Advertisement

Using a 3D Online Game to Assess Students’ Foreign Language Acquisition and Communicative Competence

  • Anke Berns
  • Manuel Palomo-Duarte
  • Juan Manuel Dodero
  • Concepción Valero-Franco
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8095)

Abstract

Over the past decade there has been an increasing attempt to explore the potential of computer games in order to engage students’ towards foreign language learning. However, literature review has shown that there are still few attempts to provide empiric evidence of the educational potential of computer games, whereas the present study aims to address this lack. The purpose of our paper is to explore the possibilities of using a highly interactive 3D online game, we previously designed according to our student needs, in order to reinforce their foreign language acquisition and communicative competence. The target groups are students of a German foreign language course from the A1 level (CEFR). For our project we designed a 3D online-game that is based on a role-play, in which students need to cooperate in order to complete the game successfully. The game is built upon the OpenSim platform, and cooperation is conducted through game chats. Game chat interactions are being registered in a log file that is later processed. Furthermore, by analyzing different indicators we are able to obtain initial evidences to assess students’ proficiency regarding their communicative competence in the target language. We include some examples from a pilot study we did with students of a German foreign language course (A1).

Keywords

Cooperative learning virtual worlds computer-supported language learning 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Berns, A., Gonzalez-Pardo, A., Camacho, D.: Game-like language learning in 3-D virtual environments. Computers & Education 60(1), 210–220 (2013), doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.07.001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Berns, A., Gonzalez-Pardo, A., Camacho, D.: Implementing the Use of Virtual Worlds in the Teaching of Foreign Languages (level A1). Learning a language in virtual worlds. A Review of Innovation and ICT in language teaching methodology, Warsaw Academy of Computer Science, Warsow, 33–40 (2012a)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Berns, A., Palomo Duarte, M., Camacho, D.: Designing interactive and collaborative learning tasks in a 3-D virtual environment. In: Call: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference Proceedings, pp. 20–25 (2012b)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Broma, C., Preuss, M., Klement, D.: Are educational computer micro-games engaging and effective for knowledge acquisition at high-schools? A quasi-experimental study. Computers & Education 57, 1971–1988 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bytheway, J.: Vocabulary learning strategies in massively multiplayer online role-playing games: A thesis submitted to the Victoria University of Wellington in partial fulfilment of the requirments for the degree (unpublished Masters Thesis) (2011)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Connolly, T.M., Stansfield, M., Hainey, T.: An alternate reality game for language learning: ARGuing for multilingual motivation. Computers & Education 57, 1389–1415 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cornillie, F., Thorne, S., Desmet, P.: Digital games for language learning: from hype to insight? ReCall 24(3), 243–256 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Del Blanco, A., Eugenio, J., Marchiori, E., Fernández-Manjón, B.: Adventure Games and Language Learning. In: First International Workshop on Technological Innovation for Specialized Linguistic Domains: Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives (TISLID 2010), Madrid, Spain, October 21-22, pp. 243–254 (2010)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    De Haan, J., Reed, W.M., Kuwada, K.: The effect of interactivity with a music video game on second language vocabulary recall. Language Learning & Technology 14(2), 74–94 (2010)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Di Blas, N., Bucciero, A., Mainetti, L., Paolini, P.: MultiUser Virtual Environments for Learning: Experience and Technology Design. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies 5(4), 349–365 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Doughty, C., Pica, T.: Information gap tasks: Do they facilitate second language acquisition? TESOL Quarterly 20(2), 305–325 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Garcia-Montero, A., Rising, B., Watts, F.: Simulation Gaming and the acquisition of communicative competence in another language. Simulation & Gaming 32(4), 481–491 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gass, S.M., Varonis, E.M.: Conversation interactions and the development of L2 grammar. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 16 (1994)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Krashen, S.: The input hypothesis. Longman, New York (1985)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Long, M.H.: The role of the linguistic environment in second language acquisition. In: Ritchie, W.C., Bhatia, T.K. (eds.) Handbook O/Research on Language Acquisition. Second Language Acquisition, vol. 2, pp. 413–468. Academic, New York (1996)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mawer, K., Stanley, G.: Digital Play. Computer games and language aims. Peaslake Delta Publishing (2011)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Marty, J.-C., Carron, T.: Observation of Collaborative Activities in a Game-Based Learning Platform. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies 4(1), 98–110 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Oxford, R.L.: Cooperative Learning, Collaborative Learning, and Interaction: Three Communicative Strands in the Language Classroom. The Modern Language Journal 81(4), 443–456 (2004), Special Issue: Interaction, collaboration, and Cooperation: Learning Language Teachers (Winter 1997)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Peterson, M.: Computerized Games and Simulations in Computer-Assisted Language Learning: A Meta-Analysis of Research. Simulation & Gaming 41(1), 72–93 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pica, T.: Research on negotiation: What does it reveal about second-language learning conditions, processes, and outcomes? Language Learning 44(4), 493–527 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rama, P.S., Black, R.W., Van Es, E., Warschauer, M.: Affordances for second language learning in World of Warcraft. RecALL 24(3), 322–338 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Reinders, H., Wattana, S.: Learn English or die: The effects of digital games on interaction and willingness to communicate in a foreign language. Digital Culture & Education 3(1), 3–29 (2011)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Reinders, H. (ed.): Digital Games in Language Learning and Teaching. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke (2012)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Schmidt, R.W.: The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied Linguistics 11(2), 129–158 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sylven, L., Sundqvist, P.: English L2 learning and L2 proficiency among young learners. ReCALL 24(3), 302–321 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sykes, J.M., Reinhardt, J., Thorne, S.L.: Multiuser digital games as sites for research and practice. In: Hult, F.M. (ed.) Directions and Prospects for Educational Linguistics, pp. 117–135. Springer, Amsterdam (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Schwienhorst, K.: Learning a second language in three dimensions: Potential benefits and the evidence so far. Themes in Science and Technology Education 2(1-2), 153–164 (2009)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Stenlev, J.: Cooperative Learning in foreign language teaching. Sprogforum Nummer 25, 33–42 (2003)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Swain, M.: The output hypothesis: Theory and research. In: Hinkel, E. (ed.) Handbook on Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning, pp. 471–484. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah (2005)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Thorne, S.L., Black, W.R., Sykes, M.S.: Second Language use, socialization, and learning in Internet Interest Communities and Online Gaming. The Modern Language Journal 93, 802–823 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Warschauer, M.: Computer-mediated collaborative learning. Theory and Practice. The Modern Language Journal 81(4), 470–481 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Zuo, W.: The Effects of Cooperative Learning on Improving College Students’ Reading Comprehension. Theory and Practice in Language Studies 1(8), 986–989 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anke Berns
    • 1
  • Manuel Palomo-Duarte
    • 2
  • Juan Manuel Dodero
    • 2
  • Concepción Valero-Franco
    • 3
  1. 1.Facultad de Filosofía y LetrasUniversidad de CádizSpain
  2. 2.Escuela Superior de IngenieríaUniversidad de CádizSpain
  3. 3.Facultad de Ciencias de la EducaciónUniversidad de CádizSpain

Personalised recommendations