Vol. 171:1 (2020) ► pp. 90–112
The effect of task repetition on the patterns of interaction of ESL children
Research on collaborative work has explored the benefits of task repetition (TR) for L2 development. TR has been claimed to improve L2 complexity, accuracy and fluency, provide opportunities for feedback, and increase learners’ engagement in their L2, as reported in studies that have explored patterns of interaction. Research on this topic, particularly that undertaken with EFL children as participants, has gained attention in recent years. However, there is a dearth of literature regarding the impact of TR on the patterns of interaction and on the opportunities to receive feedback for child ESL learners. The aim of the present study is to address this gap examining the interactions of 28 young ESL learners who completed the same spot-the-difference task twice within a 3-month time frame. The findings showed that the majority of pairs represented patterns of interaction with low levels of mutuality (i.e. engagement) and upon task repetition these patterns barely varied. However, regardless of learners’ patterns of interaction, these ESL learners provided feedback and negotiated during task-based interaction, especially the collaborative pairs.