Beyond Hidden Bodies and Lost Pigs: Student Perceptions of Foreign Language Learning with Interactive Fiction

Beyond Hidden Bodies and Lost Pigs: Student Perceptions of Foreign Language Learning with Interactive Fiction

Joe Pereira (British Council, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2848-9.ch004

Abstract

Interactive Fiction is a text-based genre of video game which blends participatory storytelling, the exploration of virtual worlds, and logical puzzle-solving. As it is a form of electronic literature as well as a form of video game, and it is compatible with the principles of second language acquisition, it can be used for digital game-based language learning. This chapter presents a case study on the perceptions of learners of English as a foreign language on the use of Interactive Fiction to practise language skills, particularly as a means of improving reading for fluency. The games played by the learners were 9:05 and Lost Pig, and the results produced by the study provided positive evidence towards the use of Interactive Fiction as an engaging language learning tool.
Chapter Preview
Top

Overall Description

Interest in digital game-based learning (DGBL) from researchers and educators has continued to grow and works such as Gee (2007a), Baek (2010), and Whitton (2010), make a strong case for the potential of video games for learning and how they may be implemented in the classroom. Recent publications on using DGBL for foreign language learning, particularly by De Hann (2005), Purushtoma, Thorne & Wheatley (2009), Reinders & Wattana (2011) and Mawer & Stanley (2011), have shown that despite the existence of challenges, the affordances of video games are in line with modern approaches to language learning pedagogy and are worthy of consideration for classroom application. This case study looks at how the retro video game genre of Interactive Fiction (IF), also known as text-adventures, was used with learners of English as a foreign language in order to provide them with an alternative method of practising reading for fluency in a meaningful, motivating and engaging manner. The research question that guided the study was: “Do learners perceive IF as an engaging way to practise English skills?”

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset