Computer Assisted Language Learning General Research-Oriented Presentation
Students’ (mis?)perceptions about in-class digital game-based learning
Research in computer-assisted language learning has drawn attention to the potential of digital games for language learning and teaching. Even games designed purely for entertainment purposes may contribute significantly to second-language acquisition (Peterson, 2013; Reinhardt, 2019). In this presentation, I will discuss findings from a mixed-methods research project investigating the attitudes of Japanese university students towards digital game-based language learning (DGBLL). A game component was introduced into six separate English communication classes in which learners played a cooperative digital puzzle game in small groups for 15 to 30 minutes per class over a period of 10 weeks. Pre- and post-intervention surveys were administered to gather demographic data and to understand learners’ attitudes towards this pedagogical approach. After the final play session, three learners from each class also participated in a semi-structured focus-group interview. Analysis of the survey data (N = 112) reveals that in general, learners held positive attitudes towards DGBLL and that these positive attitudes were stronger after the game-based learning intervention. However, analysis of the interview data suggests considerable ambivalence towards the approach. While recognising the potential of digital games to facilitate SLA, many learners also seem to view them as a distraction from “serious” and “proper” language learning.
I teach English communication classes (discussion and debate) as well as elective courses in general linguistics at Osaka University. My current research project is focussed on digital game-based language learning in the Japanese context, but I am also interested in critical thinking and language education policies and practices in Japan.