English Teachers' Practice and Perspectives on Using Educational Computer Games in EIL Context

English Teachers' Practice and Perspectives on Using Educational Computer Games in EIL Context

Li-Jen Wang (Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology, National Central University and Center for Language Studies, National Chung Cheng University, Taoyuan City, Taiwan), Ying-Tien Wu (Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology, National Central University, Taoyuan City, Taiwan) and Chiu-Ming Hu (Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology, National Central University, Taoyuan City, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJTHI.2016070103
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Abstract

With in-depth interviews, the study explored 36 Taiwanese high school English teachers' practice and perspectives on using educational computer games (ECGs) in teaching English as an international language (EIL). The teachers were asked to experience an ECG for English vocabulary learning. Then, tape-recorded individual interviews were conducted. This study revealed that only few participant teachers had ever used computer games in their instruction; however, most of them were willing to use ECGs in their English classes in the future. It should be noticed that most participant teachers showed only poor understanding of ECGs and digital game-based learning.They recognized their insufficient specific pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), the need for technology-related skills, and the support from administration. Based on the finding derived from this study and those of previous research, cultural differences were further discussed. Also, implications for further research and teacher professional development were proposed.
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Literature Review

Integration of ECGs in English Teaching

In order to motivate learners and meet their different individual learning styles, more and more researchers propose new teaching curriculum designs and methods. One of the potential methods is integrating educational computer games (ECGs) into classroom (Hinostroza et al., 2011; Turel & Johnson, 2012). ECGs are computers games with pedagogical purposes, have been widely discussed in the field of English teaching in recent years (deHaan et al., 2010; Ketelhut et al., 2011; Peterson, 2010; Yang et al., 2010; Zheng et al., 2009). In the past few years, many studies have also demonstrated the benefits of ECGs in English learning context (Barendregt & Bekker, 2011; Chiu, et al., 2012; Smith, et al., 2013; Zheng, et al., 2009). ECSs not only can enhance the interaction with learners (Barendregt & Bekker, 2011; Chen & Huang, 2013; Kebritchi, 2010), but most importantly, they can provide more active involvement, creating personal motivation and satisfaction, and accommodating multiple learning styles (Kebritchi, 2010).

Although ECGs have the potential power to motivate learners and increase the learning efficiency; however, teachers in teaching practice tend not to integrate ECGs as in class activities or as after school assignments. Some research suggests that it is due to the gap existing between learners and teachers (Blakely et al., 2010; Paraskeva et al., 2010). Learners nowadays have different learning styles which are changing rapidly with the development of technology and the Internet, while teachers’ teaching methods are not changing synchronously (Tao et al., 2012). Therefore, more understanding of teachers’ practice and perspectives on ECGs is needed.

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