Task-Based Bilingual Program Innovation: A Model of Joint Efforts in Improving Students’ Heritage Language Fluency

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  • Despite heritage languages (HL) being promoted by some Canadian provincial governments as a subject in school or through bilingual programs, students' learning outcome is not satisfactory due to the inadequate time allotment and the teaching methods applied. Therefore the purpose of this project is to propose a task-based language teaching (TBLT) model that can improve students' HL competence and learning enthusiasm. The works of literature on HL curriculum innovations, TBLT theoretical framework and community-based language acquisition are expounded in light of their contribution to the designing of this HL project model. For example, Wu (2002) and Douglas (2005) have all proposed their own HL instruction approaches for catering to HL learners' diverse language proficiencies and learning interests. Zapata (2018) has proposed a project to study how the digital Learning by Design instructional materials can enhance HL learners' literacy skills. The interpretations of "task" offered by Willis (1996), Nunan (2004), Ellis (2003; 2009), and Long (1985; 2015) have provided a solid theoretical basis for designing an applicable task in this project. The intergenerational approach (Cordella & Huang, 2016), service learning approach (Ruggiero, 2018), and assets-based approach (Kretzmann & McKnight, 1993) indicate how to tap into community resources and conduct community-based HL program. Based on the pedagogical enlightenment drawn from the literature, the author has designed three technology-facilitated interactive HL learning tasks for the classroom, home, and community respectively. The project not only contributes to bridging the gap in the current literature related to HL pedagogy innovations, but also provides a concrete model for Mandarin bilingual-school teachers to facilitate students' learning.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International