Familiar or Unfamiliar Context?: Application of M-Games in the Blended Module of L2 Learning

Familiar or Unfamiliar Context?: Application of M-Games in the Blended Module of L2 Learning

Amir Mashhadi (Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran) and Saeed Khazaie (Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8519-2.ch010
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This chapter endeavored to devise a motivating way to engage learners in L2 English learning tasks presented through the mobile game (m-game). It started on the issue of whether types of a displayed picture on m-games had any significant relationship with learners' performance in the blended mode of L2 learning. To that end, a cellphone-based form of the nonEnglish game of 'Xane Bazi', modified as didactic 'Xane Bazi' for English vocabulary learning, was grafted onto the face-to-face mode of content representation in the blended language learning module. 100 Iranian boys and girls within the age range of 10-13 were divided into two groups to learn English vocabulary items during 12 sessions of an academic semester: One group played a version of 'Xane Bazi' with learner-made paintings and the other group played a version of the game filled with photos. The results hinted at the desired effect of utilizing m-games as applying learner-made painting condition to didactic 'Xane Bazi' was proved to significantly ratchet up the participants' L2 learning.
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Most schools realize the prime nature of technology in preparing learners for college, careers, and citizenship. In today's world, the rise of educational applications (apps) has impacted classrooms across the world (Kinney, 2014). Devaney (2014) maintains that “young learners who develop an early enthusiasm for learning in technology-enhanced pedagogical environments develop high-level skills and interests that can carry them through to college and the workforce” (p. 15). Currently, parallel with the development of information and communication technology (ICT), new forms of pedagogy is being held up as the way of reforming education. Nearly ICT extension of the last few years has mandated a new manner of teaching and also expanded the use of revolutionary pedagogical programs which advocate continuous evaluation of needs, objectives, materials, and teaching strategies. In a similar vein, Peters (2013) argues that technology can be introduced in education to develop a better connection, interaction, and communication between learners, educators, and materials developers. Mobile technology, by conducting education in real life contexts, also provides a contextual support for enhancing the information process of new didactic contents (Chen & Chang, 2011); in this way, learning is not divorced from experience; learners construct their knowledge by experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. Accordingly, in order to ensure the success of the recent wireless mobile technologies in the era of technology-mediated pedagogy, practitioners have to orchestrate diverse variables in the learning environment to create favorable conditions for second/foreign language learning (Banados, 2006).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information and Communication Technology (ICT): The use of computers and other electronic equipment to store and send information (Cambridge advanced learners' dictionary, 2003).

English Vocabulary Recognition and Recall (EVRR): According to Chen, Hsieh, and Kinshuk (2008) EVRR test is employed to assess how learners use mobile-game-mediated module for the purpose of L2 vocabulary learning.

Log Menu: A menu comprised of a complete record of the blended course.

Mobile-Game (M-Game): The m-game in this chapter was used “in the sense of interactive, student-initiated activities of inherent value that are played on the electronic device” as Grimely (2013) elaborates (p. 1).

Tie-In: A product such as a toy or book that is related to a film, television program, etc. (Cambridge advanced learners' dictionary, 2003).

Learner-Made Paintings: Paintings which are not of preorchestrated or ready-made types, but drawn and painted by learners themselves (e.g., please see the learner-made drawings embedded in Figure 2 , left picture).

Pull Mode of Operation: Mellow (2005) defines a pull mode of operation as the one in which a learner can “order specific information based on a menu of all listed content on a web page or paper handout” to be sent through the medium of mobile (as cited in Kennedy & Levy, 2008 , p. 317).

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