Earlier, when I wrote about trying to make language therapy more objective language therapy, I discussed the need to differentiate task types, at least in order to effectively measure progress. When doing so, a language teacher must determine what type of task the learner is engaged in, or else you’re simply going to be too often comparing skills which are not actually comparable. Using task types can also result in us better knowing what’s next for students who are achieving objectives, or what to fall back on when they’re not. The easiest, or most basic, task type is Identification.
Identification tasks often involve pictures or objects and/or choices with foils. Simply put, the learner has to identify the target skill. Easier tasks have fewer foils generally, with more foils making it harder, with ID of objects in the environment or in scenes being the most difficult, as they have tons of possible incorrect answers. Some more examples:
So in this example, if the goal is age appropriate use of adjectives, and the student is identifying age appropriate adjectives in his or her environment, without cues, then the teacher can make the task type more challenging by moving on to labeling – which I’ll give some examples of in a post coming very soon.