© 2019

Gameful Second and Foreign Language Teaching and Learning

Theory, Research, and Practice


  • Demonstrates how research into autonomous, informal learning in voluntary, self-directed contexts can inform gameful learning in formal ones

  • Combines theory, research, and practice, to provide a framework for exploring the practice of gaming; the theories of play, games, and learning; and the implications of research on gameful L2TL

  • Argues that practitioners should be involved in all stages of the creation of digital games for second language learning, and that development should be informed by theory and practice


Part of the New Language Learning and Teaching Environments book series (NLLTE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Jonathon Reinhardt
    Pages 1-17
  3. Jonathon Reinhardt
    Pages 19-43
  4. Jonathon Reinhardt
    Pages 45-75
  5. Jonathon Reinhardt
    Pages 77-100
  6. Jonathon Reinhardt
    Pages 101-139
  7. Jonathon Reinhardt
    Pages 141-172
  8. Jonathon Reinhardt
    Pages 173-191
  9. Jonathon Reinhardt
    Pages 193-224
  10. Jonathon Reinhardt
    Pages 225-255
  11. Jonathon Reinhardt
    Pages 257-266
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 267-311

About this book


This book offers a comprehensive examination of the theory, research, and practice of the use of digital games in second and foreign language teaching and learning (L2TL). It explores how to harness the enthusiasm, engagement, and motivation that digital gaming can inspire by adopting a gameful L2TL approach that encompasses game-enhanced, game-informed, and game-based practice. The first part of the book situates gameful L2TL in the global practices of informal learnful L2 gaming and in the theories of play and games which are then applied throughout the discussion of gameful L2TL practice that follows. This includes analysis of practices of digital game-enhanced L2TL design (the use of vernacular, commercial games), game-informed L2TL design (gamification and the general application of gameful principles to L2 pedagogy), and game-based L2TL design (the creation of digital games purposed for L2 learning). Designed as a guide for researchers and teachers, the book also offers fresh insights for scholars of applied linguistics, second language acquisition, L2 pedagogy, computer-assisted language learning (CALL), game studies, and game design that will open pathways to future developments in the field.

Jonathon Reinhardt is Associate Professor of English Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at the University of Arizona, USA. 


L2 pedagogy computer assisted language learning technology enhanced language learning multilingualism digital games foreign language teaching and learning (L2TL) teaching with games gamification language play theories of play vernacular games Gamefulness gamification learning in the wild game literacy game design social media mobile game

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

About the authors

Jonathon Reinhardt is Associate Professor of English Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at the University of Arizona, USA. His research focuses on technology-enhanced second and foreign language pedagogy and learning, especially with emergent technologies like social media and digital gaming.

Bibliographic information


“There has been a great mismatch over the last few years between the massive interest in games and language learning and insightful guidance in the area.  We now have in Jonathon Reinhardt’s book a definitive source by the best scholar in the area.  Everyone interested in games and learning, not just language learning, should read this book.” (James Paul Gee, Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies and Regents' Professor, Arizona State University, USA)

Gameful Second and Foreign Language Teaching and Learning is a must read for anyone interested digital games and world language education. Through reader reflection questions, detailed explanations, and relatable examples, Reinhardt provides a thorough and detailed state-of-the field for seasoned researchers while also creating a resource that serves as a jumping off point for those just starting out. His adventures through play, games, learning, and research will, undoubtedly, inspire the gameful nature in all of us for years to come.” (Julie M. Sykes, Associate Professor, University of Oregon, USA)

“Reinhardt has written what will surely be a seminal book on the role of digital games in second language learning. A must read for teachers, teacher educators, and researchers interested in the topic.” (Mark Warschauer, Professor of Education, University of California, Irvine, USA)