Males and females in EFL task-based interaction: does gender have an impact on LREs?


This study analyzes the impact of gender on the language learning opportunities available to Spanish EFL learners during task-based interaction. These learners worked in mixed and matched gender dyads on four collaborative tasks and the language learning opportunities were operationalized as language-related episodes (LREs) on the basis of their production, focus, outcome and level of engagement. The findings pointed to a high level of engagement in LREs and no differences between males andfemales overall. The outcome and the level of engagement in LREs were affected by the gender of the participants’ interlocutors: males and females seemed to have more opportunities to resolve and deal with LREs in mixed gender dyads and males’engagement seemed to be a little bit more limited than females’. This article supports the benefits of collaborative work for L2 learners and provides new evidence of the impact of gender during EFL task-based interaction.