the first example given in the box above, the outcome will be the selection of appropriate clothings, given (and assuming the accuracy of) a weather forecast. This is a nonlinguistic outcome, and success will be measured in nonlinguistic terms (whether the person is too hot, too cold, or comfortable). In contrast, the following is an exercise (and, a creative one at that!), because the outcome will be a set of structure. Success will be decided in linguistic terms.
I always bring a laptop, which is a portable computer.
1. luggage cart聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 5. travel calculator
2. money belt聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 6. detergent
3. travel iron聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 7. a Swiss army knife
4. adapter聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 8. book light
Frodesen and Eyring 1993: 159
Elsewhere, I have suggested that tasks have some sort of input data (I use this term rather than text because the data may not contain language. It may be a set of pictures, diagrams, or other nonverbal material). It will also contain a set of procedures that specify what learners are to do in relation to the data. Implicit in any task will be a pedagogical goal, as well as particular roles for teachers and learners. One final dimension worth considering is the setting in which the task will be performed. Will this be within the classroom or outside? Will the learners work in teacher-fronted, small group, or individual mode?
In describing. analyzing and creating tasks, it is useful to think of the four essential dimensions of task. These are the dimensions of language, procedure, learner, and learning process. In each of these dimensions there are several key considerations that I shall summarize here, and take up in greater detall later in the book. In the rest of this chapter, I look at three important principles of task design.
1. the authenticity principle;
2. the form/function principle;
3. the task dependency principle.
聽本文作者 David Nuflan 是香港大学英语中心主任、应用语言学首席教授。
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