Teaching GBL Principles to Japanese Students of Education in an EFL Setting
Keywords:Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), Game Based Learning (GBL), Task Based Learning (TBL), Games and Gaming, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI), curriculum development
A growing body of evidence shows that game-based learning (GBL) has become an invaluable tool for educators. Despite this fact, Japanese teacher training programs routinely ignore its inclusion. Aiming to address this issue, an innovative content language and integrated learning (CLIL) curriculum was developed in order to teach Japanese students of education the basics of GBL within their English communication classes. This paper presents a comprehensive account of the curriculum's development, the rationale behind it, and explores preliminary evidence regarding students' attitudes towards using GBL principles in their prospective teaching careers following course completion. A total of 147 students with English communication classes were included in the study, ranging from Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels B2 to C1. Although exploratory in nature, early evidence suggests that after having undergone the course, students recognized the value of GBL principles and considered them useful for their future careers as educators. From an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) perspective, instructors observed that the method of teaching described herein fostered a livelier, more enthusiastic, and interactive learning environment compared to traditional EFL classrooms. These findings imply that GBL and game design principles might be useful to include in teacher-training programs, both in Japan and elsewhere.