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Gamifying the Spanish curriculum to promote motivation and willing communication in the college-level classroom

Orsatti, Silvina (2017) Gamifying the Spanish curriculum to promote motivation and willing communication in the college-level classroom. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Second/foreign language (L2) learners benefit from less stressful environments, such as games, and are more willing to take advantage of opportunities in which they can use the L2. Gamifying the curriculum has not only the potential to motivate L2 students but also help them develop strategies for communicating willingly in L2 in real-life situations. In this paper, I describe my study about gamification that may potentially be an effective framework for designing language learning curricula in the 21st century. My research consisted of designing, implementing, and assessing the effectiveness of a culturally-enriched gamified instructional unit, Vida Perú, for an Elementary Spanish college-level course. Using quest-based learning (QBL) pedagogy, I empirically investigated the effects of gamified quests in the motivation and willingness to communicate in Spanish of my students. In the study, I used a variety of instruments to collect quantitative and qualitative data from thirty-six student participants. The results showed that participants felt more relaxed with Vida Perú compared to the traditional classroom setting, but also that the game did not provide enough opportunities for them to communicate willingly in Spanish with others. In addition, most participants felt engaged with Vida Perú features such as goal, structure, storyline, narratives, gameplay, challenge and competition, avatars, rewards, badges, and feedback. Others did not feel engaged with the game rules, point system, setup, and quest design. Most importantly, participants provided recommendations that will help me revise Vida Perú in order to move forward the research on gamification in the L2 classroom.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Orsatti, Silvinasilvina.orsatti@pitt.edusmo39
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDonato,
Committee MemberPerry,
Committee MemberTriplette,
Date: 28 September 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 June 2017
Approval Date: 28 September 2017
Submission Date: 5 July 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 136
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: gamification, quest-based learning, second/foreign language (L2), motivation, willingness to communicate, technology, multiliteracies, 21st century learning
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2017 19:48
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2017 19:48


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