The Effects of Digital Game-based Learning Task in English as a Foreign Language Contexts: A Meta-analysis

Abstract

A meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the effects of digital game-based learning (DGBL) in English as a foreign language (EFL) contexts. Twenty-five studies were included and they yielded a medium positive effect size (d = 0.695, p < .05 under the fixed-effect model; d = 0.777, p < .05 under the random-effects model), suggesting DGBL to be more effective than traditional instruction such as grammar translation methods or audio-lingual methods in EFL contexts. A coding scheme was developed based on the relationship between task-based language learning and DGBL. Six potential moderating variables in three task characteristics were analyzed to further investigate the DGBL effectiveness. Among these potential moderating variables, the treatment duration and linguistic knowledge in task involvement characteristics were found to be influential in DGBL effectiveness. This meta-analysis suggests that digital games should be effective for the acquisition of procedural knowledge of EFL learners who receive the long treatment duration of DGBL. Future research should explore further distinctions in other potential moderating variables in order to provide a more detailed picture of what sorts of variables are influential and what sorts are not.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Kao2015TheEO, title={The Effects of Digital Game-based Learning Task in English as a Foreign Language Contexts: A Meta-analysis}, author={Chian-wen Kao}, year={2015} }