- Facilitate transfer of learning
- Promote real-life use of the language
- Develop communicative competence
- Integrate ACTFL three modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal, & presentational)
- Utilize students’ multiple intelligences
- Develop higher-order thinking skills
- And more
In your Chinese classroom, how do you design tasks to better utilize your course materials and make learning fun for your students? How do you design activities that provide opportunities for learners to apply the language to real world situations? What do performance-based tasks (PBT) look like? This week, we are going to cover the topic of performance-based tasks from three perspectives: what it is, why should we use it, and how can we do it in language classrooms. What is a performance-based task? Performance-based tasks reflect how students use language and cultural knowledge to achieve communicative tasks. These tasks reflect authentic, real world use of language. The 3 main components of a performance-based task are 1) a real-world task activity, 2) alignment with one of the ACTFL modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal, presentational and 3) the use of a language. Unlike traditional activities (chanting, reciting, reading aloud, etc.), performance-based tasks utilize students' higher order thinking skills including analyzing, evaluating, and creating to focus on how students really use the target language to perform real-life tasks (e.g. planning for travel, ordering food in a restaurant, designing a poster for school events, etc.). Why should we use performance-based tasks? Below is a list of advantages when using performance-based tasks in a language classroom. Language teachers are responsible for utilizing available resources and developing tasks that facilitate learning. Performance-based tasks can be one way teachers can aid language acquisition and make learning useful to real-life contexts.