Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2542-9477
  • E-ISSN: 2542-9485
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For over 30 years, corpus research on register variation has expanded our understanding of language use by illustrating how linguistic features co-occur and vary in different situations of use (Biber & Conrad 2019). Over the same period, Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) has provided a theoretical and empirical basis for research in instructed Second Language Acquisition/SLA (Ellis 2012). This paper illustrates how the methods and approaches used in register analysis offer a useful framework for understanding critical issues in TBLT (e.g., describing tasks and interpreting task performance). The paper compares register analysis and TBLT and then draws upon recent empirical work demonstrating how a register approach (a) identifies a wider range of linguistic and non-linguistic variables than are generally in TBLT; and, (b) provides a useful framework to functionally interpret task performance. The paper ends by discussing how a register perspective can benefit future areas of investigation in task-based second language research.


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