Teachers evaluating tasks
Conducting action research is not something that teachers always find easy. Nunan (1990) reported that teachers’ action research proposals tended to be rather grand and unmanageable because they had failed to identify specific research questions. I propose that one practical way in which teachers can research their teaching is by carrying out micro-evaluations of instructional tasks. In this paper I report my experience of requiring students enrolled in a course on task-based teaching as part of their MA studies to undertake an evaluation of a task. They were first asked to design their own task in groups. They then planned a micro-evaluation of the task, taught the task and in the process collected data for the evaluation, and finally wrote a report. I use examples of their reports to discuss how they planned their evaluations, the process of conducting the evaluations, and the kinds of findings they came up with. I also examine the utility of such micro-evaluations as a means of developing teachers’ understanding of task-based teaching.