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Digital games and ELT: bridging the authenticity gap
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7789-9032
2013 (English)In: International perspectives on motivation: language learning and professional challenges / [ed] Ushioda, Ema, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, 1, 133-155 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this chapter I will suggest that in cultural contexts such as Sweden where English is an integral part of young people’s everyday lives and is encountered and used in a range of out-of-school domains, a particular challenge facing teachers is not so much generating motivation to succeed in long-term competency goals, but rather engaging students in day-to-day classroom activities. Based on the idea that self-authenticity can have a motivating force (Gecas 1991; Vannini 2006; Vannini and Burgess 2009) and drawing on James Paul Gee’s recent work on affinity spaces (Gee 2005; Hayes and Gee 2010), I will argue that teachers of English need to create learning opportunities where students can experience the types of creative and self-relevant interaction commonplace in digital gaming. This does not mean that teachers should look to leisure-time domains with an eye to the wholesale import of youth culture content into the classroom, but, rather, that greater scope should be given to aesthetic and personal expression in activity design. In arguing that there is a growing authenticity gap between the English students learn in school and the English they use outside, I will begin the chapter by looking at the sorts of things young people in Sweden do in their free time.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, 1. 133-155 p.
, International Perspectives on English Language Teaching
Keyword [en]
motivation; language learning; digital gaming; authenticity; language pedagogy
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Educational science
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-5562ISBN: 978-1-137-00089-7OAI: diva2:638164
Available from: 2013-07-27 Created: 2013-07-27 Last updated: 2016-01-19Bibliographically approved

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Henry, Alastair
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