Wenqing Diao

Attitude towards game-based learning of Chinese primary school English teachers


As noted by multiple researchers (Funk, Hagen, & Schimming, 1999; Squire, 2006; Williams, 2003), many youths today spend more time playing in digital worlds than reading printed texts, or watching TV or films. A survey (Major New Study Shatters Stereotypes about Teens and Video Games, 2008) found that about 97 percent of American teens play different type of video games. While many people, parents and teachers, still view video games as mere entertainment. Sanford and Madill (2007) claim that “gaming culture” is a culture that is “largely unquestioned and unexamined” (p. 438). In a similar vein, Gee (2003, 2007), a leading researcher in gaming and literacy, argues that video gaming is a new type of literacy. Education experts have increasingly recognized Digital Game-Based Learning (DGBL) as a theoretically sound, and indeed preferable, alternative to conventional methods of formal learning for a wide variety of educational goals, including proficiency in a foreign language (Clark, 2007; Gee, 2004; Liu & Chu, 2010). Evidence shows that educational games can improve learner’s motivation (Batson & Feinberg, 2006; Papastergiou, 2009), result in a better understanding of subject matter (Lim, 2008), and foster the creative and collaborative problem-solving skills that are in high demand among employers operating in a knowledge-based economy (Federation of American Scientists, 2006). This trend has led to broad interest in game-based learning, particularly in Europe, Oceania, and the United States.