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Particular attention should be given to the development of extensive reading skills (ER) in the case of young learners (YLs) (Al-Jardani, 2012). The learners’ identity characteristics and learning patterns can either hinder or assist: YLs tend to be more quickly distracted and their attention span is shorter than that of older students, especially when tasked with difficult topics (Hakim, 2015). In addition, children are less capable of abstract thinking about language, and when provided with rules, they may choose to disregard them and rely instead on their own explanations (Al Malihi, 2015).
Children also require greater support and need extra motivation (Briggs, 2016). These characteristics are, however, general: the possibility of such generalization suggests that YLs need a particular teaching approach, which can be developed with the aid of these generalizations (Thomas & Reinders, 2015). The purpose of the study is to prove that Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) is applicable to the work with YLs and that TBLT provides an opportunity to apply learners’ skills in a motivational and engaging way.
The possibility of application of TBLT to develop ER skills in Arab YLs requires a thorough consideration of the learners’ specific needs and capabilities. The aims of the study include a number of specific areas to research, for instance:
- investigating the effects of the environment on the reading skills of YLs;
- researching the teaching implications for YLs and Arab students specifically (Shabani & Ghasemi, 2014);
- investigating the relevance of TBLT in relation to YLs;
- developing specific examples of effective tasks for promoting students’ learning;
- developing curriculum guidelines for the emergence of sustainable ER skills in YLs.
Applied Linguistics and TESOL Concepts
The study will be carried out in accordance with the key concepts of applied linguistics and TESOL tenets. Thus, the research objectives include the L1 and L2 students’ acquisition and learning. The study considers how to promote the conjunction between task and orientation and task and meaning (investigating patterns) (O’Keeffe & McCarthy, 2016). In addition, it is essential to find out how the educator can track and differentiate what was taught to YLs’ and what was learned.
The research will include a thorough analysis of current literature in the field. Contemporary texts regarding reading comprehension and the usability of extensive reading enrichment programs will be analysed (Ahmed & Rajab, 2015). Different methods and tools to promote the required skills will be considered, for instance, the efficiency of introducing stories in English to YLs (Al Harrasi, 2012). Further, it is necessary to focus on motivational factors and on the importance of students’ attitude and the implications that has for the TBLT (Long, 2014). The variety of peer-reviewed articles and academic writings on the topic of strategies in learning and using a second language will make possible the careful examination of the most effective approaches to promote YL’s reading comprehension (Cohen, 2014). In addition, it is essential to conduct research on the methods and practices of task-based language teaching in other countries in order to better target the most effective methods and then compare them with experiences of Saudi Arabia educators (Garton, Copland, & Burns, 2011).
Data Collection Methods
The qualitative study will be carried out based on structured and unstructured texts (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2013). The framework will consist of the latest research across academic resources and texts, including peer-reviewed articles and books. Thus, the main data collection tools will be literature review and analysis (Lichtman, 2012). If the research indicates it to be necessary, the research method can be extended through the application of quantitative research techniques to ensure collection of the most reliable results and to achieve validity (Wallace & Atkins, 2012).
Ahmed, R. & Rajab, H. (2015). Enhancing elementary level EFL students’ reading comprehension and writing skills through extensive reading enrichment program. International Journal of English Language Education, 3(2), 28. Web.
Al Harrasi, K. (2012). Using stories in English Omani curriculum. English Language Teaching, 5(11), 51-59. Web.
Al-Jardani, K. (2012). English language curriculum evaluation in Oman. International Journal of English Linguistics, 2(5). Web.
Al Malihi, J. F. (2015). Saudi EFL teachers’ readiness and perceptions of young learners teaching at elementary schools. English Language Teaching, 8(2), 86-100. http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/elt.v8n2p86
Briggs, J. (2016). Read on! Extensive reading and young second language learners’ motivation and attitudes. Web.
Cohen, A. (2014). Strategies in learning and using a second language. London, UK: Routledge.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2013). Research methods in education. London, UK: Routledge.
Garton, S., Copland, F., & Burns, A. (2011). Investigating global practices in teaching English to young learners. London, UK: British Council.
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Hakim, B. (2015). The role of learning styles in the success of TBLT in EFL classrooms in Saudi Arabia. International Journal Of Applied Linguistics And English Literature, 4(3), 205-211. Web.
Lichtman, M. (2012). Qualitative research in education. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Long, M. (2014). Second language acquisition and task-based language teaching. New York, NY: John Wiley & Son.
O’Keeffe, A., & McCarthy, M. (2016). The Routledge handbook of corpus linguistics. London, UK: Routledge.
Shabani, M., & Ghasemi, A. (2014). The effect of task-based language teaching (TBLT) and content-based language teaching (CBLT) on the Iranian intermediate ESP learners’ reading comprehension. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 98, 1713-1721. Web.
Thomas, M. & Reinders, H. (2015). Contemporary task-based language teaching in Asia. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Wallace, S., & Atkins, L. (2012). Qualitative research in education. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.