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ERIC Number: ED521516
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 217
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
The U.S.-China E-Language Project: A Study of a Gaming Approach to English Language Learning for Middle School Students
Green, Patricia J.; Sha, Mandy; Liu, Lu
RTI International
In 2001, the U.S. Department of Education and the Ministry of Education in China entered into a bilateral partnership to develop a technology-driven approach to foreign language learning that integrated gaming, immersion, voice recognition, problem-based learning tasks, and other features that made it a significant research and development pilot project for study. The purpose of this report is to describe the evaluation of a key outcome of this bilateral partnership, "The Forgotten World". This application, which was developed by Coastline Community College and the Learning Games Network through a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, uses the integrated approach set forth in the U.S.-China bilateral agreement. This program was implemented as a supplementary activity in middle school classrooms in western China to teach the English language and American culture to eighth-grade students. The evaluation was conducted in five treatment schools and five comparison schools during the 2009-10 school year and included approximately 3,500 students. Findings reveal that students in treatment schools with relatively low levels of initial proficiency, who scored in the bottom half of all students on the fall tests, evidenced larger gains in reading and listening than similar students in comparison schools. There were no differences in performance between treatment and comparison groups among students with higher levels of initial proficiency (those scoring in the upper half of all students on the fall test). Overall, students in treatment and comparison schools performed similarly on the proficiency tests administered at the beginning and end of the school year. The statistically significant positive results of using "The Forgotten World" for the lower performing students along with the positive effects on student motivation is encouraging for an intervention that was only partially implemented. Further research could be conducted to help understand why the program produced these benefits, how to overcome implementation problems in schools lacking sophisticated computer technology, and why "The Forgotten World" did not produce positive benefits for the initially higher performers. Appended are: (1) Open Language Learning Initiative Evaluation Planning Group Meeting Summary; (2) "The Forgotten World" Quick Reference Guide; (3) English Proficiency Tests Under Consideration, October 2008; (4) Plan for Pilot Test of The Forgotten World in Gansu Province, April-June 2009; (5) Evaluation Plan Update, July 2009 (Revised); (6) Data Collection Procedures and Materials: 2009 Pre-Test Test Administrator Manual, Attached Informed Consent Forms, and Questionnaires; (7) Data Collection Procedures and Materials: 2010 Post-Test Test Administrator Manual, Attached Informed Consent Forms, and Questionnaires; and (8) Supplementary Tables. (Contains 30 exhibits, 2 tables and 6 footnotes.
RTI International. P.O. Box 12194, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194. Tel: 919-541-6000; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Authoring Institution: RTI International
Identifiers - Location: California; China; United States