Self-regulated digital game-based vocabulary learning : motivation, application of self-regulated learning strategies, EFL vocabulary knowledge development, and their interplay

Ruofei ZHANG, Di ZOU*, Gary CHENG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

Digital game-based learning has shown usefulness in developing EFL vocabulary knowledge and encouraging learner application of self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies. Previous literature revealed that applying SRL strategies might improve motivation. High motivation, in turn, may promote vocabulary knowledge development – These findings may be generalised in digital game-based learning and explain its effectiveness. However, so far, motivation and its associated interplay have barely been considered in this learning context. To address the gap, we developed a self-regulated digital game-based EFL vocabulary learning (SR-DGBVL) program and conducted mixed-method research on motivation, application of SRL strategies, vocabulary knowledge development, and their interplay therein. One-hundred-and-one Chinese university students (experimental group: 50; control group: 51) engaged in our study and were evaluated through pre-test, immediate post-test, and delayed post-test of vocabulary knowledge, questionnaires, and semi-structured interviews. Results revealed that the SR-DGBVL participants experienced significantly greater improvements in vocabulary knowledge and reported higher levels of motivation compared to those in the conventional vocabulary learning context. We also found motivation to be a full mediator between the use of SRL strategies and vocabulary knowledge development. Interestingly, the application of SRL strategies appeared consistent across different learning methods. From these findings, we suggest long-term SRL training, investigation of SRL strategies with consideration of motivational variables, and longitudinal qualitative studies on learners’ SRL strategy use.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages43
JournalComputer Assisted Language Learning
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2024

Bibliographical note

We want to express our sincere gratitude to Ms. Zhencheng Zhou, a EdD student of the English and Language Education at the Education University of Hong Kong and a lecturer at Guangxi Police College (PRC), for her unreplaceable support in this research project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Digital game-based learning
  • motivation
  • self-regulated learning
  • technology-enhanced language learning
  • vocabulary learning

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