Centre for Language Education Research Conversation: Engaging Language Pedagogies for Young People in Multilingual Contexts

Join us for this Centre for Language Education Research (CLER) Conversation, led by Asier Calzada, CLER visiting doctoral researcher, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU.

With discussants Prof María del Pilar García Mayo, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU & Dr Mohammad Javad Ahmadian, University of Leeds.

Collaborative writing tasks for developing young learners’ L2 grammar and writing: evidence from the Spanish early EFL context 

Although the number of studies on collaborative writing (CW) in L2 contexts has increased in recent years, children continue to be underrepresented (Zhang & Plonsky, 2020). In the present talk, we will review key notions of CW and Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) and discuss the popularity of Early English Language programmes in the Spanish EFL context. We will then present empirical findings from recent studies conducted in the Basque Autonomous Community (Calzada & García Mayo, 2020b, 2020a, 2020c). These studies show that collaborative writing, and more specifically, the dictogloss task (García Mayo, 2018; Wajnryb, 1990) can be an enjoyable task for young learners (ages 11-12) and an effective way to draw their attention to language form and trigger metalinguistic reflection in a communicative context. The talk will end with an overview of Asier Calzada’s PhD project, which aims to analyse how the interplay between task-related and affective variables can impact child learners’ performance in the dictogloss task.


Calzada, A., & García Mayo, M. P. (2020a). Child EFL grammar learning through a collaborative writing task. In W. Suzuki & N. Storch (Eds.), Languaging in Language Learning and Teaching: A collection of empirical studies (pp. 20–39). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/lllt.55.01cal

Calzada, A., & García Mayo, M. P. (2020b). Child learners’ reflections about EFL grammar in a collaborative writing task: When form is not at odds with communication. Language Awarenesshttps://doi.org/10.1080/09658416.2020.1751178

Calzada, A., & García Mayo, M. P. (2020c). Child EFL learners’ attitudes towards a collaborative writing task: An exploratory study. Language Teaching for Young Learners2(1), 52–72. https://doi.org/10.1075/ltyl.19008.cal

García Mayo, M. P. (2018). Dictogloss Technique. In J. I. Liontas, T. International Association, & M. DelliCarpini (Eds.), The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching (pp. 1–5). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118784235.eelt0181

Wajnryb, R. (1990). Grammar Dictation. OUP Oxford.

Zhang, M., & Plonsky, L. (2020). Collaborative writing in face-to-face settings: A substantive and methodological review. Journal of Second Language Writing49, 100753. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2020.100753

Speaker Biographies:

Asier Calzada is a PhD student supervised by Professor Dr. María Pilar García Mayo at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and a member of the Language and Speech research group. His main research focus is the use of collaborative writing tasks in primary school EFL settings, as well as the impact of attitudes and proficiency on task performance.

Dr. María del Pilar García Mayo is Full Professor of English Language and Linguistics at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). She has published widely on the L2/L3 acquisition of English morphosyntax and the study of conversational interaction in EFL. Prof. García Mayo is the director of the research group Language and Speech and the MA program Language Acquisition in Multilingual Settings. She is the editor of Language Teaching Research and belongs to the editorial board of numerous journals, among others Language Teaching for Young Learners. She was a member of AILA Executive Board-International Committee and the international relations representative of the Spanish.

Event information

This online event will be held on zoom. To register for this event please contact: S.juma@leeds.ac.uk

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