Using Children’s Literature to Teach the 4Cs of CLIL: A Systematic Review of EFL Studies




children’s books, second language instruction, primary education, secondary education, curriculum.


Uso de la literatura infantil para enseñar las 4 C de AICLE: una revisión sistemática de los estudios de inglés como lengua extranjera

Uso da literatura infantil no ensino das 4 C de CLIL: uma revisão sistemática dos estudos de inglês como língua estrangeira

This systematic review examines whether the use of children’s literature in EFL classrooms supports the 4Cs of CLIL—content, communication, cognition, and culture. Previous research has shown many benefits for using children’s literature in English-dominant classroom settings, but it seems little attention has been given to its use in EFL contexts and no attention in CLIL. This study utilizes a systematic search strategy to collect and synthesize current research on children’s literature use in EFL settings in order to better understand how children’s literature may impact EFL student learning and, specifically, examine whether its use can meet the 4Cs of CLIL. Records from four databases were screened for studies using children’s literature in EFL settings, resulting in the inclusion of 15 articles. The analysis of the articles reveals that current research shows evidence that the use of children’s literature can help facilitate student learning in content, communication, cognition, and culture. However, despite this clear connection to the goals of CLIL, investigations on children’s literature remain absent from CLIL research. We believe this research lends support for the use of children’s literature in the CLIL classroom and calls for more attention, both by practitioners and researchers, toward the use of children’s literature in CLIL classrooms.

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Graham, K. M., Mathews, S. D., & Eslami, Z. R. (2020). Using children’s literature to teach the 4Cs of CLIL: A systematic review of EFL studies. Latin American Journal of Content & Language Integrated Learning, 13(2), 163–189.

Recibido: 19/10/2019

Aceptado: 21/03/2020


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Author Biography

Keith M. Graham, National Taiwan Normal University

Keith M. Graham is a Ph.D. student in the department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture at Texas A&M University. His research interests include Content and Language Integrated Learning, English Medium Instruction, and literacy.


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How to Cite

Graham, K. M., Matthews, S. D., & Eslami, Z. R. (2021). Using Children’s Literature to Teach the 4Cs of CLIL: A Systematic Review of EFL Studies. Latin American Journal of Content &Amp; Language Integrated Learning, 13(2), 163–189.