Chen, H. J. H., & Hsu, H. L. (2019). The impact of a serious game on vocabulary and content learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 1-22. doi:10.1080/09588221.2019.1593197

Chen and Hsu (2019)’s study aims to measure the effect of a serious game in English vocabulary and content acquisition. The participants of this study are non-English students from a Taiwan’s university with the average of their English proficiency is around CEFR B2 level or higher intermediate level. The game used in this study is an online game called Playing History which also contains historical knowledge. Chen and Hsu (2019) use an experimental method to measure whether or not there are impacts of the game on English vocabulary and content acquisition by conducting pre and post-test. The findings suggest that there is an improvement in students’ vocabulary and history knowledge scores. 

The findings from Chen and Hsu (2019)’s study is significant because it can prove that serious games can provide a beneficial impact on content acquisition. The most interesting insight that I can adopt from this study is the concept of multimedia annotation which can help students to acquire words easier. According to Chen and Hsu (2019), words in multimedia are associated with other elements, such as sound and images which can be easier to remember rather than text in books.

Thinking beyond this finding, I will try to adopt the ability of serious games in enhancing vocabulary acquisition into my instructional design context as a biology teacher. In my experience, I often found that my students find it difficult to acquire biology terms which mainly come from the Latin language. Thus, I will design a serious game to improve students acquisition of biology terms and knowledge base on a concept of multimedia annotation.

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