Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

The Effects of Using the Kinect Motion-Sensing Interactive System to Enhance English Learning for Elementary Students

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

The Effects of Using the Kinect Motion-Sensing Interactive System to Enhance English Learning for Elementary Students

Article excerpt


Traditional one-way rote memorization method for learning English vocabulary is frequently found in schools (Smith, Li, Drobisz, Park, Kim, & Smith, 2013). However, the effects of such methods have not been found to be better than interaction (Ge, 2015). Vygotsky (1978) considered that in second language acquisition, learners need to interact with the socio-cultural environment via artifacts. These artifacts are referred to as "interfaces" between the subject and object from the viewpoint of human-computer interaction (Engestrom, 2000).

Early human-computer interface (HCI) studies mostly adopted usability testing (Buur & Bodker, 2000). In the 1990s, some scholars began to cite activity theory, proposed by Leont'ev in the 1930s, as a theoretical framework of HCI design (Kaptelinin, 1996; Kuutti, 1996; Nardi, 1996). Activity theory emphasizes how to construct meaning from interaction between subject and object via artifacts (such as rules, books, etc.) (Leont'ev, 1974). Subsequently, activity theory also became one of the theoretical frameworks for language learning (Oxford, 1990). In 2003, Bedny and Karwowski divided activities into the following five levels: activity, task, action, operation, and function; they also incorporated two design types: subject-oriented and object-oriented, based on their proposed Systemic-Structural Theory of Activity (Bedny & Harris, 2005).

Subject-oriented design focuses on a subject's socio-cultural context and has often been adopted by studies of second language learning (Chapelle, 2009). On the other hand, in order to assess the usability of an emerging technology, researchers have often adopted object-oriented design (Munassar & Govardhan, 2011). This study also adopts a type of object-oriented design called "object-mental action" from activity theory. Specifically, a subject (the learner) interacts with an object (game-based animation) via the Kinect Motion-sensing Interactive System.

Edgar Dale's cone of experience theory indicates that two-way interactive learning helps learners to obtain up to 90% learning retention (Dale, 1969). Human-computer interaction also benefits learning retention (Papastergiou, 2009; Prensky, 2005); however, is this effect derived from the human-computer "interactive content," or "operating interface"? This question is worthy of further research. Therefore, in this study, we designed a game based learning activity as the interactive "content" and a motion-sensing operation as the interactive "interface" for English vocabulary learning. The related literature is reviewed as follows.

Applying game-based learning with a questioning strategy as interactive content

Previous research has shown that game-based English learning has resulted in better retention than traditional rote memorization (Flores, 2015). Hwang, Chiu, and Chen (2015) also indicated that game-based learning is able to improve students' inquiry-based learning performance, especially in an interactive environment. Also, enjoying the game was cited as an important reason why students were willing to finish interactive tasks (Star, Chen, & Dede, 2015). The design of digital games is an important and often used method for enhancing learning motivation. A learner's motivation to participate is enhanced through gamed-based learning (Birk, Atkins, Bowey, & Mandryk, 2016; Ronimus & Lyytinen, 2015). The goal of this study is to design an English vocabulary learning activity that integrates digitized game-based interaction.

In addition, a questioning strategy was implemented in this study to enhance the two-way interactive learning. The questioning strategy is defined as actively presenting a question and waiting for the students' answer. Research has indicated that implementing a questioning strategy in English learning can also result in better retention (Basturkmen, 2001; Boyd & Rubin, 2006; Shomoossi, 2004; Yang, 2010). …

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