The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Gamifying Language Learning: How Gamification Can Support Learning in the Language Classroom

Deborah Koeltzsch, Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (Germany)

Sandra Stadler-Heer, Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (Germany)


Games have always played a central role in language education (Wright, Betteridge & Bucky, 2006; Reinders, 2012). More recently, however, the phenomenon of gamification has led to the development of new task formats in language education, such as digital educational escape games (Nicholson, 2018). While research on gamification has been growing in the last decade, scientific studies on content-specific solutions that go beyond introducing software tools are scarce (Swacha, 2021). In fact, there is a research gap regarding language education and gamification. However, we argue that language learning in particular has many commonalities with the concept of gamification and benefits greatly from its implementation. In this paper we will first look at how gamified language learning scenarios support language learning and more precisely are able to change learners’ perceptions of making mistakes (Sailer & Homner, 2020). We will then provide insight in the prerequisites of developing skill-specific digital escape room scenarios in university-based foreign language teacher education. Lastly, we will report on how school students (n=117) perceived learning in these digital escape room scenarios. Drawing on design-based research principles, the outcome of course evaluation and school student survey are ultimately used to critically evaluate the development of escape rooms in teacher training and their impact as standard tasks in foreign language learning classrooms on language learning.

Keywords: gamification, digital educational escape games, language learning, game development teacher training, student’s perceptions.


  • Swacha, J. (2021). State of Research on Gamification in Education: A Bibliometric Survey. Education Sciences, 11(2), 69.
  • Sailer, M., & Homner, L. (2020). The Gamification of Learning: A Meta-analysis. Educ Psychol Rev, 32, 77–112.
  • Reinders, H. (ed.) (2012). Digital Games in Language Learning and Teaching. London: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI:
  • Nicholson, S. (2018). Creating Engaging Escape Rooms for the Classroom. Childhood Education, 94(1), 44–49.
  • Wright, A., Betteridge, D. & Buckby, M. (20063). Games for Language Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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