Serious game-based word-to-text integration intervention effects in English as a second language
Number of pages
SourceContemporary Educational Psychology, 65, (2021), article 101972
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
Contemporary Educational Psychology
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
Word-to-text integration (WTI) is the ability to integrate words into a mental representation of the text and is important for reading comprehension, but challenging in English as a second language (ESL). However, it remains unclear whether WTI can be trained in seventh grade ESL learners, who often struggle with reading comprehension and display large individual differences. To pay attention to individual differences, the present study examined an adaptive computer game-based WTI-intervention. The intervention, replacing 50 minutes of ESL classroom instruction, comprized a 12-week program in which students had to complete WTI-based assignments within four serious games, targeting morphosyntactic awareness, translation of words within sentences, recognizing idioms from words in contexts, and a filler game targeting dictation. The intervention group (n=164) was compared to a control group (n= 166), who only received regular ESL classroom instruction. Both groups completed the following reading measures: decoding, morphological, and syntactic awareness, WTI (argument and anomaly reading speed and processing), and reading comprehension tasks at the beginning (T1) of the school year and at the end (T2) of the school year. Results demonstrated an intervention effect on decoding and anomaly processing as reflected by an interaction between time (T1 vs. T2) and group (intervention vs. control) in a repeated measures MANOVA. Follow-up mediation analyses for the intervention group only - with game performance as mediators between reading measures at T1 and T2 - indicated that students with better T1 scores on reading measures showed more growth in performance within games. More performance growth within the translation game and the idiom recognition game was related to better reading scores at T2. Both high-achieving and low-achieving students displayed performance growth within games, indicating that a WTI intervention yields promising results for a broad variety of ESL readers.
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