ReCALL: Journal of Eurocall vol:24 issue:3 pages:257-278
This paper aims to provide a rationale for the utility of corrective feedback (CF) in digital games designed for language learning, with specific reference to learners’ perceptions. Explicit and ela- borate CF has the potential to increase learners’ understanding of language, but might not be found useful in a game-based learning environment where the primary focus for the learner is on meaningful interaction and experiential learning. Also, as CF can be perceived as a measure of performance, it could harm learners’ perception of competence. Eighty-three learners of English as a foreign language participated in a mixed-method experimental study that aimed to first explore the perceived usefulness of, and preferences for, explicit and implicit CF in an immersive educa- tional game, and to secondly chart the relation between learners’ perceptions of CF as they pertain to three individual difference factors related to learners’ self-perception, namely intrinsic goal orientation, perceived competence and game experience. Survey and interview data showed that CF was found to be generally useful. A regression model indicated that the threemeasures of self- perception affected learners’ perceptions of explicit CF positively, and that there was no impact on perceptions of implicit CF. Further, learners reported having enjoyed the implicit CF, although they did not find it particularly useful for learning. These findings indicate that the type of CF should be considered in the design of effective and enjoyable educational games.