Storyline-Based Videogames in the FL Classroom


  • Ricardo Casan-Pitarch Universitat Jaume I



videogames, storylines, language learning, TIC, serious games.


The use of videogames in the foreign language (FL) classroom seems to be gradually increasing nowadays. TICs are making the lives of educators easier and their teaching methods more effective; these positive experiences make that researchers in this field are constantly introducing and developing new teaching methods and electronic applications. This paper suggests the use of storyline-based videogames in the FL classroom in order to enhance students’ learning process and their communication outcomes through interactive and engaging tasks that raise their motivation. This research has been based on a literature review about the use of supportive material in the field of foreign language learning and it suggests that these interactive materials may be applied in the same way that traditional workbooks and e-workbooks have been used for several years. This proposal is addressed to teaching professionals interested in the use of videogames and to editorials of language teaching materials.

Author Biography

Ricardo Casan-Pitarch, Universitat Jaume I

Ricardo Casañ-Pitarch is PhD in Applied Linguistics and holds a MA in English language for international trade (Business) and a BA in English Philology. His current position is Assistant Professor at Jaume I University (Spain). He also has experience at teaching in online universities. His main research interest within applied linguistics is genre analysis. His most recent publication and work focus on morphological and syntax analysis of texts for specific purposes. The purpose of these studies is to develop standard or prototype forms of specific and hybrid documents with the aim of defining their main language forms and text structures and contents. In addition, his professional and academic interests are also related to foreign language learning, bilingual education and videogames.


Adams, E. (2013). Fundamentals of game design. San Francisco: New Riders.

Badura, P., Geckova, A. M., Sigmundova, D., van Dijk, J. P. & Reijneveld, S. A. (2015). When children play, they feel better: organized activity participation and health in adolescents. BMC public health, 15 (1), 1-8.

Baek, T. H. & Morimoto, M. (2012). Stay away from me. Journal of Advertising, 41 (1), 59-76.

Bahrani, T. & Soltani, R. (2012). How to utilize films in language learning Classes? Language in India, 12 (1), 492-549.

Barr, M. (2013). Video games in higher education. 6th annual University of Glasgow learning and teaching conference. Retrieved online from

Battle-Bailey, L. (2004). Review of research: Interactive homework for increasing parent involvement and student reading achievement. Childhood Education, 81 (1), 36-40.

Beatty, K. (2013). Teaching & researching: Computer-assisted language learning. London: Routledge.

Beetham, H. & Sharpe, R. (2013). Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age: Designing for 21st century learning. London: Routledge.

Butler, J. (2016). The role of games in digital learning. Elearning Network. Available on http: // [28/09/2016].

Calder, B. J. & Malthouse, E. C. (2008). Media engagement and advertising effectiveness. In Kotler, P. and B. J. Calder (Eds.). Kellogg on Advertising and Media, 1-36. New York; NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Calvo-Ferrer, J. R. (2013). Videojuegos y aprendizaje de segundas lenguas: análisis del videojuego The Conference Interpreter para la mejora de la competencia terminológica. Alicante: Universidad de Alicante.

Casey, T. (2010). Inclusive play: Practical strategies for children from born to eight. London: Sage.

Cohen, M. D. (2007). Reading Dewey: Reflections on the study of Routine. Organization Studies, 28 (5), 773-786.

Cornillie, F., Thorne, S. L. & Desmet, P. (2012). ReCALL special issue: Digital games for language learning: challenges and opportunities. ReCALL, 24 (3), 243-256.

Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R. & Nacke, L. (2011). From game design elements to gamefulness: defining gamification. Proceedings of the 15th international academic MindTrek conference: Envisioning future media environments, 9-15. New York, NY: ACM.

Dondlinger, M. J. (2007). Educational video game design: A review of the literature. Journal of applied educational technology, 4 (1), 21-31.

Dourda, K., Bratitsis, T., Griva, E. & Papadopoulou, P. (2014). Content and Language Integrated Learning through an online Game in Primary School: A case study. The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 12 (3), 243-258.

Escobar, M.A. (2016). L2 English learning and performance through online activities. In E. Martín-Monje, I. Elorza & B. G. Riaza (Eds.), Technology-enhanced language learning for specialized domains: Practical applications and mobility, 47-57. Oxon: Routledge.

Fernandez-Costales, A. (2012). Exploring translation strategies in video game localization. Monografías de Traducción e Interpretación, 4 (1), 385-408

Figueroa-Flores, J. F. (2015). Using Gamification to Enhance Second Language Learning. Digital Education Review, 27 (1), 32-54.

Gagnon, D. (1985). Videogames and spatial skills: An exploratory study. ECTJ, 33 (4), 263-275.

Gallego, F. J., Molina, R. & Llorens, F. (2014). Gamificar una propuesta docente. Diseñando experiencias positivas de aprendizaje. XX Jornadas sobre la enseñanza universitaria de la informática, 285-292. Oviedo: Universidad de Oviedo.

Gallego, F., Satorre, R. & Llorens, F. (2006). Computer Games tell, show, involve… and teach. Actas del VIII Simposio Internacional de Informática Educativa. Available at [10/05/2016]

Gallego, F. J., Villagrá, C. J., Satorre, R., Compañ, P., Molina, R. & Llorens Largo, F. (2014). Panorámica: serious games, gamification y mucho más. ReVisión, 7 (2), 13-23.

Galloway, A. R. (2004). Social realism in gaming. Game Studies, 4 (1). Retrieved from [02/05/2016].

Galyon, C. E., Voils, K. L., Blondin, C. A. & Williams, R. L. (2015). The Effect of Randomized Homework Contingencies on College Students' Daily Homework and Unit Exam Performance. Innovative Higher Education, 40 (1), 63-77.

Gee, J. P. (2005). Good video games and good learning. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 85 (2), 33-37.

Gibson, J. J. & Gibson, E. J. (1955). Perceptual learning: Differentiation or enrichment? Psychological review, 62 (1), 32-41.

Gill, C. (2008). Motivating English-language learners through drama techniques. The Journal of INTI International Educational Group, (Special Issue), 43-51.

González-González, C. & Blanco-Izquierdo, F. (2012). Designing social videogames for educational uses. Computers & Education, 58 (1), 250-262.

Green, M., & Brock, T. (2000). The role of transportation in the persuasiveness of public narratives. Journal of personality and social psychology, 79 (5), 701-721.

Griffiths, M. (2002). The educational benefits of videogames. Education and Health, 20 (3), 47-51.

Gros, B. (2009). Certezas e interrogantes acerca del uso de los videojuegos para el aprendizaje. Comunicación, 7 (1), 251-264.

Habgood, M. (2007). The effective integration of digital games and learning content. Nottingham: University of Nottingham.

Harmer, J. (2013). Thinking about language teaching: selected articles 1982–2011. ELT journal, 67 (2), 250-253.

Higgins, E. & Scholer, A. (2009) Engaging the consumer: The science and art of the value creation process. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 19 (2), 100-114.

Jarvis, P. (2009). Learning from everyday life. In P. Jarvis, The Routledge international handbook of lifelong learning, 19-30. London: Routledge.

Justice, L. M. & Kaderavek, J. (2002). Using shared storybook reading to promote emergent literacy. Teaching Exceptional Children, 34 (4), 8-13.

Kim, J. E., Lloyd, S. & Cervellon, M. C. (2016). Narrative-transportation storylines in luxury brand advertising: Motivating consumer engagement. Journal of Business Research, 69 (1), 304-313.

Krashen, S (1977). The monitor model for adult second language performance. In M. Burt, H. Dulay & M. Finocchiaro (Eds.),Viewpoints on English as a second language, 152-161. New York: Regents.

Krashen, S. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. Pergamon: Oxford.

Malone, T. W. (1981). What makes things fun to learn? A study of intrinsically motivating computer games. Pipeline, 6(2), 50-51.

Martínez, M. & Buxarrais, M. R. (1999). Los valores de la Educación Física y el deporte en la edad escolar. Aula de Innovación Educativa, 91 (1), 6-9.

Mills, D. J. (2010). The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language. Retrieved from [02/03/2016].

Mozejko, Z. P. & Krajka, J. (2011). A framework for evaluating digital coursebooks. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 15 (1), 167-173.

Mupringa, D., Nora, R. & Yaw, D. (2006). The learning styles, expectations, and needs of online students. College Teaching, 54 (1), 185-189.

Novak, J. (2011). Game design essentials: an introduction. Boston, MA: Cengage learning.

Novak, E., Johnson, T. E., Tenenbaum, G. & Shute, V. J. (2016). Effects of an instructional gaming characteristic on learning effectiveness, efficiency, and engagement: using a storyline for teaching basic statistical skills. Interactive Learning Environments, 24 (3), 523-538

Oliveira, L.R., Correia, A.C., Merrelho, A., Marques, A., Pereira, D.J. & Cardoso, V. (2009). Digital games: possibilities and limitations - The spore game case. In T. Bastiaens, J. Dron & C. Xin (Eds.), Proceedings of E-Learn: world conference on e-learning in corporate, government, healthcare, and higher education, 3011-3020. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Peterson, M. (2010). Massively multiplayer online role-playing games as arenas for second language learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 23 (5), 429-439.

Picton, I. (2014). The impact of ebooks on the reading motivation and reading skills of children and young people: a rapid literature review. London: RM Education.

Power, E. J. (1991). A Legacy of Learning: a History of Western education. New York, NY: State University of New York.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On the horizon, 9 (5), 1-6.

Reinders, H. (2012). Digital games in language learning and teaching. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Robin, B. R. & McNeil, S. G. (2012). What educators should know about teaching digital storytelling. Digital Education Review, 22 (1), 37-51.

Robson, K., Plangger, K., Kietzmann, J. H., McCarthy, I., & Pitt, L. (2015). Is it all a game? Understanding the principles of gamification. Business Horizons, 58 (4), 411-420.

Roediger, H. L. & Karpicke, J. D. (2006). Test-enhanced learning taking memory tests improves long-term retention. Psychological science, 17 (3), 249-255.

Silvern, S. B. (1986). Classroom Use of Videogames. Educational Research Quarterly, 10 (1), 10-16.

Simpson, A. J. (2015). Using games in the language classroom. Los Gatos, CA: Smashwords.

Soler-Pardo, B. (2014). Digital Storytelling: A Case Study of the Creation, and Narration of a Story by EFL Learners. Digital Education Review, 74-84.

Squire, K. & Jenkins, H. (2003). Harnessing the power of games in education. Insight, 3 (1), 5-33.

Strother, D. B. (1984). Homework: Too much, just right, or not enough? The Phi Delta Kappan, 65 (6), 423-426.

Sundqvist, P. & Sylvén, L. K. (2014). Language-related computer use: Focus on young L2 English learners in Sweden. ReCALL, 26 (1), 3-20.

Susi, T., Johannesson, M., & Backlund, P. (2007). Serious games: An overview. Skövde: Institutionen för kommunikation och information. Available online at [29/09/2016].

Torrente, J., Moreno-Ger, P., Martínez-Ortiz, I. & Fernandez-Manjon, B. (2009). Integration and Deployment of Educational Games in e-Learning Environments: The Learning Object Model Meets Educational Gaming. Educational Technology & Society, 12 (4), 359-371.

Van Laer, T., De Ruyter, K., Visconti, L. M. & Wetzels, M. (2014). The extended transportation-imagery model: A meta-analysis of the antecedents and consequences of consumers’ narrative transportation. Journal of Consumer Research, 40 (5), 797-817.

Villalustre-Martínez, L. & Del Moral-Pérez, M. (2015). Gamificación: Estrategia para optimizar el proceso de aprendizaje y la adquisición de competencias en contextos universitarios. Digital Education Review, 27 (1), 13-31.

Winslade, J. M. (2015). Learning from Finland: A book review. Wisdom in Education, 5 (2), 1-4.

Woody, W. D., Daniel, D. B. & Baker, C. A. (2010). E-books or textbooks: Students prefer textbooks. Computers & Education, 55 (3), 945-948.

Zur, O. (2012). TelePsychology or TeleMentalHealth in the digital age: The future is here. California Psychologist, 45 (1), 13-15.






Peer Review Articles