Mind Maps and Task-Based Language Learning: A Synergistic Approach


  • Edward Miccio


Mind Maps, Language Learning


ABSTRACT            This paper is an attempt to explain two techniques which the author feels should be integrated into the university classroom when teaching the English language. The two techniques are Mind – Mapping and Task-Based Learning (TBL). The idea is to use these techniques in tandem and show how they form a synergistic relationship. One, if not the most important objective, is to show why the utilization of these two techniques can forge a motivational attitude towards language learning by having a more student-centered classroom environment as opposed to a teacher-centered pedagogical approach. By empowering the students with an increased decision-making role in the classroom, should, in theory, make the classroom more participatory and more focused on the tasks at hand. During the author’s brief time as an English language lecturer in the Faculty of Education, the syllabus mandated that the students give a presentation as part of the evaluation criteria. This involved performing some individual internet research and then presenting, as a group, the results of this research orally to their fellow classmates. After having introduced all three classes to the concept of mind-mapping, (which I emphasized at the time was not a requirement to turn in as a paper). I was pleased to see that many of the student groups did use the mind-mapping technique to organize their presentations. They seemed to understand that the sharing of ideas in their brainstorming sessions can be a productive experience. As a result, I believe that the oral presentation representing the TBL portion of the project, was more organized and coherent than it might have been had the  indmapping not be used. To me, this demonstrated a clear manifestation of how the utilization of this concept which t could be used to motivate students and encourage them to share in the enjoyment of language learning.

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