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Gaming SIG Newsletter

 Issue 40

Aug 27, 2021

Jeremy A. Robinson (Chair)

Jakob Johnson (Associate Chair)

Jeff Maloney (Outgoing Chair)




It was great to see many of you this summer at our conference, and we hope we can make this SIG something useful for you this coming year. If you have comments, questions, or ideas, if you would like to be removed from the monthly newsletter, or you think someone else would be interested in receiving it, please email Today in the newsletter:

  • SIG Project Spotlight

  • Conferenes

  • Game Jams

  • Articles


– SIG PROJECT SPOTLIGHT – Innspekter Moris

Jeremy A. Robinson

In the upcoming months and years, it is the hope that each week we can highlight some kind of game related project that someone in the CALICO Gaming SIG is working on. Please contact us if you have something you can share!


A project that I am working on at Gustavus Adolphus College with two of my student workers is a game called Innspekter Moris.In this game, set in the island nation of Mauritius, you play as an inspector who travels to numerous locations throughout the country, interviewing people on the street with the hope that you will be able to save the country from the threat of an ecological disaster. The pedagogical goal of the game is to help the player learn about Mauritius’s unique culture and history, and also help the learner develop linguistic skills in French, English, or Mauritian Kreol. 


This scene’s background image is modeled from Marie Reine de la Paix: GPS My City (size reduction apparent from original).
Original image from Marie Reine de la Paix by Carrotmadman6. July 11, 2006. (CC-BY 2.0)


D. Melanie Kistnasamy is my student worker from Mauritius, and has the primary responsibility for writing scripts and dealing with cultural matters. Sanjeeda Shutrishna is my student artist, and my role is design and development. We are modeling background art from images we have taken ourselves, received permission to use, or which fall under some other licencing. We are also working with some musicians in Mauritius to create background audio tracks matching each of the different locations. 


This has been an interesting project so far, and it has been fun to learn a bit more about Mauritius. We have also completed a couple of smaller projects related to Mauritius, if you are interested in playing them. Les villes cachées de L’île Maurice is a short game aimed at beginning French learners, which teaches geography and location words. Journée d’un travailleur engagé (French) and Lazourne enn travayer angaze (Kreol) are authorized translations of Journey of an Indentured Laborer an interesting project “designed to give players a snapshot of what life might have been like for an South Asian indentured laborers during the nineteenth century.”



Upcoming 2021 Conferences


Sep 2-24, 2021

European Conference on Games Based Learning


Oct 7-8, 2021

Joint Conference on Serious Games

Stoke-on-Trent, UK & Virtual

Nov 19-21, 2021

ACTFL Convention


Dec 1-3, 2021

Games and Learning Alliance Conference 

La Spezia, Italy & Virtual?

Dec 16-18, 2021

GLoCALL Conference

Globalization & Localization in Computer-Assisted Language Learning


2022 Conferences


~Feb 2022

MWALLT Conference

MidWest Association for Language Learning Technology

Likely Hybrid

Mar 21-25, 2022

Game Developers Conference

San Francisco

Mar 22-25, 2022

TESOL Convention 

Pittsburg & Virtual

~May 2022



May 30-Jun 4, 2022



~June 2022



June 26-29, 2022

ISTE Edtech Conference

International Society for Technology in Education

New Orleans

~July 2022

Connected Learning Summit


~July 2022

Games for Change Festival


~July 2022


International Conference on Gamification & Serious Game


~Aug 2022

EUROCALL Conference

European Association of Computer Assisted Language Learning


~Aug 2022

Play Make Learn 

Madison, Wisconsin

Oct 13-15, 2022

International Conference on Meaningful Play

East Lansing, Michigan




Game Jams are short, friendly contests to develop a game within a given amount of time, often requiring participants to adhere to certain themes or limitations. Consider participating in a Game Jam to practice your development skills, or often you can also take part in these by playing submitted games and judging, even if you don’t create a game yourself (also a great task for language learning students!). There are a wealth of ongoing game jams which are primarily in English (See, but there are also jams focusing on other languages. Below are some which are upcoming. If you are aware of others (especially in additional languages), please let us know!




Oct 21-Oct 24

PlayBern Utopian Game Jam



Aug 27- Sep 6

Una Jam Diversa | ITA



Aug 18- Sep 1

Tu juego a juicio Jam 2021

Sep 1- Sep 4

Ikimiuki GameJam 2021

Aug 1-Sep 11

Mejorando Ando – Agosto 2021

Sep 20- Sep 27

Spain Game Devs Jam III

Oct 1- Oct 3

TODO Game Jam #3



Aug 15-Sep 11

Games de Paradigmas de Program

Sep 18- Oct 31

GaraJam Caneta & Papel



Here are some recent articles which you might be interested in reading:


Dixon, D. H., & Christison, M. (2021). L2 Gamers’ Use of Learning and Communication Strategies in Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs): An Analysis of L2 Interaction in Virtual Online Environments. In CALL Theory Applications for Online TESOL Education (pp. 296-321). IGI Global.


Hemminki, A. (2021). Finnish upper-secondary school students’ perspectives on the benefits of gaming for their English proficiency.


Johnson, E., & Vitanova, G. (2021, May). Agency and Gaming in Language Learning. In Work and Labor in World Languages, Literatures, and Film: Selected Proceedings of the 24th Southeast Conference on Languages, Literatures, and Film (p. 71). BrownWalker Press.


Li, K., Peterson, M., & Wang, Q. (2021). Using Community of Inquiry to Scaffold Language Learning in Out-of-School Gaming: A Case Study. International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL), 11(1), 31-52.


Lin, C. Y., & Guo, Y. H. (2021). Enhancing EFL Adolescent Learners’ Vocabulary Acquisition via Online Single Player Role-Play Games. Language Literacy: Journal of Linguistics, Literature, and Language Teaching, 5(1), 10-22.


Peterson, M., Yamazaki, K., & Thomas, M. (Eds.). (2021). Digital Games and Language Learning: Theory, Development and Implementation. Bloomsbury Publishing.


Reinhardt, J. (2021). Not all MMOGs are created equal: A design-informed approach to the study of L2 learning in multiplayer online games. Digital Games and Language Learning: Theory, Development and Implementation, 69.


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Our publication partner Equinox is offering big e-book discounts

now through May 31 to CALICO members.

CALICO’s Book Series, Advances in CALL Research and Practice @ Equinox Publishing

For this newest book in CALICO’s book series, Equinox is offering a 40% discount when you use the members-only code.


For all other books in the series, a 25% discount for members with a code.

Contact Esther or check your email for a message from the members list to get your codes now.

Also on sale now the very informative earlier books in this series, found in the CALICO Shop

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Call for Papers: Special Edition of CALICO Journal

Editors: Gillian Lord (University of Florida) and Sébastien Dubreil (Carnegie Mellon University)

Series Editors: Bryan Smith (Arizona State University) & Ana Oskoz (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

The editors of the 2021 Special Edition of the CALICO Journal seek contributions on diverse approaches to second language and culture (LC2) learning, focusing specifically on learning through “maker culture,” or the process of multimedia project creation or other creative activity that bridge language learning in the classroom with authentic language practices outside of it. Volume contributions will address theoretical, empirical and pedagogical approaches that connect classroom instruction to the multifaceted contexts and challenges of language use beyond the classroom. We encourage contributions that situate opportunities for motivated, purposeful technology-mediated communicative (social) interaction as a central organizing principle of LC2 study, with the goals of fostering language production and/or cultural awareness, while promoting their use in real and realistic interdisciplinary contexts.

Content areas for contributions include – but are not limited to – the following:

A. Theoretical considerations for the implementation of “maker culture” in LC2 learning contexts;

B. Empirical research assessing the effectiveness of a “maker” approach to L2 development and (inter)cultural learning; or

C. Practice report of pedagogical interventions leveraging the “learning through making” approach, providing evidence of learning.

This special issue will strive to maintain the format of past CALICO Journal Special Issues while also supporting diverse contribution formats. We encourage full-length (approximately 6,000–8,000 words, all inclusive) conceptual/theoretical contributions and empirical studies (e.g., mixed methods, case studies, action research), as well as shorter contributions (approximately 4,000 words, all inclusive) detailing pedagogical interventions that address theme(s) or projects relevant to the volume. Authors are encouraged to contextualize their contribution within appropriate theoretical and developmental frameworks.

Submission deadline for abstracts is September 1, 2019.

