Child task-based interaction in EFL settings: Research and challenges

International Journal of English Studies

Task-based language teaching research has expanded substantially in foreign language (FL) contexts but most research studies have been carried out with young adults in university settings, despite the fact that FL programs for children are on the increase worldwide. However, there is a clear lack of research-based evidence of what children actually do while performing tasks, which is crucial in order to make decisions about appropriate educational provision, to inform policy makers, and to maximize children’s learning opportunities. This paper focuses on current research on children in task-based programs both in mainstream English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) contexts. It reviews studies that show how children successfully negotiate to make language meaningful, how they engage with the tasks and how they collaborate in different ways during task performance. Challenges and future research directions will be highlighted.