Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7ccbd9845f-xwjfq Total loading time: 0.489 Render date: 2023-01-28T14:22:53.765Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Learner interaction in a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG): A sociocultural discourse analysis*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 September 2012

Mark Peterson*
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Nihonmatsu-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan (email: M.Peterson@fx8.ecs.kyoto-u.ac.jp)

Abstract

This exploratory study investigates the linguistic and social interaction of four intermediate EFL learners during game play in a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). Twelve illustrative episodes drawn from the participants’ text chat, collected in four 70-minute sessions held over a one-month period, are analyzed from a sociocultural perspective. Qualitative analysis reveals the presence of interactional features associated with the development of sociocultural competence. Throughout this study the learners successfully engaged in collaborative social interaction involving dialogue, conducted exclusively in the target language. Participants made appropriate use of politeness involving greetings, informal language, small talk, humor, and leave-takings, as a means to support the operation of collaborative interpersonal relationships. These relationships appeared based on reciprocity, friendship, and teamwork. They were effective in facilitating the creation of a low stress atmosphere characterized by social cohesion that was conducive to co-construction, and the consistent production of coherent target language output. The data indicates that the learners were able to jointly establish, and maintain, states of intersubjectivity through the use of continuers, and requests for assistance relevant to in-game tasks. Learner feedback was positive, and suggests that although the participants found the game play challenging, as this research progressed they became increasingly comfortable as their familiarity with the game increased. Aspects of participation identified by the learners as beneficial included opportunities for risk-taking, enhanced fluency practice, and exposure to vocabulary not normally encountered in regular language classes. The analysis suggests that the game provided access to an environment conducive to forms of collaborative target language use and social interaction identified as beneficial in the sociocultural account of language development.

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

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

*

This research was made possible by the generous support of the Hayao Nakayama foundation for science, technology, and culture.