  • Submit an abstract of no more than 400 words to the volume editors at and
  • In your abstract please state clearly if your proposal should be reviewed as theoretical, empirical, or pedagogical.
  • Decisions and feedback from the editors will be communicated to submitters by early October 2019.
  • Complete manuscripts will be due March 1, 2020, and must comply with CALICO’s authoring guidelines (found here).
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New Book in CALICO’s Book Series

Third edition to the popular books Calling on CALL…

Engaging Language Learners through CALL

From Theory and Research to Informed Practice

Edited by Nike Arnold and Lara Ducate

Nike Arnold is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University in Oregon, USA.

Lara Ducate a Professor of German and Applied Linguistics at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, USA.

2019 444pp 234 x 156mm Illus. pb ISBN 9781781798287

£35.00 / $45.00 25 % discount available — see below

£26.25 / $33.75 eBook ISBN 9781781798294

Engaging Language Learners through CALL provides an updated overview of the field of computer-assisted language learning beginning with one chapter on the intersection of second language acquisition (SLA) research and CALL and another on online and hybrid language courses. The next eight chapters focus on the use of CALL for specific language skills or other learning goals and the volume concludes with a discussion of ways to evaluate courseware and apps. Each chapter contains preview questions, an overview of the most relevant and recent research, implications for teaching, assessment options, questions for reflection, case studies, and ideas for action research.

While the fundamental lens for this volume is informed practice based on key theories and research, there are several themes that run throughout the chapters, including how technology creates unique learning opportunities and its ability to overcome constraints of time, space, and interlocutors, how CALL can facilitate the integration of applications originally developed for other purposes, and the high level of autonomous and student-centered activities that CALL provides. As these themes demonstrate, CALL provides an array of affordances and sometimes, challenges. It is our hope that this volume will continue to support readers in implementing a research-based CALL pedagogy and updating their practices as technology and research findings develop.


Introduction – Nike Arnold, Lara Ducate

  1. The Theories and Practices of SLA in CALL – Bonnie L. Youngs
  2. Normalizing Online Learning: Adapting to a Changing World of Language

    Teaching – Senta Goertler

  3. Culture and CALL – Sarah Guth, Francesca Helm
  4. Technology-enhanced Listening: How does it Look and What can we Expect? –

    Maribel Montero Perez

  5. CALL and L2 Reading: Current Research and Application – Alan Taylor
  6. Digital Literacies as Emergent Multifarious Repertoires – Jonathon Reinhardt,

    Steven L Thorne

  7. Writing between the Lines: Acquiring Writing Skills and Digital Literacies through Social Tools – Ana Oskoz, Idoia Elola
  8. Interpersonal Communication in Intracultural CMC – Zsuzsanna Abrams
  9. Targeting Pronounciation (and Perception) with Technology

    – Mary Grantham O’Brien

  10. Communities: Exploring Digital Games and Social Networking – Julie Sykes,

    Christopher L. Holden, Stephanie Knight

  11. Evaluation of Courseware/Tutorial Apps and Online Resource Websites – Philip Hubbard

Download the Equinox Linguistics mobile app and take advantage of discounts on books and journal subscriptions, free downloads, and special offers

Place an order online at to receive a 25% discount. Enter the code LINGUISTICS at the checkout when prompted and your order will be discounted.

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Annual Awards

This year’s Access to Language Education Award, in association with the Esperantic Studies Foundation, was awarded to Kevin Waddell for his LifeSpark online information and app.

This year’s Robert A. Fischer Outstanding Graduate Student Award was given to Abby Broughton of Vanderbilt University, pictured here between CALICO president Gillian Lord Ward and Abby’s mentoring professor Virginia Scott.

And last but not least, an award was given for Best Article in the CALICO Journal for Volume 35 to Rose van der Zwaard and Anne Bannink: Reversal of Participation Roles in NS-NNS Synchronous Telecollaboration

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Book Series Call for Chapter Proposals

CALICO Journal Book Series: Advances in CALL Research and Practice (


Call for Chapter Proposals

Book title: Project-based Language Learning and CALL: Theory and Practice

Editors: Michael Thomas Ph.D. and Kasumi Yamazaki Ph.D.



This book is a timely edited collection that aims to be the first substantive scholarly book on project-based and cross-curricular language learning using digital technologies. The book will include a) new empirical research on project-based language learning utilizing CALL technologies and b) conceptual and theoretical chapters that address new methodological approaches for researching project-based and cross-curricular language learning in digitally-mediated learning environments. This dual focus distinguishes the volume from previous books on project-based learning in which digital technologies have not been the main focus. CALL research involving a variety of languages will also be encouraged.


