NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1052126
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0826-435X
Preparing Students for Education, Work, and Community: Activity Theory in Task-Based Curriculum Design
Campbell, Chris; MacPherson, Seonaigh; Sawkins, Tanis
TESL Canada Journal, v31 spec iss 8 p68-92 2014
This case study describes how sociocultural and activity theory were applied in the design of a publicly funded, Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)-based English as a Second Language (ESL) credential program and curriculum for immigrant and international students in postsecondary institutions in British Columbia, Canada. The ESL Pathways Project was conceived to prepare immigrant students to navigate the multiple pathways in the settlement process from postsecondary education to the workplace, community participation, and citizenship. The innovation in curriculum design resulted from the systematic reinterpretation of situated cognition and task-based design using activity theory. Given that both situated and task-based learning share intersecting theoretical lineages with activity theory, this reinterpretation was more a deepening and improvement than a reconceptualization process. The ensuing units were defined by the real-world activities and contexts of target communities of practice, with relevant instructional topics, tasks, genres, skills, and outcomes presented in a systematic manner to support learners to participate, ultimately, in those target communities. This process contrasts with traditional ad hoc forms of task-based curriculum design in ESL and EAP (English for Academic Purposes).
TESL Canada Federation. 408-4370 Dominion Street, Burnaby, BC V5G 4L7, Canada. Tel: 604-298-0312; Fax: 604-298-0372; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A