Domaz, Silvana (Arizona State University)
Two of the major issues facing second or foreign language instruction are the implementation of digital technology in the classroom and the importance of students learning in the target language rather than just learning about the target language. For this shift to happen, educators must move beyond reproduction of current practices in digitally-mediated settings to learning environments capable of building knowledge rather than simply transmitting knowledge (Holden & Sykes, 2011). One possible direction to solve this issue is offered by the combination of digital technology with Task-Based-Language-Teaching (TBLT) in which students learn by doing tasks related to everyday situations.
In an effort to build knowledge through tasks, this project proposes the use of an augmented reality (AR) mobile application to foster language learning beyond the language classroom in novel and interesting ways. The theoretical background for this project is the Cognition Hypothesis and the use of TBLT in an ARE as an approach to improve complexity towards the target language.
The concept of the reality competition TV show Amazing Race is the basis for the task-base design of the AR game. For this experiment, participants in an intermediate foreign language class are placed in groups of two and complete weekly challenges by using the AR application in their mobile phones to trigger an action, which presents them with a task to be completed in the target language. The action could be a text, an image, a video, or a clue (QR codes) placed in different areas on the campus. Students must interact and collaborate with each other, with fictional characters, and with real people in the university, and in the community to master authentic tasks in a contextualized-learning with meaningful connections to the real world. Participants must complete a challenge to advance to their next challenge.
All in game data will be recorded and oral pre- and post-tests will be analyzed. It is expected that the authentic situated environment provided by the AR, will be the factor that aid in the development of complexity towards the target language.
Holden, C., & Sykes, J. (2011). Leveraging mobile games for place-based language learning. International Journal of Game-Based Learning, 1(2), 1–18.
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