Computerized Games and Simulation...
http://sag.sagepub.com/ Simulation & Gaming http://sag.sagepub.com/content/41/1/72 The online version of this article can be found at: DOI: 10.1177/1046878109355684 2010 41: 72 originally published online 13 December 2009 Simulation Gaming Mark Peterson Learning: A Meta-Analysis of Research Computerized Games and Simulations in Computer-Assisted Language Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: Association for Business Simulation & Experiential Learning International Simulation & Gaming Association Japan Association of Simulation & Gaming North American Simulation & Gaming Association Society for Intercultural Education, Training, & Research can be found at: Simulation & Gaming Additional services and information for http://sag.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://sag.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://sag.sagepub.com/content/41/1/72.refs.html Citations: at DALHOUSIE UNIV on April 24, 2011 sag.sagepub.com Downloaded from
Simulation & Gaming 41(1) 72 ���93 �� The Author(s) 2010 Reprints and permission: http://www. sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/1046878109355684 http://sg.sagepub.com Computerized Games and Simulations in Computer- Assisted Language Learning: A Meta-Analysis of Research Mark Peterson1 Abstract This article explores research on the use of computerized games and simulations in language education. The author examined the psycholinguistic and sociocultural constructs proposed as a basis for the use of games and simulations in computer- assisted language learning. Research in this area is expanding rapidly. However, to date, few studies have critically investigated this body of work. The author reviewed key findings from influential studies. The author���s analysis reveals that, although these studies are subject to limitations, simulations and games present valuable opportu- nities for effective language learning. The contemporary literature on theories of language acquisition hypothesizes that simulations and games are beneficial methods for helping learners acquire another language. This article concludes by identifying potential areas for future research. Keywords CALL, computer-assisted language learning, computerized game, computerized simu- lation, effective language learning, gaming, meta-analysis, MMORPG, MOO, psycho- linguistic construct, research, second language acquisition, simulation, sociocultural construct, theories of language acquisition, virtual world Researchers have developed a body of work that explores the use of computer games and simulations to facilitate language learning. Early work involved the development of small-scale simulation prototypes (Coleman, 1990 Higgins & Morgenstern, 1990 Taylor, 1990). A further area of research focused on adapting commercial games and 1Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan Corresponding Author: Mark Peterson, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Yoshida Nihonmatsucho, Sakyoku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan Email: M.Peterson@fx8.ecs.kyoto-u.ac.jp at DALHOUSIE UNIV on April 24, 2011 sag.sagepub.com Downloaded from
Peterson 73 simulations for use in foreign and second language (L2) learning (Jordan, 1992 Meskill, 1990). With recent technological advances and developments in learning theory (Gee, 2003 Prensky, 2000 Steinkuehler, 2005), the use of these tools in education has increased significantly, and the field of foreign language education has been influenced by this trend. In recent years, prototypes of advanced games and simulations designed specifically to support language learning have emerged (Li & Topolewski, 2002 Mich, Betta & Giuliani, 2004 S��rensen & Meyer, 2007 Stubbs, 2003). However, the bulk of existing research has focused on the adaption of commercial platforms. New opportunities to produce computer-assisted language learning (CALL) games and simulations have arisen because of the emergence of low-cost authoring tools and the expansion of the Internet. A critical overview of current research is necessary in order to provide guidance for future work in this area. In order to provide a context for this evaluation, this article will first examine the major theories proposed as a basis for the use of computer-based games and simulations in CALL. Simulation, Gaming, and Language Learning: Proposed Rationales Psycholinguistic Research Theories of second language acquisition (SLA) have been proposed as a basis for development work in the use of games and simulations designed to support language learning. Among these, psycholinguistic research focuses on internal mental processes and hypothesizes a number of optimal conditions in which SLA may be fostered. According to this account, SLA may occur when learners are provided with opportuni- ties to actively engage in the restructuring of their interlanguage through participation in goal-based communicative activities (Gass, 2000). These conditions can be achieved through exposure to comprehensible target lan- guage (henceforth TL) input and the production of, in particular, modified TL output obtained through interaction (Long, 1985). This latter process, called negotiation of meaning (Long, 1996), involves the use of communication strategies such as clarifica- tion requests and comprehension checks. This process is claimed to link together input, attention to L2 form, and output in a beneficial manner (Chapelle, 1997). Negotiation is perceived as playing a valuable role in facilitating the cognition involved in language development (Pica, 1994). Although this account of SLA was developed to account for learning based in tra- ditional classrooms, theorists have speculated that its central constructs are applicable to computer-based learning contexts. Chapelle (2001) claims that approaches to learn- ing with computers based on the use of real-world communicative tasks are particularly effective in creating the conditions outlined above. In the context of game- and simulation-based learning, theorists have claimed that these tools support language at DALHOUSIE UNIV on April 24, 2011 sag.sagepub.com Downloaded from