The impact of adventure video games on foreign language learning and the perceptions of learners

Hao Jan Howard Chen, Ting Yu Christine Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Several researchers have highlighted the potential of applying adventure video games in second language acquisition; however, few studies have investigated the impact of adventure games on foreign language learning. This study aimed to examine the effects of a commercial adventure video game on foreign language learning and learners' perceptions toward this game. Twenty-two college students in Taiwan were asked to play an English adventure game BONE. One group was allowed to take notes while playing and the other group was not. After playing, both groups were asked to take a vocabulary post-test. The results indicated that both groups picked up some new words after playing the adventure game, but there was no significant difference between the two groups' post-gaming performances. To better understand the strengths and weaknesses of using adventure games for foreign language learning, another study was conducted to explore 35 college students' perceptions toward this adventure game. The results showed that students considered the game helpful in improving their language skills and motivation. Students also reported they enjoyed playing the game because of the intriguing game design. The findings in this study suggest that adventure video games such as BONE can provide useful input to help college students enhance their English listening, reading, vocabulary skills and learning motivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-141
Number of pages13
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr


  • English as a Foreign Language
  • adventure video games
  • game design
  • language learning
  • learner perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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