Task repetition and its impact on EFL children’s negotiation of meaning strategies and pair dynamics: An exploratory study

María del Pilar García Mayo, Ainara Imaz Aguirre.
The Language Learning Journal

Little research has been carried out on the effect of task repetition on young learners’ negotiation of meaning (NoM) strategies and on pair dynamics. The present study aims to fill this gap by analyzing the interaction of 60 dyads of 3rd and 4th year Primary EFL children (8-9, 9-10 years old, respectively) while they perform communicative tasks and assessing whether task repetition has an impact on those constructs. The participants, with a begnone proficiency level established by standardized tests, completed different tasks in dyads at two testing times: at Time 1 all participants completed a spot-the difference task. At Time 2, 21 dyads repeated exactly the same task, 16 dyads completed a similar task with a different content (procedural repetition group) and the last 23 dyads completed a guessing game. The video-recorded oral production was transcribed and codified for NoM strategies (clarification requests, confirmation and comprehension checks, self- and other-repetition, L1 use) and pair dynamics. Results indicate that, overall, there were no statistically significant differences between production at Time 1 and at Time 2 regarding NoM strategies. Regarding pair dynamics, task repetition seems to have a positive effect on collaborative patterns.