Implementation and Reception of Task-Based Language Teaching in the University Classroom

When and Where

Friday, March 03, 2023 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Victoria College 101
91 Charles St. West, first floor


Juan M. Escalona Torres


We are pleased to welcome Juan M. Escalona Torres for a visit to our department and are looking forward to their presentation on pedagogy of Spanish.

About the Presentation:
Scholars in the field of Second Language (L2) Acquisition and L2 Pedagogy have found that we best learn languages through receiving sufficient input, self-reflecting on learning, and having opportunities for production and feedback (Robinson, 2001; Swain 2005; Van den Branden 2022; among others). In Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT), instructors actualize such language-learning principles by providing students with an opportunity to use language in interactive and meaningful ways. While there is a prodigious amount of theoretical work published on TBLT, there are still sizable gaps in the literature concerning TBLT in practice (Erlam & Tolosa 2022). This talk describes how I attempted to bridge the gap between theory and practice. First, I present how I implemented task-based lessons within a traditional, multi-section and multi-instructor university foreign language curriculum. Then, I present results from an action research study that examined student and instructor perceptions of TBLT. Results indicate that both students and instructors found tasks useful and practical for real-world language application. Additionally, respondents reported that tasks motivated participation and increased learner autonomy. These findings have advanced curriculum development as feedback was implemented to design subsequent course syllabi and pedagogical materials.


  • Erlam, R. & Tolosa, C. (2022). Pedagogical Realities of Task-Based Language Teaching. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Robinson, P. (2001). Cognition and second language instruction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Swain, M. (2005). The output hypothesis: Theory and research. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning (pp. 471–483). London: Routledge.
  • Van den Branden, K. (2022). How to Teach an Additional Language: To task or not to task? Amsterdam: John Benjamins.


About the Presenter:
Juan Manuel Escalona Torres is currently Lecturer in Spanish at the Department of Romance Studies at Cornell University. He completed his B.A. in Applied Linguistics with a specialization in second language pedagogy at Georgia State University. He holds an M.A. in Second Language Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi and an M.A. and Ph.D in Hispanic Linguistics from Indiana University. Both in the U.S. and abroad, he has designed and taught undergraduate and graduate-level language and linguistics courses in Spanish and English. His research interests include sociolinguistics, morphosyntax, historical linguistics, and second language pedagogy. Some of his latest work include a survey of Honduran Spanish morphosyntax, a sociolinguistic study on the use of the Spanish future tenses, and the practical implications of task-based language teaching in the university classroom.


Department of Spanish & Portuguese


91 Charles St. West, first floor