Game-Informed Approach to Teaching Request-Making in English

A Comparison of Feedback Mechanics


  • Naoko Taguchi Northern Arizona University
  • Daniel H. Dixon Georgia State University



game-informed learning, pragmatics, request, feedback, educational technology, digital game-based language learning


Game-based instruction has been praised as an effective approach to second language (L2) development, as it can provide a low-stakes, fun, and engaging learning environment. However, in designing digital games for L2 learning, it is important to consider how various game designs and mechanics can affect learning gains. In the current study building on Taguchi (2023), a digital game-informed application was developed to teach 118 L2 English learners to identify and produce pragmatically appropriate requests in English. Two versions of the game were developed that differed only in one designed game mechanic: version A allowed learners to see one single reaction from interlocutors after selecting one option from a set of request forms. In contrast, version B allowed learners to see the full range of interlocutor reactions across all items in the same set of request form options. Results indicate that both versions of the game had positive effects on learners’ pragmatics knowledge. The difference in learners’ gains between the two versions of the app had negligible to small effect size (Cohen’s d) differences on both the recognition and production knowledge of the learners. Implications are discussed, offering direction for future research aiming to measure the effects of targeted game mechanics implemented in educational technology

Author Biographies

  • Naoko Taguchi, Northern Arizona University

    Naoko Taguchi is a professor of applied linguistics at Northern Arizona University, where she teaches courses in linguistics, TESOL, and SLA. Her main research interests include second language pragmatics, technology-enhanced learning, intercultural communication, and English-medium instruction. She is currently co-editing the volume on pragmatics for The encyclopedia of applied linguistics (Wiley). She is also the co-editor of the journal Applied Pragmatics.

  • Daniel H. Dixon, Georgia State University

    Daniel Dixon is an assistant professor of applied linguistics and English as a second language at Georgia State University. Much of his research can be characterized as contributing to computer-assisted language learning (CALL), and more specifically, second language (L2) learning through digital games. He uses corpus linguistics tools and methods to analyze the linguistic environments of games, in order to better understand how they can be best leveraged for L2 teaching and learning. He also draws on this research to inform the development of educational technology and digital tools for applied linguistics teaching and research.


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How to Cite

Taguchi, N., & Dixon, D. H. (2023). Game-Informed Approach to Teaching Request-Making in English: A Comparison of Feedback Mechanics. CALICO Journal, 40(2), 153-177.