Using digital board games for genuine communication in EFL classrooms

Chia Jung Wu, Gwo Dong Chen, Chi Wen Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


EFL learners in Taiwan have a low-level communication ability because many learners are still not provided opportunities to use language for genuine communication in classrooms and receive insufficient language input due to the environment. This study examines the use of digital board game language learning set in a task-collaborative platform, digital learning playground, designed for classroom learning. This study investigates whether communicative skills and intrinsic motivation could be improved by seeing relevant context and receiving adequate practice through gaming. Ninety-six high school Taiwanese students (n = 96), who were randomly assigned to an ordinary instruction group, a board game language-learning group, or a digital board game language-learning group, engaged in a 50-min English class. Analysis of covariance was used for comparing learning performance through a speaking test between the three groups. A modified intrinsic motivation inventory was conducted to assess learners' perceptions of learning experience and an interview was held for details. The quantitative data presents a higher learning performance for the instruction set at digital learning playground. The qualitative data confirms computerized simulation adapted from board game entails context-relevant immersion, encouraging communication and efficient game instruction management for EFL language learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-226
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Technology Research and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Board games
  • Digital learning playground
  • EFL
  • Simulations in language teaching


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