This study presents a formative evaluation of a three-year task-based conversation program designed for tertiary students in the Republic of Korea. Every aspect of the program was the subject of continuous reflection and modification, in which program design, implementation, and evaluation were a single formative process. A humanistic view of language learning as education was found to be appropriate for the student-centered emphasis of the task-based approach, and program goals promoted acquisition of long-term learning skills through development of student confidence, motivation, independence, and communicative competence. Assessment reflected these goals via self-evaluative and reflective methods. The program evaluation used a mix of quantitative and qualitative research, focusing on affective aspects of language learning, and on the importance of student beliefs, perceptions and attitudes in the learning process. Research questions focused on positive attitude change in students and teachers as a marker of program success.
Andrew Finch gives graduate and undergraduate teacher training courses at Kyungpook National University. His research interests include bilingualism, English teaching as education of the whole person, and task-based materials design. Andrew has authored a number of ELT books, some of which can be downloaded from www.finchpark.com/books.