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)


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).


Cooperative learning virtual worlds computer-supported language learning 


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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

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