The book is timely in that, inspired by OECD reports and curriculum reforms in several countries, a repositioning and re-evaluation of foreign language education in school-based education has been taking place in which foreign language learning is taught in a multi-disciplinary approach involving an emphasis on collaborative literacies, including problem-solving, civic engagement and telecollaboration. In this mix, language learning, particularly driven by developments in CLIL (content and integrated language learning), is being taught as one of several disciplines in a way that firmly emphasizes communication and creativity rather than a traditional functional approach.  


The volume aims to make important contributions on a range of themes that are central to the work of classroom teachers and course and materials designers, as well as researchers in the field. Chapters will explore how project-based approaches utilising CALL encourage teachers and learners to:

  • engage in creative forms of language learning both within and outside of traditional classrooms;
  • connect with other disciplines and teach languages through the medium of culture and other school and university subjects; 
  • critically explore the potential and limitations of digital technologies alongside cross-curricular forms of instruction;
  • strategically rethink the role and positionality of language learning in the school and university curriculum. 

Further to exploring the way project-based language learning is currently being used in classrooms and its potential to enrich multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning, chapter authors will consider a variety of concerns and challenges affecting the teaching and learning of foreign languages. In terms of pedagogy, the volume aims to investigate current instructional methods, including among other topics, learning strategies, feedback, different types of peer assessment and mentoring. At the institutional level, the book aims to investigate teacher resilience and readiness in relation to technology, managing curriculum change and quality assurance and assessment, and to do so by encouraging critical approaches to technology education and normalised approaches to foreign language learning.


The book also aims to explore how telecollaborative projects involving language learners and teachers in different geographical locations and cultures are using collaborative forms of cross-curricular learning with different delivery methods. We will aim for geographical coverage of current developments in PBL as well as examining how it is or may be used in development contexts in Africa, the Middle East, South America and Asia and encourage chapter authors to submit collaborative chapters that draw on funded projects and research that addresses an impact, transdisciplinary, social and critical agenda with respect to CALL.



As part of the first stage, prospective authors are required to submit a 300 to 500 word abstract/expression of interest for their intended chapter, outlining its main concerns and methodology. The dates and timeline are shown below:


  1. 300 to 500 word abstracts/expression of interest due: 1st July 2019
  2. Notification of acceptance to proceed to chapter stage: 15th July 2019
  3. First draft of chapters due: 15th December 2019
  4. First stage peer review: January to February 2020
  5. Final manuscripts due: May 2020
  6. Final publication: Spring 2021


Authors are required to submit their abstracts/expressions of interest to both editors by email ( and ( as a MS Word attachment (Times New Roman, 11pt, single spaced) including a title for their chapter and 50 word biography of each author, as well as contact details. All submissions will undergo double blind peer review prior to acceptance.



Kasumi Yamazaki Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Japanese in the Department of World Languages & Cultures. Her research focuses on a wide range of contemporary Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) pedagogy and integration, namely, the use of 3D simulation games and virtual realities (VRs), the development of intelligent CALL (ICALL) systems, and the effectiveness of hybrid teaching curricula. Her areas of expertise include Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), Technology Enhanced Language Learning, Japanese Language Pedagogy, English as a Second Language (ESL) Pedagogy. Dr Yamazaki currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Technology in Language & Teaching and Learning


Michael Thomas Ph.D. is a Professor in the School of Language and Global Studies at the University of Central Lancashire, UK and Principal Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. He is the author or editor of over thirty books and peer reviewed special editions and founding editor of four book series, including Advances in Digital Language Learning and Teaching (Bloomsbury Academic), Digital Education and Learning (Palgrave Macmillan US), and Global Policy and Critical Futures in Education (Palgrave Macmillan, US, with Jeffrey R. Di Leo). Among his other books are Contemporary Computer-Assisted Language Learning (2012) (with Mark Warschauer and Hayo Reinders) and Handbook of Research on Web 2.0 and Second Language Learning (2008).


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New Executive Board Members

Our newly elected executive board members are Julio Rodriguez and Ruslan Suvorov, both of the University of Hawaii.  They will take office at the end of this year’s conference and serve a three-year term.  Rotating out of office this year will be Helene Ossipov and Lawrence Williams and continuing are Merica McNeil, Sébastien Dubreil, Nina Vyatkina and Joseph Cunningham.  If you should happen to be in touch with any of these, please congratulate them or thank them for their service.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in the election!