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Activate space rats! Mobile gaming and L2 pronunciation


Activate space rats! Mobile gaming and L2 pronunciation

Grimshaw, Jennica (2016) Activate space rats! Mobile gaming and L2 pronunciation. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Oral fluency development, the automatization or fluidity of speech (Derwing et. al., 2009), is recommended as one of the last steps in the development of oral skills (Nation & Newton, 2008). However, because fluency development activities focus on speeding up and automatizing language use rather than introducing language new structures, they are often avoided by teachers (Nation & Newton, 2008).

Spaceteam ESL, a team-building game for smartphones and tablets, provides L2 learners with the opportunity to practice English by giving and receiving time-sensitive instructions; the game, therefore, has the potential to motivate fluency development (via speed) by lowering pronunciation anxiety and increasing willingness to communicate (WTC). While players must be in the same room to play, communication is mediated via mobile devices.

The current study examines the effect of Spaceteam ESL on oral fluency development, pronunciation anxiety, and WTC. The participants were from two classes (groups 1 and 2) of high-beginner ESL students at a college in Quebec, Canada. Group 1 played the game for 15 minutes as a classroom warm-up activity for a period of six weeks while group 2 acted as the control. Participants were recorded telling a short story about their summer vacation as a pre-test, post-test, and delayed post-test to measure gains in fluency, measured by syllables produced per minute and judges’ ratings. Pronunciation anxiety and WTC were examined qualitatively via semi-structured interviews. Randomly selected participants also participated in interviews to gain insight into their views about the use of the game as a pedagogical tool to reduce anxiety and increase WTC. Results suggest that, overall, gameplay has the potential to assist in fluency development and may contribute to lower levels of anxiety in language students.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Grimshaw, Jennica
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Applied Linguistics
Date:15 August 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Cardoso, Walcir
Keywords:mobile-assisted language learning, fluency development, anxiety, WTC, mobile gaming
ID Code:981583
Deposited On:04 Nov 2016 19:27
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:53


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