Author ORCID Identifier

Daniel Dixon:

MaryAnn Christison:

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The purpose of this chapter is twofold: (1) to review the benefits of digital game-based language learning (DGBLL), specifically massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), and (2) to present research investigating the design elements of MMOs that can be beneficial for second language acquisition (SLA). Data were gathered from volunteer ESL learners playing the MMO Guild Wars 2 over the course of four weeks. The findings from the research indicate that MMOs with design elements like Guild Wars 2 are beneficial to SLA primarily because they provide opportunities for interaction in the target language through participation in collaborative problem-solving gaming tasks. The results of the research presented in this chapter show (1) that the requirements of input and output for successful gaming allow for a type of interaction in which the focus on language form leads to modified-output, (2) that players have opportunities to negotiate input as a means of completing in-game tasks, and (3) that in-game tasks resemble well-designed classroom instructional tasks believed to be beneficial for SLA.


Published in

Dixon, D. H. & Christison, M.A. (2021). L2 gamers' use of learning and communication strategies in massively multiplayer online games (MMOs): An analysis of L2 interaction in virtual online environments. In Kelch, K. B., Byun, P., Safavi, S., & Cervantes, S. (Ed.), CALL Theory Applications for Online TESOL Education (pp. 296–321). IGI Global.

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