Review of Empirical Studies: The Usage of Games in Foreign Language Acquisition

Review of Empirical Studies: The Usage of Games in Foreign Language Acquisition

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This paper reviews literature on serious games in the Foreign Language (FL) acquisition with the respect to grammar skills enhancement and attitudes towards grammar. The search identified a significant body of studies that tended to focus on the implementation of serious games in FL vocabulary and listening skills development, and both teachers and international students’ perceptions on grammar. However, there has been comparatively little exploration of serious games impact on FL learners’ grammar achievements and attitudinal change towards grammar. It was the intention of this paper to discuss practically and statistically significant evidence along with the limitations and recommendations for further research.
FL Grammatical Awareness
Grammar proficiency is considered to be one of the most essential but least favorable aspects in FL learning. A number of studies identified this conflicting idea in the international learners’ grammar attitudes: on the one hand, students highlighted the importance of grammatical accuracy and explicit instructions. On the other, grammar activities were ranked as their least preferable.
Students’ Perceptions
Loewen et al. (2009), surveyed 754 students, enrolled in different foreign language courses at the Michigan State University, reported that more than a half of them disliked learning grammar because it was boring, monotonous, confusing or complicated. At the same time, some students believed that grammar was important in the language acquisition in general and in enhancing the writing, reading, and speaking skills in particular. To be more motivated in learning grammar students expressed the opinion that they would appreciate the use of games and/or activities related to the real-life in ad...

... middle of paper ...

...e replicated the study in Colombian settings with 122 FLT and 607 FLL from eight postsecondary institutions in Bogota. Schulz (2001)’s comparison suggested that 64% of the US and 59% of the Colombian FLT felt that, “grammar is essential to eventual mastery of a foreign language” (p. 247). However, there was a disparity between students’ and teachers’ attitudes as 80% of the US and 82% of the Colombian FLL agreed on the claim. At the same time, both the US (80%) and Colombian (82%) teachers emphasized the importance of practicing a foreign language in the real-life situations, while only 69% of the US and 66% of the Colombian FLL shared the same opinion. Limitations
The studies in this section showed that both teachers and students appreciated the importance of grammar; however, communicative or integrated approach to teaching grammar is required in the classroom.

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