Presentation on theme: "Developing a research agenda for digital game-based L2 learning Jon Reinhardt U Arizona."— Presentation transcript:
Developing a research agenda for digital game-based L2 learning Jon Reinhardt U Arizona
Why games? Digital games have grown quite popular worldwide, and are diversifying in genre types (e.g. social games, MMORPGs), audiences (e.g. older, female), design origin, even language availability (Reinhardt, 2013). With increasing practice, more applied linguists and L2TL researchers are focusing on the area, with recent edited volumes (Reinders, 2012), special journal issues--ReCALL 24(3) by Cornillie, Thorne, & Desmet (2012), and LL&T 18(2) by Reinhardt & Sykes (in press), and monographs (Peterson, 2013; Sykes & Reinhardt, 2012) What has been found? Are digital games effective L2 learning environments? How does one research game- mediated L2TL?
Meta-analysis Research synthesis The purpose of a meta-analysis is to synthesize results across comparable studies. Problem: There aren’t enough well-designed, empirical, experimental, quantitative studies where ‘game-based’ is the independent variable. Also, there’s no agreement on what a ‘game’ is. So, the purpose became to synthesize findings and identify trends in research, rather than to compare game-mediated with non game- mediated L2TL.
Synthesis features Recent: Published within last decade (2002-2012) Inclusionary: Focus on empirical (experimental and descriptive), including pedagogical/classroom-based. Ongoing: 35 studies identified and 28 analyzed so far, from 13 journals and several edited volumes and conference proceedings, on 10 different parameters Parameters aligned with those used in CALL meta-analyses, e.g. functional metaphors (Levy’s tutor-tool, etc.) or SLA paradigms (Kern & Warschauer’s structural-sociocognitive, etc.) Other parameters are unique to games, e.g. COTS vs. SIE (or enhanced vs. based; Reinhardt & Sykes, 2012), game design elements (Cornillie, Thorne, & Desmet, 2012)
Parameters CALL-informed: 1.SLA approach (e.g. behaviorist, cognitive, sociocognitive) 2.Research context (e.g. formal, informal, pedagogical) 3.Research method (e.g. experimental, corpus analysis, discourse analysis) 4.Measures & instruments (e.g. pre-/post-tests, transcripts, interviews, questionnaires, game logs, observations, videos) 5.L2TL focus (vocabulary, interaction, reading, listening, speaking, culture, grammar) 6.Language (e.g. EFL, ESL, Spanish, German, etc.) Unique to digital games 7.Game function and study purpose (game-enhanced/game-based, learning/pedagogy) 8.Game genre (e.g. role play, action, adventure, simulation, MMORPG) 9.Game design element (e.g. context, narrative, collaboration, motivation) 10.Learner perception: focus of goal-orienting activity (game, player, instruction)
Synthesized findings: Affordances of games in L2TL repetition and redundancy of input (deHaan, 2005; McGraw, Yoshimoto, & Seneff, 2009; Piiranen-Marsh & Tainio, 2009) environment for collaboration and negotiation (Hanson, 2005; Reinders & Wattana, 2012; Rama et al., 2012; Thorne & Fischer, 2012; Peterson, 2012) increased confidence and willingness to communicate and take risks (Reinders & Wattana, 2012; Zheng et al., 2009) co-action, languaging, and alignment (Piiranen-Marsh & Tainio, 2009; Zheng, Newgarden, & Young, 2012; Peterson, 2012) development of : – pragmatic competence (Sykes 2009; 2010) – lexical competence (Miller & Hegelheimer, 2006; Ranalli, 2008; Verhallen & Bus, 2010; Müller, 2013) – critical and digital literacies (Lacasa, Mendez, & Martinez, 2008; Alexander, 2009; deHaan, 2011; Reinhardt & Zander, 2011) – (inter)cultural competence (Thorne, 2008; Neville, Shelton, & McInnis, 2009; O’Brien, Levy, & Orich, 2009) – narrative competence (Hanson, 2005; Holden & Sykes, 2011)
Synthesized findings: Challenges and potentials Task-based L2 pedagogy can be successfully matched with game- mediated learning (Miller & Hegelheimer, 2006; Ranalli, 2008; O’Brien, Levy, & Orich, 2009; Reinhardt & Zander, 2011). Game texts, paratexts and attendant discourses can be linguistically diverse and highly complex (Thorne, Fischer, & Lu, 2012). Online gaming spaces are used informally for autonomous L2 learning (Thorne & Fischer, 2012). Students who play EFL games outside of class tend to have higher EFL proficiency than those who don’t (Sylven & Sundqvist, 2012). In some game genres, players may focus on rules at the expense of language (deHaan, Reed, & Kuwada, 2010). Learners may resist game-mediated L2 learning if perceived as 'non- serious' (Reinhardt & Zander, 2011). There may be a disconnect between teacher beliefs and gamer- learner practices with regards to DGB L2 learning (Chik, 2012).
