Gaming as an Instructional Strategy for Language Learning


Teacherrogers

Icon of game consul

What empirical evidence exists as to the efficacy of gaming as an instructional strategy? More specifically, how can massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORGs) be used to learn a second language? Gaming provides situated learning of content in a problem-based learning (PBL) format (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989). Therefore, language learning games are generally created with an adventure, problem-solving scenario. For example, Trace Effects, a 3-D multimedia interactive video game, was designed specifically for English language learners (ELLs) ages 12-16 by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It’s an adventure game where the protagonist goes through the task of trying to get enrolled in an American university and become familiar with its surrounding community/city. The various levels of the game take you to different American communities (e.g., New Orleans) for rich situated learning among the varied cultural settings. PBL provides meaningful learning, resulting in deeper…

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