Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges April 2021                            Pp. 107 126

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 Engaging Students Online with Technology-Mediated Task-Based Language Teaching

  Surya Subrahmanyam Vellanki
English Language Center
University of Technology and Applied Sciences
Nizwa, Sultanate of Oman
Corresponding Author:

  Sasidhar Bandu
Department of English, Deanship of PYP
Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University
Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia


  Recived: 3/3/2021                 Accepted: 4/7/2021                    Published: 4/26/2021


The Covid-19 pandemic effected a sudden shift to online teaching, prompting teachers to implement many uncommon or even unusual teaching techniques in this unforeseen context. This precipitous move to online teaching has radically altered our teaching practices, where teachers have had to either completely do away with traditional practices or modify them in significant ways. One of the primary concerns of online teaching voiced by many teachers is to hold students’ interest and keep them engaged in the virtual classroom. Another challenge has been to make students interact with each other and the teacher. The authors of this paper believe that Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) addresses these concerns head-on. There are two reasons for this: first, its emphasis on real-life language through meaningful tasks; and second, it is student-centered. This paper provides a brief background of TBLT and technology-mediated TBLT. It will show how some coursebook materials could be used in TBLT to help online learners improve their language skills. The paper also outlines with examples how technology-mediated tasks could be deployed to encourage learners to use language in productive ways. Finally, the authors discuss some of the anticipated challenges concerning the application of TBLT in online teaching and learning contexts.
Keywords: collaborative tasks, online interaction, online teaching, student-centered teaching, Task-Based Language Teaching, technology-facilitated tasks

Cite as:  Vellanki, S. S., & Bandu, S. (2021). Engaging Students Online with Technology-Mediated Task-Based Language Teaching. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges (1) 107 126.


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Dr. Surya Subrahmanyam Vellanki is currently working at University of Technology and Applied Sciences, Nizwa, Oman. He received his Ph.D. in English in 2004 and Cambridge DELTA in 2016. His research interests are language assessment, language learning in technology enhanced, virtual and digital environments, learning strategies and TBLT. ORCID:

Sasidhar Bandu is an EFL Lecturer at Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. His areas of research interest are teaching English with technology, learner autonomy, teacher education and CPD. ORCID: