The first part of this presentation will begin by making a case of why task-based language teaching (TBLT) ought to be considered a viable teaching approach for heritage language (HL) learners. The rationale for TBLT will be discussed in conjunction with a brief summary of current findings on the effects of task-based instruction on HL learners’ perceptions as well as their language performance and development, which can provide a window into how HL learners approach instruction. Specifically, findings will address the following areas: conducting a needs analysis, examining learner motivation, peer collaboration and computer-assisted language learning. The second part of the presentation will focus on the design of task-based lessons, which include the criteria for creating a task as well as pre-task and post-task cycles to support and exploit the use of the task for instructional purposes. Examples will be provided to illustrate these three phases of task-based instruction.
Julio Torres is an Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism in the departments of Spanish and Portuguese and Language Science at the University of California, Irvine. He directs the Spanish Language Program and a new minor in Spanish/English bilingual education. He also is the director of "El Areyto Lab" which conducts research in heritage and second language acquisition, bilingualism, cognition, and task-based language learning. He has published book chapters and articles that have appeared in Canadian Modern Language Review, Foreign Language Annals, Heritage Language Journal among others. He is the co-editor of the edited volume El español como lengua de herencia ("Spanish as a Heritage Language") with Routledge Press and co-author of the monograph Second Language Development in Writing: Measures of fluency, accuracy and complexity: An Update. He is also the recipient of the 2014 Russell Campbell’s Young Scholar Special Recognition Award.