Playing by Their Rules: Why Issues of Capital (Should) Influence Digital Game-Based Language Learning in Schools

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While digital gameplaying is increasingly recognized for its potential for language learning, its use among English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers in both leisure and pedagogical contexts is comparatively meagre. Assumptions regarding the appropriate nature of schooling on the one hand and appropriate leisure pursuits on the other mediate beliefs about digital gaming to generate skepticism of gameplaying among many educators. Their devaluation of digital game-based language learning (DGBLL) has implications for language learning, not just in terms of skills and attitudes, but in regard to the development of linguistic capital. The purpose of this article is to use the concept of habitus to examine the reasons why educators marginalize DGBLL and the implications of such pedagogic decisions on the development of linguistic capital. Given the emergent empirical base, this contribution adopts a theoretical approach to contextualize observed trends. The article concludes by discussing the importance of teacher-mediated DGBLL for reasons of access and equity before recommending ways of integrating DGBLL to achieve these goals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCALICO Journal
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)19-38
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2019