Past Awards

2019 Award winners

2019 Research Article Award
Riestenberg, K., & Sherris, A. (2018). Task-Based Teaching of Indigenous Languages: Investment and Methodological Principles in Macuiltianguis Zapotec and Salish Qlispe Revitalization. Canadian Modern Language Review, 74(3), 434–459.


Task-based language teaching (TBLT) is a pedagogical approach that involves identifying real-world tasks that learners need to be able to do in the target language and then developing classroom-appropriate, context specific versions of these tasks. In this paper, we use Long’s methodological principles for TBLT to evaluate a task-based approach within two Indigenous language-teaching contexts: the Macuiltianguis Zapotec classroom in Oaxaca, Mexico, and a workshop for teachers of Salish Qlipse in the state of Montana. Throughout the article, we give special consideration to issues of investment in the target language, expanding on Norton’s definition of language learner investment to argue that teacher and community investment in the language and language revitalization process are critical to the successful implementation of TBLT in Indigenous contexts.

2019 Distinguished Achievement Award

The IATBLT Distinguished Achievement Award 2019 was awarded to Emeritus Professor Martin Bygate.

Martin has demonstrated a long-standing and unfaltering commitment to TBLT over many years. His contributions to TBLT scholarship have been substantial and insightful. His own research work on task repetition is innovative and well-known, and his work with Virginia Samuda has inspired many teachers to implement TBLT in practice.

Martin has also produced multiple ‘big picture’ contributions on TBLT which have served to challenge our thinking and reset the discourse in important ways. His work as one of the three founding editors of the John Benjamins TBLT series has had an immense impact on the field. Since 2009, fourteen volumes have been published so far. In the volumes Martin has personally edited or co-edited he has provided thoughtful leadership in identifying important themes in need of debate, selecting relevant voices to contribute to that debate, and carefully introducing key ideas and otherwise framing the presentation of TBLT with an eye to advancing our understanding of what is really at stake.

As a long-time professor and educator, Martin has mentored and otherwise impacted numerous language teachers and education researchers. Many of his university research students have returned to their home countries or pursued sojourns abroad with a focus on careers in language teaching, teacher education, and educational policy.
Martin has served in broader service roles within the field of applied linguistics, for example as co-editor of Applied Linguistics, and as President of the International Association for Applied Linguistics (AILA). In both of these capacities, he heightened awareness of and attention to TBLT as a major intersection of thinking, research, and action within the broader disciplines of applied linguistics.
What truly sets Martin apart from others has been his active, unfaltering and inspirational engagement and service in the TBLT community. Martin was one of the founding members of the original Consortium on Task-Based Language Teaching, established in the early 2000s. He played a key role in co-ordinating aspects of the TBLT biennial conferences. Martin also took the lead in organising the 2009 conference when it was hosted at Lancaster University. When the International Association for Task-Based Language Teaching was officially established in 2015, Martin became a founding member and ex officio board member, a role he completes at the 2019 conference in Ottawa.

An award at this time enables Martin’s many contributions to TBLT research and practice over the years to be acknowledged, recognised, and celebrated.

2017 Award winners

2017 Research Article Award

Revesz, A., Ekiert, M., & Torgersen, E. (2016). The effects of complexity, accuracy and fluency on communicative adequacy in oral task performance. Applied Linguistics, 37/6, 828-848.

This article was praised by the reviewers for making a major contribution to the field because it addresses a significant issue in the field, i.e. the relationship between communicative adequacy and CALF, and provides robust evidence that supports usefulness of the CALF measures. The reviewers pointed out that the article addresses a crucial gap in our research field: the measurement of communicative adequacy in oral performance. It is superior in originality of the topic and the importance of moving the micro-level of task complexity studies to a larger construct of communicative adequacy. The findings are most relevant to pedagogy and real-world classroom and the development of learners’ communicative ability.

2017 Distinguished Achievement Award

TBLT Distinguished Achievement Award has been granted to two eminent scholars who have made crucial and complementary contributions to the TBLT field: Michael Long and Peter Skehan.

Michael Long is among the most important figures in the field of second language acquisition (SLA) and one of the first to bring both research and pedagogical attention to tasks in the context of SLA. He has made unmatched contributions with his pioneer and foundational work to the emergence of the notion of tasks as a central element of language education and SLA, making of TBLT a coherent research domain and educational practice. His seminal work on interaction gave rise to the Interaction Hypothesis which has generated hundreds of studies in the last three decades. Among several others, concepts such as needs analysis or focus-on-form which are now an integral part of our TBLT landscape, were conceptualized by Mike Long. His scholarly work has been recognized with multiple awards including a Doctorate Honoris Causa from Stockholm University. He has influenced and generously mentored many of the scholars working on the field of TBLT and continues to be an active member of the TBLT community, pushing the field forward, as demonstrated by his continuous formal and informal supervision of TBLT studies in all kinds of contexts and at all levels, his many plenary talks and workshops all over the world, his dissemination of TBLT ideas through key publications in our field and recent proposal with John Norris for the creation of a collaborative research network to investigate task complexity.

Peter Skehan's contribution to the field since the early 90s has made him one of the key scholars in TBLT, from the time of his work in Hong Kong, to his continued impact on the field while based in UK.  His Limited attentional capacity model (Skehan 1998-2009) has been a leading model not only for evaluating task complexity, but for examining and understanding language processing and the demands associated with it. His conceptualisation and definition of task, his framework for operationalising and assessing task complexity and his papers on modelling performance have all made an outstanding and extremely impactful contribution to the field of TBLT.  Peter Skehan has mentored and encouraged hundreds of students to adopt task and TBLT as their research focus and to join TBLT.  Many of his PhD students are now established researchers and scholars in the field of TBLT. Peter continues to play an active role in the UK to inspire future researchers and support impact of TBLT research through BAAL LLT SIG meetings, L-SLARF meetings and other public engagements, to serve the TBLT community, as well as raising awareness of TBLT on the global stage and inspire TBLT-led teachers in the future. His most recent contribution is helping establish London Second Language Acquisition Forum (L-SLARF) which brings together researchers and PG students from the UK.