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Gamification and memes for grammar learning purposes: A cross-curricular experience
Grammar learning is not among the most motivating aspects when learning a foreign language (FL) (Jean & Simard, 2011). In contrast, group activities (Emaliana, 2017) and game mechanics (Marczewski, 2013) have proven to encourage a positive attitude in students’ learning processes. In this study, we present an English as FL learning experience where these three aspects are merged. Our aim was to foster grammar and multimodality learning through memes involving two groups of freshman students of the degree in Early Years Education and one sophomore Media Studies group. The two pre-service teachers groups practiced the grammar in their textbook first analyzing grammar-related memes twice and then creating them themselves once. These students shortlisted the three best inter-class memes through inter-class votes. The three best ones were then rated by the Media Studies group. The pre-service teachers whose meme had got the highest score were awareded with a wild card to be exempt of a course activity. All groups accumulated points throughout the term. The winning group at the end of the term obtained 0.5 extra in the meme project mark. The Media Studies students also provided the Education students with a didactic explanation of the multimodal and grammatical aspects of the three finalist memes by means of ppt with audio. These presentations were then rated in terms of communicative efficiency by the students of the Early Years Education degree. The winners were awarded with a 0.5 extra in the mark for their oral performance. To analyze the effects of the gamification experience, a survey was administered at the end of the term. The results stemming from the questions on gamification show that this methodology had a positive effect in the pre-service students’ engagement and that it did not cause any significant levels of anxiety. On the other hand, Media Studies students felt the agency to contribute to the pre-service students’ multimodality learning but being rewarded was not determinant for them.
Associate Professor. Universitat de Barcelona.
I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Universitat de Barcelona (Spain) and visiting scholar at the Universidad de La Rioja (Spain). My main research interests include L2 vocabulary learning, extensive viewing and the role of individual differences in SLA. I am now involved in a project which aims at determining receptive and productive vocabulary sizes across the CEFR levels.
Assistant professor. Universitat de Barcelona.