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Place-based Language Learning Using Mobile Technology: An Analysis of an Original MALL Game and Its Redesign for a HELP Course

December 1, 2016


Dan Holden & Yang Liu
SLS Graduate Students, UH-Mānoa

In the field of Second Language Studies (SLS), there has been a growing interest in research in the areas of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) since the early 2000s. In addition to these researcher interests, the idea of using video games as language learning tools, particularly in online contexts, has been gaining popularity as well. In Holden & Sykes (2011), the researchers describe their unique work in a high school Spanish classroom which used an augmented reality MALL game that combined elements of mobile technology and video game design to create a new experience for the second language users. By utilizing a combination of theories of place-based learning and MALL, the research team at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa was able to design their own augmented reality game to be implemented in the Hawai’i English Language Program (HELP).

After analyzing both in-game data and conducting a series of post-game interview data with both students and administrators, the game, Guardians of the Mo’o (Mo’o 1.0), was deemed to be successful in achieving its initial design goals and was given support to possibly become part of the regular HELP curriculum, pending modifications. This paper outlines the theoretical background for creating such a game, as well as provides a detailed analysis of how Mo’o 1.0 was created and ultimately played by the target group of language learners. Then, the focus will be shifted to explain how the second version of the game (Mo’o 1S) was redesigned and modified to fit into a new experimental course in the HELP summer curriculum.


GSO Presentation


Here is a PDF format of presentation, which was delivered by

Jaun Manuel Escalona-Torres and Mónica Vidal on 10/10/2013

Click the hyperlink to download GSO Brown Bag 10 10 2013