Game-Enhanced Simulation as an Approach to Experiential Learning in Business English
KeywordsApplied Business English
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation aims to integrate various learning approaches, i.e., multiple literacies, experiential learning, game-enhanced learning, and global simulation, into an extracurricular module, in which it remodels traditional ways of teaching input, specifically, the lexical- and grammatical-only approaches of business English at a private university in Bangkok, Thailand. Informed by those approaches, a game-enhanced simulation was specifically designed as an experiential space for L2 learners to experience the dynamic and real business contexts of language use. A strategy-simulation video game, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum (RCT3), was selected and used in the implementation of the pilot course. The game was embedded in a global simulation of two amusement park companies – where students worked in groups of five to form characters and socially interact with others. The global simulation involved learners in a sequence of genre-based (e.g., memoranda and business presentations) and technology-based tasks (e.g., using Gmail, Google Docs, and LinkedIn). Ten second-year students from five disciplines – Accounting, Logistics Engineering, Technology and Creative Business, Logistics Management, and Airline Business Management, participated in the study. Within this game-enhanced simulation, it turned out that each student simulated the role of a department head that was relevant to her or his discipline, for example, department heads of Financial Management, Technical Service Management, Customer Relationship Management, Legal and Operations Management, and Human Capital Management. The findings show that the learners' interactivity within the gameplay depicted the pedagogical affordances of RCT3 for a business English simulation, that is, exploratory interactivity, goal-orientedness in gameplay, goal-orientedness for roleplaying, and emergent narratives. The data present how this videogame features an interplay between two game perspectives – ludology and narratology. That is, ludic affordances in RCT3 could be activated in a narrative system: meaningful personal or emergent narrative by well-designed global simulation tasks. The simulations were established through students’ interpretation and creativity in gameplay and roleplay as related to their disciplines. Moreover, the game-enhanced simulation appeared to provide learners with an effective social context for promoting global English development and professional identity formation, which moved them beyond the learning practices of traditional coursebooks and classroom settings. Students of the study had opportunities to use professional Discourses related to their disciplines as ways to establish their desired identities within the simulated global workplace.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching