Understanding students’ engagement with a Serious Game to learn English: A sociocultural perspective


  • Paola Julie Aguilar Cruz Full-time English teacher at Universidad de la Amazonia and Jorge Eliécer Gaitán High School in Colombia




Serious Games, Student Engagement, Game Learning Analytics, Educational Technology, English Language Learning


Research studies have demonstrated that students’ sociocultural background influences their learning and engagement processes in classroom activities. Additionally, research studies have shown inconclusive effects of how Serious Games improve students’ engagement. Therefore, this article describes the results of a research study that analyzed, from a sociocultural perspective, the incorporation of the Serious Game (SG) Be (the) 1: Challenge in a classroom setting with forty-seven high school students who live in vulnerable conditions in the Amazonian region of Colombia. A revised version of the Motivation Attitude Knowledge Engagement (MAKE) survey was implemented to inquire students’ engagement with the game, including open-ending questions. Moreover, GLA from a teachers’ dashboard were collected to track students’ achievements and progress during gameplay. Data was analyzed, triangulated, and interpreted through the lenses of the Reflective Play Activity Model (RPAM) to have a better understanding of students’ interactions with the game in the classroom. The main findings reveal that (1) when students developed intrinsic play, their cognitive, emotional, and behavioral engagement was low, but when they developed extrinsic play, their engagement increased, and (2) GLA serve to predict students’ engagement with a SG in marginalized settings. Additionally, this study refines the RPAM by deepening how this model can occur in face-to-face settings with students who, due to their sociocultural background, do not have access to discuss, construct, exchange, and share information about game features in online environments.




How to Cite

Aguilar Cruz, P. J. (2022). Understanding students’ engagement with a Serious Game to learn English: A sociocultural perspective . International Journal of Serious Games, 9(4), 137–152. https://doi.org/10.17083/ijsg.v9i4.554




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