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A Case Study of Using Online Communities and Virtual Environment in Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) as a Learning and Teaching Tool for Second Language Learners

Isara Kongmee, Rebecca Strachan, Alison Pickard and Catherine Montgomery
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Isara Kongmee: School of Computing, Engineering and Information Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Rebecca Strachan: School of Computing, Engineering and Information Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Alison Pickard: School of Computing, Engineering and Information Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Catherine Montgomery: School of Health, Community & Education Studies, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE), 2012, vol. 3, issue 4, 1-15

Abstract: Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) create large virtual communities. Online gaming shows potential not just for entertaining, but also in education. This research investigates the use of commercial MMORPGs to support second language teaching. MMORPGs offer virtual safe spaces in which students can communicate by using their target second language with global players. Using a mix of ethnography and action research, this study explores the students’ experiences of language learning and performing while playing MMORPGs. The results show that the use of MMORPGs can facilitate language development by offering fun, informal, individualised and secure virtual spaces for students to practise their language with native and other second language speakers.

Date: 2012
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