Tasks, experiential learning, and meaning making activities

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To address problems of low academic achievement by second language learners, task-based learning and teaching research must focus on academic content tasks that involve both form and meaning, language and content, academic discourse and disciplinary knowledge. How are such tasks 'experiential'? We draw upon a Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) analysis of language and discourse to develop a more adequate model of Kolb's experiential learning cycle that can capitalize on linguistic evidence, illuminate the analysis and development of language as a means of experiential learning, and locate experiential learning in the wider context of socio-semantic meaning-making activities. We illustrate this model with two contrasting examples: young children learning about magnetism, and college-level students learning about marketing.


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