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An alternate reality game for language learning: ARGuing for multilingual motivation

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Computers & Education Volume 57, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Over the last decade, Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), a form of narrative often involving multiple media and gaming elements to tell a story that might be affected by participants’ actions, have been used in the marketing and promotion of a number of entertainment related products such as films, computer games and music. This paper discusses the design, development and evaluation of an ARG aimed at increasing the motivations of secondary school level students across Europe in the learning of modern foreign languages. The ARG was developed and implemented as part of a European Commission Comenius project and involved 6 project partners, 328 secondary school students and 95 language teachers from 17 European countries. The collaborative nature of ARGs provides a potentially useful vehicle for developing collaborative activities within an educational context. This paper describes the educational value of ARGs, in particular the ARG for supporting the teaching of modern European languages and the specific activities that were developed around Web 2.0 and gaming that underpinned the ARG and helped promote cooperation and learning within an educational environment. An evaluation of the ARG was conducted using an experimental design of pre-test → ARG intervention → post-test. 105 students completed the pre-test, 92 students completed the post-test and 45 students completed both the pre-test and post-test questionnaires. In general, student attitudes towards the ARG were very positive with evidence suggesting that the ARG managed to deliver the motivational experience expected by the students. The majority of students who completed the post-test either agreed or strongly agreed that they would be willing to play the game over a prolonged period of time as part of a foreign language course. In addition, through using the ARG, students believed that they obtained skills relating to cooperation, collaboration and teamwork.


Connolly, T.M., Stansfield, M. & Hainey, T. (2011). An alternate reality game for language learning: ARGuing for multilingual motivation. Computers & Education, 57(1), 1389-1415. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved August 3, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 29, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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