References

Ang, C. S.Zaphiris, P. (2006) Developing enjoyable second language learning software tools: A computer game paradigm. In: Zaphiris, P. and Zacharia, G. (eds.), User-centered computer aided language learning. New York: Idea Group, 122.Google Scholar
Anton, M.DiCamilla, F. (1998) Socio-cognitive functions of L1 in collaborative interaction in the L2 classroom. Canadian Modern Language Review, 54(3): 314342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Atkinson, D. (2002) Towards a sociocognitive approach to second language acquistion. The Modern Language Journal, 86(5): 525545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brown, P.Levinson, S. (1987) Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Darhower, M. (2002) Interactional features of synchronous computer-mediated communication in the intermediate L2 class: A sociocultural case study. CALICO Journal, 19(2): 249277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Deutschmann, M., Panichi, L.Molka-Danielsson, J. (2009) Designing oral participation in Second Life—a comparative study of two language proficiency courses. ReCALL, 21(2): 206226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Donaldson, R. P.Kötter, M. (1999) Language learning in cyberspace: Teleporting the classroom into the target culture. CALICO Journal, 16(1): 531557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Firth, A.Wagner, J. (2007) On discourse, communication, and (some) fundamental concepts in SLA research. The Modern Language Journal, 91(5): 757772.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Foster, P.Ohta, A. S. (2005) Negotiation for meaning and peer assistance in second language classrooms. Applied Linguistics, 26(3): 402430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gee, J. P. (2005) Learning by design: Good video games as learning machines. E-Learning, 2(1): 516.Google Scholar
Jauregi, K., Canto, S., de Graff, R., Koenraad, T.Moonen, M. (2011) Verbal interaction in Second Life: towards a pedagogic framework for task design. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 24(1): 77101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lafford, B. A. (2007) Second language acquisition reconceptualized? the impact of Firth and Wagner (1997). The Modern Language Journal, 91(5): 735756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lantolf, J. P. (2000) Sociocultural theory and second language learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Lantolf, J. P.Appel, G. (1994) Vygotskian approaches to second language research. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Google Scholar
Lantolf, J. P.Thorne, S. L. (2006) Sociocultural theory and the genesis of second language development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Lee, L. (2008) Focus-on-form through collaborative scaffolding in expert-to-novice online interaction. Language Learning & Technology, 12(3): 5372.Google Scholar
Nassaji, H.Swain, M. (2000) A Vygotskian perspective on corrective feedback in L2: the effect of random versus negotiated help in the learning of English articles. Language Awareness, 9(1): 3451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peterson, M. (2006) Learner interaction management in an avatar and chat-based virtual world. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 19(1): 79103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peterson, M. (2010a) Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) as arenas for language learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 23(5): 429439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peterson, M. (2010b) The use of computerized games and simulations in computer-assisted language learning: A meta-analysis of research. Simulation & Gaming: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 40(1): 863885.Google Scholar
Peterson, M. (2011) Digital gaming and second language development: Japanese learners interactions in a MMORPG. Digital Culture & Education, 3(1): 5673.Google Scholar
Prensky, M. (2001) Digital game-based learning. St. Paul: Paragon House.Google Scholar
Purushotma, R., Thorne, S.Wheatley, J. (2009) 10 Key Principles for Designing Video Games for Foreign Language Learning. http://lingualgames.wordpress.com/article/10-key-principles-for-designing-video-27mkxqba7b13d-2/Google Scholar
Reinders, H.Wattana, S. (2011) Learn English or die: The effects of digital games on interaction and willingness to communicate in a foreign language. Digital Culture & Education, 3(1): 329.Google Scholar
Rintel, E. S.Pittam, J. (1997) Strangers in a strange land: interaction management on Internet Relay Chat. Human Communication Research, 23(4): 507534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rintel, E. S., Mulholland, J.Pittam, J. (2001) First things first: Internet relay chat openings. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 6(1). http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol6/issue3/rintel.htmlGoogle Scholar
Schwienhorst, K. (2002) Evaluating tandem language learning in the MOO: Discourse repair strategies in a bilingual Internet project. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 15(2): 135145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steinkuehler, C. (2008) Massively multiplayer online games as an educational technology: An outline for research. Educational Technology, 48(1): 1021.Google Scholar
Suh, S., Kim, S. W.Kim, N. J. (2010) Effectiveness of MMORPG-based instruction in elementary English education in Korea. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(5): 370378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sykes, J. M., Reinhardt, J.Thorne, S. L. (2010) Multiuser digital games as sites for research and practice. In: Hult, F. M. (ed.), Directions and prospects for educational linguistics. Amsterdam: Springer, 117135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thorne, S. L. (2008) Transcultural communication in open Internet environments and massively multiplayer online games. In: Magnan, S. (ed.), Mediating discourse online. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 305327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thorne, S. L., Black, R. W.Sykes, J. M. (2009) Second language use, socialization, and learning in Internet interest communities and online gaming. The Modern Language Journal, 93(s1): 802821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Von Der Emde, S., Schneider, J.Kötter, M. (2001) Technically speaking: Transforming language learning through virtual learning environments (MOOs). The Modern language Journal, 85(2): 211225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978) Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Warner, C. N. (2004) It's just a game right? Types of play in foreign language CMC. Language Learning & Technology, 8(2): 6987.Google Scholar
Werry, C. (1996) Linguistic and interactional features of Internet relay chat. In: Herring, S. C. (ed.), Computer-mediated communication: linguistic, social and cross-cultural perspectives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 4763.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wertsch, J. (2007) Mediation. In: Daniels, H., Cole, M. and Wertsch, J. (eds.), The Cambridge companion to Vygotsky. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 178192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zhao, Y.Lai, C. (2009) Massively multi-player online role playing games (MMORPGS) and foreign language education. In: Ferdig, R. (ed.), Handbook of Research on Effective Electronic Gaming in Education. New York: IDEA Group, 402421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
76
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Learner interaction in a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG): A sociocultural discourse analysis*
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Learner interaction in a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG): A sociocultural discourse analysis*
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Learner interaction in a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG): A sociocultural discourse analysis*
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *