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Serious Games for Global Education

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


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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Enabling students to participate in today’s world as knowledgeable, empathetic and responsible global citizens requires the implementation of classroom structures that develop those competences. Especially the English as a Foreign Language classroom plays a crucial role in this respect. It was the driving force behind this study to address those challenges and assess serious games for their contribution to the development of global education competences. Many people have contributed to help me accomplish this project. First of all, I would like to thank all participating students, teachers, school principals and IT-commissioners. The open-mindedness and enthusiasm I experienced during my recruitment and throughout the research project was very reassuring. The teachers’ unparalleled collaboration deserves a special acknowledgment.

I am also indebted to my advisor, Prof. Dr. Angelika Kubanek at the Technische Universität Braunschweig for her considerate guidance, constructive criticism and warm-hearted support that helped me prevail and grow with this challenge. Furthermore, I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Carmen Becker, Dr. Kerstin Theinert and Dr. Jenny Jakisch for their open ears, sharp minds and support. I am particularly thankful to Jenny, who helped me refine ideas, provided advice and encouraged me throughout this project. I would also like to thank Prof. Dr. Gabriele Blell and Prof. Dr. Andrea Rössler at the Leibniz Universität Hannover for allowing me the opportunity to get crucial feedback during the different colloquia I attended. And I am grateful to Prof. Glynda Hull at the University of California, Berkeley...

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