[Abstract] Research in general psychology has shown that when students work together in small groups, one student will often emerge as leader. This phenomenon, known as emergent leadership, has also been observed in the second language classroom. This paper reports on research that sought to determine students’ views on the importance of leadership in the task-based language classroom. Students were randomly assigned to small groups that were fixed for an entire １４-week semester, and then in the following semester were allowed to self-select into groups. A task-based approach to language teaching was adopted, with students completing tasks in small groups. Following each semester, students were interviewed and asked about their experiences in their group. They were also asked for their views on the importance of group leaders within the foreign language classroom. Results show that students view leadership as important, and believe that leaders contribute strongly to the success of the group. The pedagogical implications of emergent leadership in small groups are considered.