Video games that require players to utilize a target or second language to complete tasks have emerged as alternative pedagogical tools for Second Language Acquisition (SLA). With the exception of vocabulary acquisition, much of the prior research in game-based SLA fails to gauge students' literacy skills, specifically their morphological awareness or understanding of the smallest meaningful linguistic units (e.g., prefixes, suffixes, and roots). Given this shortcoming, we utilize a two-player online game to facilitate social interactions between Native English Speakers (NES) and English as a Second Language (ESL) students as a mechanism to generate ESL students' written output in the targeted language and draw attention to their morphological awareness. Analysis of chat logs demonstrates the game's potential to enhance ESL students' morphological awareness and other important L2 literacy skills such as word reading accuracy. Both NES and ESL students' reflections of their gameplay experiences suggest game design modifications that promote ESL students' willingness to communicate with NES while developing their morphological awareness and practicing their L2 communication and literacy skills.
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Rankin, Yolanda A.; Tibi, Sana; Kennington, Casey; and Han, Na-Eun. (2021). "In-Game Social Interactions to Facilitate ESL Students' Morphological Awareness, Language and Literacy Skills". Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 5(CHI PLAY), 279. https://doi.org/10.1145/3474706