1.1 Background of the Research
Task-based language teaching (TBLT) has been highlighted since it is developed into atrend in the second language instruction. The prominence of this approach is self-evidentbased on the number of recently published books and volumes that focus specifically onTBLT. This literature has informed knowledge about the pedagogical principles of TBLT andthe variables and characteristics of tasks that promote second language acquisition.However，as is often the case when a new approach is introduced, its opposition is alsofollowed. It is not surprising that TBLT also has its objections from the teachers and educatorswho have supported a traditional approach. Especially some critics like Li，Carless andButler on the basis of empirical studies of its implementation in different settings questionwhether TBLT which has its origin in the Western countries is really practical in Asiancountries where the teacher holds a different teaching philosophy and their second languageproficiency is limited. Few studies have investigated the implementation of TBLT beyond theidentification of issues encountered when experienced teachers attempt to utilize TBLT (e.g.Carless；McDonough & Chaikitmongkol ; Tinker Sachs ).Till now, some issues have been identified that affect the implementation of task-basedprinciples to classroom settings. One of the major impediments identified by Markee in theliterature is the perceived feasibility of the approach. For many educators the absence ofresources designed for TBLT poses a feasibility problem because it requires them to designtheir own materials, a significant burden for teachers whose time is already taxed (Richards &Rodgers [呂];Zhang Time constraints are also an issue when considering the limited timeavailable to prepare students for examinations. The use of pencil and paper tests thatemphasize grammatical knowledge and written skills leave teachers with the dilemma ofteaching to the test or risking poor exam scores by following a task-based approach (Carless⑶；Tinker Sachs).
L2Purpose and Significance of the Research
Based on the previous few studies about the practical concerns presented in the processof TBLT's implementation, two questions are addressed in this research: (1) what are thestudents' attitudes and understandings toward TBLT? And (2) what are the factors that caninfluence the successful design and implementation of task-based teaching? This research isof significance because it points out the crucial problems which may frequently occur in theprocess of task-based teaching as well as demonstrating the helpful and useful tips for theteachers to manipulate. Through this experiment, it is hoped that it could at least to someextent pave the way for the instructors to design a task-based course and implement TBLT inthe Chinese classrooms with the English majors. In the fifth chapter, it is the core of tiie research which includes the data analysis with theSPSS and the result discussions. The data is analyzed from five aspects. They are students'background knowledge of TBLT, students' attitudes to the task in tiie task-based course; groupcomposition, students' response to the cooperative teaching task in the course and students'attitudes to the final assessment respectively.
2. Literature Review
2.1 Task in SLA and Language Pedagogy
Tasks play a critical role in SLA research and language pedagogy. This is obvious in thelarge number of recent publication in terms of task-based learning and teaching. Thosepublications focus our attention on some key issues. What is a task? What are the designfeatures of a task? How can a task-based course be constructed around t