Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Linguistics, Applied

First Advisor

Avary Carhill-Poza

Second Advisor

Panagiota Gounari

Third Advisor

Janna Kellinger


This exploratory qualitative study examines the language use of a group of adult English language learners as they learned and played the game Settlers of Catan in order to describe the affordances for language learning in the context of collaborative, entertainment-based gameplay in a second language. The study is discussed according to theoretical foundations in sociocultural theory and is situated within the context of existing work on gaming and its relationship to pedagogy, but expands on it by focusing its inquiry on a game not specifically designed for education, but popularly accepted as a "good game," as a potentially pedagogically rich context with classroom implications. The analysis demonstrates that learners made use of game-dependent language, dynamic teacher/learner roles, dynamic power relationships oriented toward fairness, cooperative social constructions, and multiple resources for attending to both form and meaning, in order to support the language learning process.


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