Synthesis: CALL parameters Empirical research on game-mediated L2TL has: taken a variety of approaches, about half behaviorist+ cognitive, half socio-cognitive used a variety of methods, about half experimental, half discourse analysis (probably correlates to approach) used mostly questionnaires, post-tests, and analysis of student work and chat transcripts (again correlating to method), with less use of game logs, game records, recorded game sessions, analysis of game texts, paratexts, and attendant discourses. focused mostly on reading, vocabulary, and interaction, with less attention to grammar, culture, & pragmatics focused mostly on English…
Synthesis: Game-unique categories Empirical game-mediated L2TL research has also: focused primarily on game design elements that align with L2TL tenets, like context, narrative, collaboration, motivation, and interactivity. focused on the design of, learning with, and the pedagogy of, COTS games as well as SIEs. worked with game genres most aligned with L2TL tenets, like MMORPGs, simulation, and adventure games
Research perspective Studies seem to take one of three perspectives: 1)SLA-agnostic research focused on game-based design elements. 2)descriptive or experimental research on pedagogical integration and implementation 3)descriptions of player activity Agency is privileged in the: 1)game design 2)pedagogy or instruction 3)player-learner
From synthesis to agenda: Where to start? Which game? build, modify, or adapt? MMORPGs, simulations, adventure, role play? Which setting? learning ‘in the wild’ or pedagogy in the classroom? Which frameworks? socio-cognitive, cognitive, behaviorist? experimental, case studies, quantitative? Which perspective? game, instruction, player? Game as activity
Game genre & features Which game and which features? Is the RQ about a genre, a game title, or a feature across titles and/or genres? Game genres are fluid and one game may mix features from a variety of genres (e.g. time pressure, narrative, feedback type, affordance for player-player interaction, etc.) build your own game: Cornillie, Clarebout, & Desmet, 2012 (+ customization, - inauthentic) use an existing game: Hitosugi, Schmidt, & Hayashi, 2014 (+ authentic, - many variables) adapt an existing game: Reinders & Wattana, 2012 (+ semi-authentic, allows customization, - game may lose functional coherence)
Study setting In what setting? How does this align with other aspects of the research? Setting will impact the generalizability and ecological validity of the findings In classroom—as main or secondary instruction? mandatory or optional? (e.g. Reinhardt, Warner, & Lange, in press; Miller & Hegelheimer, 2006) Formally—in experimental or lab contexts? (e.g. Sylven & Sundqvist, 2012; Peterson, 2012) Informally—‘in the wild’, as played in everyday contexts? (e.g. Thorne, 2008; Piirainen-Marsh & Tainio, 2009)
Framework Which SLA or other theories, and which methods, should be used? Games can be understood metaphorically as tutors, tools, or ecologies, and some game designs and features privilege particular frameworks (Reinhardt & Thorne, in press). Game as tutor (e.g. deHaan, 2005; Miller & Hegelheimer, 2006) (e.g. simulations cognitive frameworks) Game as tool for interaction (e.g. Zheng et al., 2009; Rama et al., 2012) (e.g. MMORPGs social frameworks) Game as ecology (e.g. Thorne, Fischer, & Lu, 2012; Chik, 2012) (e.g. games with active communities ecological frameworks) Game as method, a.k.a. gameful L2TL or ‘gamification’
Perspective From which perspective(s)? Game, player, and/or instruction? Game design: feedback, narrative, choice provision, repetition, contextualization – Which designs lead to which behaviors? Which behaviors afford what kinds of L2 learning? Player-learner: gender, age, L2 proficiency, gaming experience/expertise, gameplay style – Who are L2 game player-learners? How do individual differences impact attitudes, motivation, and learning outcomes? L2 Pedagogy: integration into game, curricular integration, role of teacher or curriculum, pedagogical approach (game as tutor, tool, ecology, etc.) – How can a game be integrated into formal learning contexts? How does the nature of integration impact learning? What role does instructor play?
The player-learner: How can player-learner variables (motivation, gender, proficiency, gaming experience, gaming preferences) be examined in an ecologically valid way, i.e., without players losing agency and ‘gameful’ disposition? The game: Which game designs, rules and narratives, afford what sorts of L2 learning, and how? What role does pedagogical mediation play? Other players: How does the social aspect of gameplay impact learning? What designs afford what kinds and qualities of social interaction? The instruction: What is the relationship between gaming literacies and other L2 literacies, both traditional and new? How do gaming literacies develop through naturalistic and pedagogically-mediated gameplay? The end: What are the tensions between learning and playing? How does context of gameplay (e.g. in a classroom) impact player-learner motivation or learning outcomes? When does gameplay become ‘gamework’ in the mind of the player-learner?
Needs and Opportunities more empirical research, though not necessarily to compare game-mediated with non game-mediated, but in recognition of the increased popularity of gaming more research focused on where game design and L2LT meet (e.g. goal orientation, feedback, interaction, motivation, narrative) more research on digital games in L2 pedagogy (e.g. integration of COTS games, student-led game design, game-informed task design) more focus on game-mediated L2TL as ecology (i.e. consideration of gaming as socio-literacy practice)
Thank you firstname.lastname@example.org arizona.academia.edu/JonathonReinhardt games2teach.wordpress.com
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