Balaman U. (Executive)

EU Supported Other Project, 2021 - 2022

  • Project Type: EU Supported Other Project
  • Begin Date: June 2021
  • End Date: November 2022

Project Abstract

DIGITASK4IC will create a digital task generator for pedagogical tasks, linked with an annotated task catalogue and an OER library to support teacher trainers and trainee teachers. The project sets out to 1) provide teacher trainers in higher education institutions with digital support for their training of (foreign language) pre-service teachers, specifically in how they efficiently develop pedagogical tasks; 2) ensure that they understand how to design tasks to achieve rich spoken outcomes informed by task-based language teaching (TBLT); 3) provide input and digital support on task development for second/additional/foreign language (L2) interactional competence (IC). Currently, TBLT is the most widespread language teaching methodology. This approach draws from pedagogical task design to promote L2 learners’ development. Accordingly, teacher trainers should educate future teachers in pedagogical task design using diverse tools. Both teacher trainers and pre-service teachers in higher education institutions invest substantial time and energy to combine different digital solutions to perform this regular yet laborious pedagogical practice. However, many of these practices are not transferred to in-service teaching, thus being far from sustainable. The consortium endeavours to change this mismatch by producing a digital platform (namely, DIGITASK) to support teachers in generating pedagogical tasks. Specifically, these will be tasks that promote learners’ interactional competence (L2 IC), i.e. their ability to engage actively and appropriately in spoken interaction. The core element of the project – the DIGITASK platform – will consist of a software, a mobile application and a website for generating pedagogical tasks that foster L2 IC.

The DIGITASK4IC team will identify intersections between language teacher education, foreign language teaching, TBLT and L2 IC. This will be used as a basis to identify the interactivity potential of pedagogical tasks in the subsequent intellectual output, namely the Digital Task Catalogue that is a comprehensive documentation of existing local, regional, national, European and/or international pedagogical task types. Based on this background, the project team will create a Digital OER Library to be used as the expert-filtered task design materials. Subsequently, the consortium will produce the Digitization of Pedagogical Task Design plan that will constitute the basis for the development of the DIGITASK platform. Following the release of DIGITASK, the platform will be improved with methodological packages for teaching foreign languages (Turkish, German, French, Spanish, English, Italian, and Catalan) using DIGITASK based on sample pedagogical tasks and task sequences. The final output of the project will be the Digital Training Module designed both as a self-learning tool and an instructional tool to be used by the target participants. Throughout the conceptualization and implementation of DIGITASK, trainers and trainees from teacher education institutions will be active participants. As a result of the successful completion of all project outputs and activities, the consortium will produce a platform and an innovative tool that will have significant impact on teacher trainers and pre-service teachers by providing theoretically and methodologically sound materials together with an open-access and user-friendly application. Through the main outcome, DIGITASK, the project will innovate the task-based teaching of foreign languages and language teacher education practices by digitizing pedagogical task design and incorporating TBLT and L2 IC. In the long term, we expect that DIGITASK will have a central role in teacher training and will also be used in schools mainly through pre-service teachers transforming into school teachers and through the online resources including the Digital Training Module.