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Learning English with The Sims: exploiting authentic computer simulation games for L2 learning
Computer Assisted Language Learning
  • Jim Ranalli, Iowa State University
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Publication Version
Accepted Manuscript
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With their realistic animation, complex scenarios and impressive interactivity, computer simulation games might be able to provide context-rich, cognitively engaging virtual environments for language learning. However, simulation games designed for L2 learners are in short supply. As an alternative, could games designed for the mass-market be enhanced with support materials to allow students to enter and make use of them for learning? This classroom-based investigation looked into whether the best selling game The SIMs™ could be rendered pedagogically beneficial to university-level ESL learners by means of supplementary materials designed to meet criteria for CALL task appropriateness. The mixed-methods study found statistically significant improvements in vocabulary knowledge, as well as a generally positive reaction to the modifications among users.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Computer Assisted Language Learning on November 19, 2008, available online:

Copyright Owner
Taylor & Francis
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Citation Information
Jim Ranalli. "Learning English with The Sims: exploiting authentic computer simulation games for L2 learning" Computer Assisted Language Learning Vol. 21 Iss. 5 (2008) p. 441 - 455
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