ERIC Number: EJ778240
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
On a Quest for English
Waters, John K.
T.H.E. Journal, v34 n10 p27-28, 30, 32 Oct 2007
This article reports the potential of online role-playing games to be a powerful tool for English as a second language (ESL) learning. When Professor Edd Schneider and game designer Kai Zheng suggested to attendees gathered in San Francisco last spring for the annual Game Developers Conference that massively multiplayer online role-playing games, better known as MMORPGs, could help Asian teens acquire English language skills, the two men generated considerable buzz. Their message threw a spotlight on a relatively new area of investigation in the evolving relationship between education and computer games--namely, whether an MMORPG might serve as a pedagogical tool for students learning ESL. Schneider, an associate professor in the Department of Information & Communication Technology at The State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam, has been researching games and teaching game design and development for more than 10 years. Zheng, a student in the department, is a Chinese software developer who has written for videogame magazines in China. In their presentation, Schneider and Zheng argued that the internationally popular MMORPG World of Warcraft (WoW) could be marketed more effectively in China, Korea, and Japan if it were run on ESL servers, which are accessible to players in Asia and the United States. Schneider believes that running the game on joint ESL servers could remove one of the greatest roadblocks to sales in that part of the world: parents. Beyond marketing considerations, Schneider believes that MMORPGs have great potential as tools for ESL programs in US schools.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Educational Technology, Language Skills, English (Second Language), Role Playing, Second Language Learning, Educational Games, Computer Uses in Education, Video Games, Fantasy, Creative Teaching, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia; China; Japan; South Korea; United States