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Further to Tinker Sachs (2007), this paper reports on the development of taskbased learning and teaching (TBLT) within a cooperative learning (CL) and teacher action research context. The three-year longitudinal project involved 12 teachers and their students from 3 government primary schools in Hong Kong. When innovative ways of teacher professional development in language teaching are fostered, a great deal of teacher and learner risk-taking is necessary for teaching and learning success. This paper reports on the risk-taking behaviours of teachers and students as they engaged in TBLT and CL. Data were drawn from teacher and learner interviews, questionnaires, lesson feedback and transcriptions. The results indicated that with an action research framework in a TBLT and CL classroom environment, both teachers and students increased their use of the target language. Teacher risk-taking involved development of learner-centred teaching routines and the creation of tasks for language development. Similarly, learners exhibited a need for more learner-centred activities in English to extend their conversational repertoire. Recommendations are offered for promoting the conditions in which both teachers and learners can engage in the kinds of risk-taking that underpin successful task-based teaching and learning


Orginally published in

Tinker Sachs, G. (2009). Taking risks in task-based teaching and learning. Asian Journal of English Language Teaching, 19, 91-112.

Posted by permission. (c) Chinese University of Hong Kong Press