Task-Based Language Learning (TBLL)

Projects for Independent Language Learners in Immersion Contexts By Dr. C. R. Nolen and Matt Nolen

What is TBLT/ TBLL?

Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) and Task-Based Language Learning (TBLL) are acronyms for the name of an approach to teaching and learning a new language (Long, 2016; Ellis, 2017). TBLL is an option for independent learners who want to use language to do something. Long (as cited in Ellis, 2003, pg. 4) would define a task as “the one hundred and one things people do in everyday life, at work, at play and in between”. That said, a task can be something that you already do as a part of your routine. You can, for example, learn a second language by preparing breakfast or driving to work. TBLL can be applied for those learning a language in their own home country and for those who live in a new community overseas. TBLL can use situations (such as a difficult conversation with my child’s teacher), places (such as the grocery store) and events (such as a friend’s birthday party) as opportunities to learn a second language. For many expatriates, language learning entails performing many tasks in the local society. Purchasing groceries and goods, getting money from a local bank, enrolling children in school, working, catching local transportation and all the other tasks that are necessary when we live in a new community. Each task may require specific language (such as grammatical features, vocabulary, a knowledge of semantic and cultural nuance, and even pronunciation) to perform the task successfully. TBLL is a very flexible and powerful tool for language learning. Driven individuals can use TBLL wherever they are, and instructors, tutors and language helpers can be trained to make language learning more practical, effective, and goal-focused. We highly recommend it for language learning anywhere!


Please select the language level that is most appropriate for you in the second language.

Note: Even if the task is the same, it should not look the same at different levels. Let’s look at an example:

If the task is to order food at a restaurant, a novice level learner may be able to name the different dishes and ingredients in those dishes along with a handful of key questions. An advanced learner, on the other hand, may ask how a certain dish is prepared, make requests to prepare the food a certain way and write reviews about the restaurant and dish online.

Course Content

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Course Includes

  • 3 Lessons
  • 4 Topics