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Fun and Games: Learning Vocabulary through Gaming
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Abstract

 

Recent technological advancements have meant that there are now many input sources available outside the foreign-language classroom (e.g. websites, podcasts, on-line videos). One such source is gaming (playing digital games on personal computers, consoles, mobile devices, and online). Research from socio-cultural and cognitive perspectives has shown that gaming has characteristics (e.g. collaboration, production) that can lead to successful language learning (Peterson, 2016). One aspect of language proficiency that may develop through gaming is vocabulary knowledge (Sundqvist & Wikström, 2015). To illustrate the current state of knowledge about vocabulary learning through gaming, this presentation reviews the relevant research in three areas: incidental vocabulary learning (Sundqvist & Sylven, 2012), vocabulary learning strategies (Bytheway, 2015), and explicit vocabulary instruction in concert with gaming (Franciosi, et al., 2016; Ranalli, 2008). The presentation concludes with a discussion of future research that should be undertaken to advance understanding of the relationship between vocabulary learning and gaming.

 

Summary

 

Research from socio-cultural and cognitive perspectives has shown that gaming has characteristics (e.g. collaboration, production) that can lead to successful language learning.  This talk discusses how gaming can facilitate vocabulary acquisition in three ways: through incidental vocabulary learning, vocabulary learning strategies, and explicit vocabulary instruction in concert with gaming.

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