Reading: A Task-Based Approach to Motivate Speaking in the ESL Classroom


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A Task-Based Approach to Motivate Speaking in the ESL Classroom


U. Rathnasena

SLIIT, Malabe, LK
About U.
English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU), Faculty of Humanities and Sciences
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The speaking competency of students learning General English at Tertiary Educational Institutes (TEIs) has become a primary concern of many academics and policy makers. In such a context, this paper investigates the implications of incorporating a task-based speaking component in the English as a Second Language (ESL ) curriculum at tertiary level. The sample cohort comprises of post Advanced Level students studying General English at a private institute. An identical speaking task was administered, first without scaffolding and later with scaffolding to observe students’ performance. It was observed that when a speaking activity is assigned, learners have the tendency to visualize it in L1 and convert it to L2. In a case where scaffolding items such as, notecards and strips are not allowed, learners memorize the lines or utterances and enact the given speaking task. Consequently, their discourse is impeded as they struggle for better vocabulary as well as sentences. Insights of the students’ need, and their feedback led the institute allocate extra time weekly for speaking. It is recommended that more task-based speaking activities are introduced to the institute’s ESL: Speaking Curriculum.

How to Cite: Rathnasena, U., 2020. A Task-Based Approach to Motivate Speaking in the ESL Classroom. SLIIT Journal of Humanities and Sciences, 1(1), pp.28–35. DOI:
Published on 01 Dec 2020.
Peer Reviewed


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