CALICO Journal, Vol 37, No 1 (2020)

Designing and Using a Scenario-Based Digital Game to Teach Chinese Formulaic Expressions

Xiaofei Tang, Naoko Taguchi
Issued Date: 2 Mar 2020


A well-designed game can offer enormous opportunities for pragmatics learning by providing an immersive environment where learners can practice L2 in a variety of social contexts. To examine the applicability of gaming to L2 pragmatics learning, this study used the platform Unity to develop a scenariobased digital game (Questaurant) to teach Chinese formulaic expressions. In the game, the player took the role of a robot who works in a restaurant in China and runs quests by interacting with built-in characters. The game incorporated four key gaming attributes: context (representation), goals, feedback, and interactivity. This paper reports the usability of these gaming attributes based on interview data collected from 12 learners of Chinese who completed the game. Results showed that the combination of context and interactivity in Questaurant delivered an engaging learning experience, while explicit feedback directly contributed to learning. Participants raised some concerns regarding the motivational appeal of goals and implicit feedback in the game. This paper further discusses implications for developing and utilizing digital games for pragmatics learning.

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DOI: 10.1558/cj.38574


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