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Turn to page 5 to enter the cave: Exploring the effect of Interactive Fiction on vocabulary acquisition, comprehension, and motivation
There are few studies that explore interactive fiction’s (IF) cognitive and effective benefits for language learning. Inspired by Neville (2009), we compared the effectiveness of IF in comparison to non-interactive, linear fiction in terms of vocabulary acquisition, reading comprehension and motivation in a university EFL context. Participants (n = 93) were divided into two groups. The control group read a linear story, the experimental group played through an interactive version of the same story. A pre and post-experiment vocabulary test was employed to measure the acquisition of 16 target vocabulary words. A quiz based on the actions of characters within the story was also employed to measure reading comprehension. Finally, a post-test questionnaire measured student perceptions of learning with linear and IF. This presentation introduces the results of the study which are as follows. Findings revealed no significant difference in scores between the control (linear) and experimental (IF) groups for vocabulary acquisition or reading comprehension. However, an additional analysis of the data was conducted based on learners disposition towards gaming (gamer vs non-gamer) which revealed that, in comparison to gamers, non-gamers found the interactive version of the story more enjoyable and easier to read. This suggests that students’ level of game literacy had an effect on their perceptions. We will introduce the IF tool (Twine) and offer a number of options for future research such as exploring the creation of more robust IF including more micro-level choices, choice impact on story progression, and the explicit use of target vocabulary.