Task Based Learning (TBL) is a teaching method which requires students to complete a given task using the target language.
Effective educators assign tasks based on a student’s interests to help increase motivation, making this a great technique for active learners that have not been successful in a traditional classroom setting.
Applying Task Based Learning to Jiu-Jitsu
Jiu-jitsu is a great place to apply this method. Let’s take a look at how the components of Task Based Learning apply to a typical jiu jitsu class.
This is the stage where the teacher gives instructions on what is to be completed in the task phase. If the task is the technique that students are supposed to master, then the pre-task would be the instructional portion of the class. In the context of language learning, this would be your first visual and audiotory exposure to the target vocabulary.
Students break into pairs or groups to complete the given task. Some pairs will be able to complete the given task on their own, others may require further instruction from their teacher, or if working independently, they may need to refer to notes. In jiu jitsu not many of us take notes, so that’s perfect for kinesthetic and auditory centered learners.
In this stage, students prepare an oral or written report to assess their understanding of the topics. In jiu-jitsu, this manifests as the internal thought process we go through before being able to verbalize to another teammate the steps to complete a given task. If you’re trying to explain the technique in Portuguese, you need to prepare yourself with the correct vocabulary to communicate your point.
Students report back to the class and receive feedback. In jiu-jitsu there is no better feedback than sparring! You drilled the technique, you know the steps, but true understanding comes for being able to apply it in the correct context. Learning a language requires you to constantly test our new vocabulary!
You don’t need a teacher’s feedback to get an analysis on your jiu-jitsu progress, and the same can be said with language learning. If you apply this method and USE the target language in real life situations then you can do your own self analysis after completing the reporting stage.
After analyzing your performance, it’s important to set specific and measurable goals to practice. You can’t berimbolo before you learn to play closed guard, you have to respect the process. Assessing your needs, plannings your target learning goals, and always analyzing which aspects you need to practice, are key steps to improving your performance in jiu-jitsu, learning Portuguese, or whatever task you want to apply this method to!