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Serious Games for Global Education

Digital Game-Based Learning in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Classroom

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Claudia Müller

In the last few years, global education has become a key concept within the TEFL domain, suggesting competences, topics, and methods that enable students to become responsible and knowledgeable participants in a globalized world. With the help of a triangulated blended learning study conducted in five different middle school EFL classes, and an additional small group study, the author investigates the potential of digital games that have an educational purpose, so called serious games, for global education when used in EFL scenarios. The results show a clear contribution of serious games to global education when used with EFL learners, leading to a reference model of digital game-based learning in the EFL classroom.

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5. Global Education in the English as a Foreign Language Classroom

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Abstract: It is the goal of this chapter to shed light on the objectives of global education when used in the EFL classroom before specifying criteria for using serious games for global education in the EFL classroom. Therefore, the first part of this chapter highlights the competences of global education and gear them towards the EFL core curriculum. The second part of this chapter details the concrete objectives of global education in the EFL classroom.

5.1. General Remarks

The foreign language classroom can play a decisive role in facilitating global learning as it inherits an intercultural perspective and the dominant role of English as the world’s lingua franca make it a tool to negotiate meaning in intercultural encounters. Julia Hammer points out that by actualizing global content in the EFL classroom that goes beyond mere language teaching, the English classroom satisfies authentic and relevant topics that enables students to participate in up-to-date communication situations (cf. Hammer, 2012, p. 62). Moreover, analyzing and discussing global issues in the foreign language classroom can help to promote an awareness for a plurality of cultures. Critical scholars of global education have argued though that a global education can lead to homogenizing cultures and lead to a world culture, which “favors unity rather than plurality” (Papastephanou, 2005, p. 544). In addition to that, the content of what needs to be incorporated varies decisively from country to country (cf. Lütge, 2015, p. 10). Since, however, global issues apply irrespectively...

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