Integration of Serious Games in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Iranian Children

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Language, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

2 English Department, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract

Nowadays computers are increasingly being incorporated into school curriculums and serious games are occupying the educational games markets. This article addressed the integration of serious games as tools for learning and teaching English in Iranian schools to zero-beginner students. An experiment was concluded using Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) to investigate the effectiveness of using serious games; namely, Mingoville English as an educational aid and also to examine parents, students and instructors’ attitudes towards using serious games. To this end, 60 female students were chosen and divided into two groups. The control group was taught in the conventional way and the experimental group received the educational aiding material Mingoville, a web-based serious game program, as the treatment. The results of the analyses revealed that the experimental group outperformed the control group as the method of teaching was changed. The study also showed the willingness of children, their parents, and teachers toward using such games. It can be concluded that using serious games such as Mingoville can be regarded as an effective tool in teaching English to Iranian EFL children at schools and language institutes. The study can benefit teachers and heads of institutes to add serious games as aiding instructional materials to their English classes.

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