A Study on Using Serious Games in Teaching German as a Foreign Language
The interest in Digital Game-Based Language Learning (DGBLL) has increased considerably in recent years although being a relatively new approach. Despite the interest that DGBLL took, the studies in the context of German as a Foreign Language (FL) are quite limited. Moreover, DGBLL in the Turkish context is not prevalent. Due to this gap in the literature, a research project was launched at a big state university in Turkey in 2014 to explore the potentials and limitations of DGBLL. The study focuses specifically on serious games for FL teaching and learning. The aim of the project, in addition to the promotion of linguistic skills of the learners, is to contribute to the development of professional qualifications of the future FL teachers. The present research aims to report on the pilot study of the project. A one group pre-test post-test research design was used in the study. Quantitative data was collected via two opinion questionnaires implemented at the beginning and at the end of the process as well as a receptive vocabulary test. Qualitative data was collected via semi-structuted interviews and game diaries that participants kept. Two serious games for German was selected and used with traditional dictation, transcription and reading comprehension activities. The results of an 11-week gaming activity indicated significant differences between pre- and post-tests in vocabulary. Additionaly, age was found to be an important factor that affects participants’ attitudes towards serious games. The results indicate that the participants found game activities useful for the development of other language skills.
Keywords: Digital Game-Based Language Learning (DGBLL), digital game-based German learning, serious games, dictation, reading