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  • Chapter One Below


Developing Listening and Speaking Skills Through Task-based Language Learning



This quantitative survey research study employed a structured questionnaire to investigate developing listening and speaking skills through task-based language learning. A sample of 120 respondents participated, providing valuable insights into the impact of TBLL on language learners. The collected data were presented and analyzed using SPSS26, facilitating a comprehensive examination of the research objectives. Hypotheses were formulated and tested through the application of one-sample t-tests, serving as a statistical foundation for assessing the significance of TBLL’s influence on language skills development. Tables 4.2 to 4.20 succinctly portray the quantitative findings, portraying respondents’ perceptions and experiences across various dimensions of language learning within the TBLL framework. The results showcased a substantial consensus among the respondents. Tables 4.2 to 4.8 revealed that a majority of participants had prior exposure to language support programs, underlining the prevalence of TBLL in educational contexts. In Tables 4.9 to 4.20, participants consistently expressed favourable perceptions and experiences with TBLL, highlighting its efficacy in fostering listening comprehension, speaking proficiency, oral expression, fluency, confidence, and real-life communication skills. These positive perceptions aligned with the hypothesis testing outcomes, where the computed t-statistics exceeded critical values, leading to the rejection of hypotheses that contested the positive impact of TBLL on language skill development and learner perceptions. In conclusion, the study contributes substantively to the field of language education by substantiating the effectiveness of TBLL as an innovative pedagogical approach. The findings not only confirmed the tangible benefits of TBLL in enhancing language skills but also underscored its role in promoting positive attitudes and engagement among language learners. This research’s implications are profound, guiding educators, curriculum designers, and institutions towards incorporating TBLL as a powerful tool for fostering holistic language acquisition. Based on these outcomes, six key recommendations emerge. First, educators should receive comprehensive training in implementing TBLL effectively. Second, curriculum designers should integrate TBLL tasks that cater to diverse learning styles and preferences. Third, institutions should invest in creating a supportive and immersive language learning environment. Fourth, continuous research should explore the evolving landscape of language education methodologies. Fifth, educators should strive to maintain a balance between structure and spontaneity in TBLL activities. Finally, learners should be encouraged to actively participate in TBLL tasks and reflect on their experiences.







Background to the Study

Language learning and proficiency in listening and speaking skills are crucial for effective communication and language acquisition. Listening and speaking are foundational language skills that facilitate successful communication in various social, academic, and professional contexts (Ahmad & Agarwal, 2018; Angelini & Carbonell, 2021; Fitria et al., 2021). In language education, these skills are often considered vital components of language proficiency, alongside reading and writing. However, traditional language teaching methods have often focused primarily on reading and writing, neglecting the development of listening and speaking skills (Ahmad & Agarwal, 2018). As a result, many students face challenges in applying their language knowledge in real-life communication situations.

The role of effective listening cannot be underestimated in language learning. Listening skills allow learners to comprehend spoken language, process information, and understand the context of a conversation or speech (Ahmad & Agarwal, 2018; Angelini & Carbonell, 2021; Fitria et al., 2021). Moreover, listening is a critical skill for language learners to engage in meaningful interactions, such as participating in classroom discussions, interviews, or social conversations (Ahmad & Agarwal, 2018). While listening is essential for language comprehension, speaking skills enable learners to express their ideas, thoughts, and opinions fluently and accurately (Ahmad & Agarwal, 2018; Angelini & Carbonell, 2021; Fitria et al., 2021). Effective speaking proficiency enables learners to communicate confidently and engage in meaningful dialogue, thereby facilitating social and academic integration.

In recent years, language educators and researchers have recognized the significance of task-based approaches to language learning, particularly Task-Based Language Learning (TBLL). TBLL is an innovative pedagogical approach that emphasizes the use of authentic, purposeful tasks in language instruction (Ahmad & Agarwal, 2018; Fitria et al., 2021). These tasks are designed to mirror real-life language use and engage learners in meaningful communication (Fitria et al., 2021). By involving learners in practical tasks such as problem-solving, decision-making, and role-plays, TBLL promotes active participation and authentic language use (Ahmad & Agarwal, 2018; Angelini & Carbonell, 2021; Fitria et al., 2021). As a result, learners can develop their listening and speaking skills through real-world language encounters.

Several studies have explored the benefits of TBLL in enhancing language skills, including listening and speaking proficiency. Ahmad and Agarwal (2018) investigated the role of CBSE ASL in enhancing the speaking and listening skills of students in India. Their findings revealed that the implementation of the ASL approach, which involves task-based speaking and listening activities, positively impacted students’ language skills. Similarly, Angelini and Carbonell (2021) focused on developing English speaking skills through simulation-based instruction, a form of task-based activity that replicates real-life situations. Their study demonstrated the effectiveness of such task-based approaches in improving speaking abilities.

Moreover, Fitria, Dwimaulidiyanti, and Sapitri (2021) explored the implementation of the Cake application, a task-based language learning tool, in enhancing English speaking skills. Their study highlighted the practicality and efficacy of using technology-supported task-based activities to foster language development. Similarly, Mallampalli, Anumula, and Akkara (2021) investigated the impact of smartphones in enhancing second-language listening skills through task-based activities. Their research emphasized the potential of integrating technology into TBLL for improved language outcomes.

Furthermore, Neupane (2019) examined the effectiveness of role-play as a task-based strategy for improving speaking skills. The study demonstrated that role-play tasks facilitated active participation and encouraged learners to use language creatively and contextually. On the other hand, Himangani (2017) developed and implemented a package for enhancing LSRW skills, including listening and speaking, among secondary CBSE students in India. The package integrated various task-based activities to promote language learning holistically.

As task-based approaches gain traction in language education, researchers have sought to compare their effectiveness with traditional teaching methods. Lakshmi and Reddy (2015) explored the effect of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), a form of technology-supported task-based learning, on listening skills. Their study indicated that CALL significantly improved listening abilities among learners. Additionally, Pratham (2022) conducted the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), which evaluated the overall language proficiency levels of students in India, shedding light on the importance of task-based approaches in language education.

Consequently, developing effective listening and speaking skills is critical for successful language learning and communication. Traditional language teaching methods have often undervalued these skills, necessitating the exploration of innovative approaches such as Task-Based Language Learning (TBLL). A growing body of research demonstrates the potential of task-based activities in fostering language development, especially in listening and speaking proficiency. This study aims to contribute to this emerging field by investigating the effectiveness of TBLL in enhancing listening and speaking skills among language learners.

Statement of Problem

Despite the acknowledged importance of listening and speaking skills in language learning and communication, students often face challenges in developing these skills using conventional teaching methods. The passive nature of traditional language instruction, which primarily focuses on reading and writing, may hinder students’ ability to transfer their knowledge to real-life communication situations (Ahmad & Agarwal, 2018). As a result, learners may struggle to comprehend spoken language effectively and express themselves fluently and accurately in spoken form (Angelini & Carbonell, 2021).

The limitations of conventional approaches underscore the need for innovative and learner-centred methodologies to address the shortcomings in developing listening and speaking skills effectively. Task-Based Language Learning (TBLL) has emerged as a promising pedagogical approach that promotes active participation and authentic language use through purposeful tasks (Ahmad & Agarwal, 2018; Fitria et al., 2021). However, the effectiveness of TBLL in enhancing listening and speaking skills requires further exploration to ascertain its impact on language learners.

Additionally, contextual factors, such as the language proficiency level of learners, cultural backgrounds, and educational settings, may influence the effectiveness of TBLL in different language learning contexts (Fitria et al., 2021; Neupane, 2019). Thus, there is a need to investigate the applicability of TBLL across diverse learner populations to determine its universality as a language learning approach.

Objectives of the Study

The present study aimed to achieve three specific objectives:

  1. To investigate the effectiveness of TBLL in developing students’ listening skills in the English language.
  2. To explore the impact of TBLL on enhancing students’ speaking proficiency in English.
  3. To examine the perceptions of students towards TBLL as a language learning approach.

Research Questions

The study addressed the following research questions:

  1. How does TBLL contribute to the improvement of students’ listening skills in the English language?
  2. What impact does TBLL have on enhancing students’ speaking proficiency in English?
  3. What are the perceptions of students towards TBLL as a language learning approach?

Research Hypotheses

Based on the objectives and research questions, the study proposed the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1:

There is a significant improvement in students’ listening skills in the English language after implementing TBLL.

Hypothesis 2:

TBLL significantly enhances students’ speaking proficiency in English.

Hypothesis 3:

Students have positive perceptions towards TBLL as a language learning approach.

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study hold great significance for various stakeholders in the education sector, including students, teachers, policymakers, and the Nigerian education system as a whole.

For students, the study’s outcomes can lead to tangible benefits in terms of language proficiency and communication skills. By exploring the effectiveness of Task-Based Language Learning (TBLL) in enhancing listening and speaking skills, students can benefit from a more engaging and learner-centred approach to langualearner-centredL’s emphasis on authentic tasks and real-life communication experiences can foster active participation and meaningful interactions, enabling students to develop their language abilities effectively. As a result, students may experience increased confidence and fluency in using English for communication, leading to improved academic performance and social integration.

For teachers, the study can serve as a valuable resource in their instructional practices. The investigation into the effectiveness of TBLL in language education can offer insights into innovative teaching methodologies that align with learner needs and promote active engagement. The study’s findings can equip teachers with evidence-based strategies to design task-based activities and curricula that effectively foster listening and speaking skills among their students. Additionally, understanding students’ perceptions towards TBLL can guide teachers in tailoring their instructional approaches to suit diverse learner preferences and learning styles.

For stakeholders in the education sector, such as educational policymakers and administrators, the study contributes to evidence-based decision-making. The investigation into TBLL’s impact on language learning can inform the development of language education policies and curriculum guidelines that incorporate task-based approaches. Integrating TBLL into the educational system can lead to more effective language learning outcomes, as it encourages active participation and authentic language use. By aligning language education with current research and best practices, stakeholders can create a more dynamic and learner-centred educational envirolearner-centredigerian education system, the study holds the potential for enhancing language education and literacy levels in the country. As English serves as the official language of instruction in Nigeria, a focus on developing listening and speaking skills is crucial for students’ academic success and future employability. By adopting TBLL as a language learning approach, educators can cultivate students’ language proficiency through purposeful and engaging tasks. This shift towards task-based instruction aligns with contemporary educational trends, promoting active learning and learner autonomy. Ultimately, an improvement in students’ language abilities can contribute to the overall quality of education and enhance students’ prospects in various academic and professional endeavours.

Scope of the Study

The scope of the study encompassed an investigation into the effectiveness of Task-Based Language Learning (TBLL) in developing listening and speaking skills among language learners. The research focused on students in a selected educational institution in Nigeria. The study targeted a diverse group of language learners, including students with varying language proficiency levels and cultural backgrounds. The research aimed to explore the impact of TBLL on students’ language abilities in authentic communication settings.

The study employed a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. Qualitative data was gathered through observations, interviews, and focus group discussions to gain insights into students’ perceptions and experiences with TBLL. Additionally, quantitative data was collected through language proficiency tests and surveys to measure the effectiveness of TBLL on students’ listening and speaking skills.

The time frame for data collection and analysis was limited to a specific academic year, allowing for a comprehensive examination of the impact of TBLL within the designated period. The study’s findings were intended to contribute valuable information to the existing body of knowledge in language education and offer practical implications for language teachers, curriculum developers, and policymakers in Nigeria and beyond.

Operational Definition of Terms

Task-Based Language Learning (TBLL): An approach to language education that emphasizes learning language through purposeful, authentic tasks, promoting real-life communication and problem-solving abilities.

Listening Skills: The ability to comprehend and understand spoken language accurately, effectively processing and interpreting verbal information.

Speaking Proficiency: The level of fluency, accuracy, and appropriateness with which an individual communicates verbally in a given language.

Authentic Tasks: Real-life activities that replicate genuine language use and require learners to engage in meaningful communication.

Language Learning: The process of acquiring and internalizing linguistic knowledge and skills in a second or foreign language.

Pedagogical Approach: A specific method or strategy employed in teaching to achieve desired learning outcomes.

Communicative Abilities: The capacity to convey ideas, information, and emotions effectively through spoken language.

Curriculum Development: The process of designing and structuring educational programs and content to meet specific learning objectives.



  • Mallampalli, V. B. K., Anumula, R., & Akkara, A. S. (2021). Enhancing English as a second language listening skills using smartphones. Computers & Education, 170, 104304.
  • Neupane, S. (2019). Effectiveness of Role Play as a Task-Based Strategy in Developing Speaking Skills. Journal of NELTA, 24(1-2), 16-27.
  • Pratham. (2022). Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2022. Retrieved from https://img.asercentre.org/docs/ASER%202022/ASER%202022%20National%20PPT%20in%20English.pdf
  • Saunders, M. N. K., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2020). Research methods for business students (8th ed.). Pearson Education Limited.
  • Varghese, S. (2013). Effectiveness of Instructional Material for Listening Comprehension. The New English Teacher, 7(2), 65-73.


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