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Computer Games Functioning as Motivation Stimulants.

ERIC Descriptors: Second Language Learning; Games; Student Motivation; Stimuli; Teaching Methods; Computer Uses in Education; Educational Technology; English (Second Language); Foreign Countries; College Freshmen; Student Attitudes; Social Networks; Reading; Interaction

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Numerous scholars have recommended computer games can function as influential motivation stimulants of English learning, showing benefits as learning tools (Clarke and Dede, 2007; Dede, 2009; Klopfer and Squire, 2009; Liu and Chu, 2010; Mitchell, Dede & Dunleavy, 2009). This study aimed to further test and verify the above suggestion, employing computer games as in-class formal or after-school leisure tasks for language learning and educational purposes. In spring semester, 2011, this research project related to on-line game play was conducted in a Taiwanese university, where 2 classes of 15 and 39 freshmen had provided their perceptions. Participants were suggested to select free on-line games during the 1st week and then inspect relations between the games and language education purposes. It was assumed participants might support or decline the concepts that educational objectives and effectivenesses can be found in games. In the 18-week research, more than 20 games with educational functions were demonstrated and presented. The results showed participants regarded the games to be motivation stimulating. Three on-line free games on Facebook, Pet Society, Country Story, and City Ville, were nominated to be effective motivation stimulants. In this study of Facebook applying for language learning, each game was recommended by more than 3 students, with higher percentages than the other on-line games on diverse websites. Three advantages had been emphasized by the presenters. First, the games contribute to reading game descriptions bilingually to thoroughly complete missions. Second, game-based learning allows players to establish abilities of social interactions with the other on-line players in the identical game. Third, computing-mediated environment builds the learners' concepts of managing and administrating a government, a farm or a pet shop. This study implies the appropriateness and applicability of game-based teaching and learning. It did not only provide evidences of learners' excitements and supportivenesses by qualitative narrations, but also contribute to providing pedagogies on how game-based curriculum could be more formally realized in second language learning classroom.

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Author:Lin, Grace Hui Chin; Tsai, Tony Kung Wan; Chien, Paul Shih Chieh
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Nov 5, 2011
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