Using Children's Literature to Teach the 4Cs of CLIL: A Systematic Review of EFL Studies Academic Article uri icon


  • This systematic review examines whether the use of childrens literature in EFL classrooms supports the 4Cs of CLILcontent, communication, cognition, and culture. Previous research has shown many benefits for using childrens 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 childrens literature use in EFL settings in order to better understand how childrens 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 childrens 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 childrens literature can help facilitate student learning in content, communication, cognition, and culture. However, despite this clear connection to the goals of CLIL, investigations on childrens literature remain absent from CLIL research. We believe this research lends support for the use of childrens literature in the CLIL classroom and calls for more attention, both by practitioners and researchers, toward the use of childrens literature in CLIL classrooms.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Graham, K. M., Matthews, S. D., & Eslami, Z. R.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Graham, Keith M||Matthews, Sharon D||Eslami, Zohreh R

publication date

  • January 2020