Theoretical Model of Language Task Engagement

Primary author: Joy Egbert
Co-author(s): Seyed Abdollah Shahrokni; Haixia He; Pruksapan Bantawtook

Primary college/unit: College of Education
Campus: Pullman


Focusing on learner task engagement in classrooms is one way to help learners achieve (Borysenko, 2018). A task is a classroom activity or exercise with clear goals, a sequence or process for meeting those goals, and a specific beginning and end. A task includes a number of different elements, including goals, materials, group formations, process, modes, assessments, and products (Egbert & Ernst-Slavit, 2010). Engagement in a task means involvement, which can be seen on a scale from completely unengaged (or “disengaged”) to total engagement, or what Csikzentmihalyi (2014) describes as the phenomenon of “flow.”
For the language task engagement model presented in this poster, we have:
1.Reviewed the theoretical framework of task engagement elements based on our previous research;
2.Conducted a comprehensive literature review, including existing instruments (e.g., Wigfield & Guthrie’s [1997] MRQ), studies, teacher anecdotes, theories, and so on to discern both the most salient and additional engagement elements;
3.Translated almost 1,000 survey responses into English, coded for engagement elements, and computed interrater reliabilities;
4. Run descriptive statistics for frequencies and reviewed patterns across all data;
5. Identified critical concepts in task engagement and hypothesized relationships between/ among them;
6. Created a bi-factor model of language task engagement.
We are sharing the model so that other researchers and educators can help us to test the model, which includes task engagement facilitators, task elements, indicators of task engagement, and task outcomes, and which suggests the relationships among these factors.