Game-Informed Approach to Teaching Request-Making in English: A Comparison of Feedback Mechanics

Naoko Taguchi, Daniel H. Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Game-based instruction has been praised as an effective approach to second language (L2) development, as it can provide a low-stakes, fun, and engaging learning environment. However, in designing digital games for L2 learning, it is important to consider how various game designs and mechanics can affect learning gains. In the current study building on Taguchi (2023), a digital game-informed application was developed to teach 118 L2 English learners to identify and produce pragmatically appropriate requests in English. Two versions of the game were developed that differed only in one designed game mechanic: version A allowed learners to see one single reaction from interlocutors after selecting one option from a set of request forms. In contrast, version B allowed learners to see the full range of interlocutor reactions across all items in the same set of request form options. Results indicate that both versions of the game had positive effects on learners’ pragmatics knowledge. The difference in learners’ gains between the two versions of the app had negligible to small effect size (Cohen’s d) differences on both the recognition and production knowledge of the learners. Implications are discussed, offering direction for future research aiming to measure the effects of targeted game mechanics implemented in educational technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-177
Number of pages25
JournalCALICO Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023


  • digital game-based language learning
  • educational technology
  • feedback
  • game-informed learning
  • pragmatics
  • request

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Computer Science Applications


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