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Between learning and playing? Exploring learners’ perceptions of corrective feedback in an immersive game for English pragmatics*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 September 2012

Frederik Cornillie
Affiliation:
ITEC-IBBT-KU Leuven Kulak (Interdisciplinary Research on Technology, Education and Communication), E. Sabbelaan 53, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium Franitalco, Research on French, Italian and Comparative Linguistics, KU Leuven, Blijde-Inkomststraat 21, 3000 Leuven, Belgium, (frederik.cornillie@kuleuven-kulak.be, piet.desmet@kuleuven-kulak.be)
Geraldine Clarebout
Affiliation:
ITEC-IBBT-KU Leuven Kulak (Interdisciplinary Research on Technology, Education and Communication), E. Sabbelaan 53, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium CIP&T, Centre for Instructional Psychology and Technology, KU Leuven, Dekenstraat 2 box 3770, 3000 Leuven, Belgium (geraldine.clarebout@kuleuven-kulak.be)
Piet Desmet
Affiliation:
ITEC-IBBT-KU Leuven Kulak (Interdisciplinary Research on Technology, Education and Communication), E. Sabbelaan 53, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium Franitalco, Research on French, Italian and Comparative Linguistics, KU Leuven, Blijde-Inkomststraat 21, 3000 Leuven, Belgium, (frederik.cornillie@kuleuven-kulak.be, piet.desmet@kuleuven-kulak.be)

Abstract

This paper aims to provide a rationale for the utility of corrective feedback (CF) in digital games designed for language learning, with specific reference to learners’ perceptions. Explicit and elaborate CF has the potential to increase learners’ understanding of language, but might not be found useful in a game-based learning environment where the primary focus for the learner is on meaningful interaction and experiential learning. Also, as CF can be perceived as a measure of performance, it could harm learners’ perception of competence. Eighty-three learners of English as a foreign language participated in a mixed-method experimental study that aimed to first explore the perceived usefulness of, and preferences for, explicit and implicit CF in an immersive educational game, and to secondly chart the relation between learners’ perceptions of CF as they pertain to three individual difference factors related to learners’ self-perception, namely intrinsic goal orientation, perceived competence and game experience. Survey and interview data showed that CF was found to be generally useful. A regression model indicated that the three measures of self-perception affected learners’ perceptions of explicit CF positively, and that there was no impact on perceptions of implicit CF. Further, learners reported having enjoyed the implicit CF, although they did not find it particularly useful for learning. These findings indicate that the type of CF should be considered in the design of effective and enjoyable educational games.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning 2012

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Footnotes

Contact author.

*

This study is based on research funded by IBBT (Interdisciplinary Institute for Broadband Technology) and was conducted within the LLINGO project “Language Learning in an Interactive Game Environment” (ICON 2009).

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