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Learner autonomy development through digital gameplay

Keywords: digital gameplay , foreign language learning learner autonomy

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Abstract:

Playing digital games is undeniably a popular leisure activity, and digital gaming is also gaining academic attention and recognition for enhancing digital literacies and learning motivation. One tricky issue when exploring digital gaming in Asian contexts is the popularity of English and Japanese games. Though Chinese and Korean online games are readily available, many of the more popular commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) digital games are in English and Japanese. Students in Hong Kong are required to take English as a foreign language, which resulted in a huge range of proficiency, but Japanese is not offered at public schools. So, most Hong Kong gamers are playing foreign language games. Yet language barriers do not diminish the market demand for foreign language digital games. This paper explores the phenomenon of digital gaming in foreign languages. Based on findings from an on-going research project with ten undergraduate video gamers (F=4, M=6), this paper argues that gamers exercise learner autonomy by managing their gaming both as leisure and learning experiences.

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