Categorization of Digital Games in English LanguageLearning Studies: Introducing the SSI Model
2013 (English)In: 20 Years of EUROCALL: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future: 2013 EUROCALL Conference, Évora, Portugal, Proceedings / [ed] Linda Bradley and Sylvie Thouësny, Dublin, Ireland; Voillans, France: Research-publishing.net , 2013, 231-237 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
The main aim of the present paper is to introduce a model for digital game categorization suitable for use in English language learning studies: the Scale of Social Interaction (SSI) Model (original idea published as Sundqvist, 2013). Based on sociocultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978), the SSI Model proposes a classification of commercial off-the-shelf digital games into three categories: singleplayer, multiplayer, and massively multiplayer online games (MMOs). The potential for naturalistic learning (Benson, 2011) of English is hypothesized to be greater the larger the scale of the in-game social interaction. In other words, the larger the scale of social interaction offered by particular games, the higher the chances of encountering co-players of different nationalities, making the need for a shared language (i.e., English) for in-game interactions obvious. Subsequently, the more authentic English interactions there are, the higher the chances for naturalistic language learning to occur. In the SSI Model, the scale of social interaction is viewed as a continuum, from small scale (singleplayer games) to large scale (MMOs). Thus, from the perspective of language learning, the model suggests that MMOs are more beneficial than multiplayer games which, in turn, are more beneficial than singleplayer games. A secondary aim is to present some preliminary findings regarding the validation of the SSI Model based on data collected from Swedish learners (9th grade) in an ongoing 3-year study about the relation between out-of school digital gameplay and vocabulary acquisition. The results reveal that it is more common that learners who play games frequently play multiplayer games and/or MMOs than singleplayer games. Further, the results provide partial evidence of the validity of the SSI Model in that the learners who are categorized as playing multiplayer games and MMOs score higher on two vocabulary tests than the learners categorized as playing singleplayer games.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dublin, Ireland; Voillans, France: Research-publishing.net , 2013. 231-237 p.
video games, digital games, game categorization, EFL, ESL, SLA, vocabulary acquisition
Humanities Specific Languages Didactics
Research subject English
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-30569ISBN: 978-1-908416-12-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-30569DiVA: diva2:669058