The Effect of Simulation on Middle School Students’ Perceptions of Classroom Activities and their Foreign Language Achievement: A Mixed-Methods Approach



The present study delved into a language learning model in the domain of English as a foreign language (EFL), i.e., simulation. The term simulation is used to describe the activity of producing conditions which are similar to real ones. We hypothesized that simulation plays a role in middle school students’ perceptions of classroom activities (i.e., interest, challenge, choice, and joy). It was also conjectured that simulation affects foreign language achievement. To do so, the study utilized an experimental design consisting of 51 female participants (25 learners in the control group and 26 students in the experimental group). The results demonstrated the positive role of simulation in students’ perceptions of classroom activities and their language achievement. A semi- structured interview was also held at the end of the study with a number of students in experimental group to investigate student’s attitudes and emotional reactions towards simulation. 


Simulation, Perceptions of classroom activities, Language Achievement, Mixed-methods approach

Paper Details

Paper Details
Topic Foreign Languages Education
Pages 667 - 680
Issue IEJEE, Volume 9, Issue 3
Date of acceptance 13 March 2017
Read (times) 25
Downloaded (times) 18

Author(s) Details


Imam Reza International University, Iran


Imam Reza International University, Iran


Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran


Ainley, M., Hidi, S., & Berndorff, D. (2002). Interest, learning, and the psychological processes that mediate their relationship. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 545-561.

Albert, I. P. (1999). Web-based Simulation Generator: Empowering Teaching and Learning Media in Political Science. Paper presented at ASCILTIE99.

Bambrough, P. (1994). Simulations in English Teaching. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32-42.

Bullard, N. (1990). Briefing and debriefing. In D. Crookall & R. Oxford (Eds.), Simulation, gaming and language learning (pp. 55–67). New York: Newbury House.

Cray, E. & Currie, P. (1996). Linking adult learners with the education of L2 teachers. TESOL Quarterly, 30 (1), 113-130.

Crookall, D., Coote, A., Dumas, D., & Le Gat, A. (1987). The ISAGA GAME: Inquisitive speaking and gameful acquaintance: A mix of tongues and communicating across cultures. In D. Crookall, C. S. Greenblatt, A. Coote, J. Klabbers & D. Watson (Eds.), Simulation-gaming in the late 1980s (pp. 57-63). Oxford: Pergamon.

Crookall, D., & Oxford, R. (1990). Simulation, Gaming, and Language Learning. New York: Newbury House Publishers.

Csizer, K., & Kormos, J. (2009). Learning experiences, selves and motivated learning behaviour : a comparative analysis of structural models for Hungarian secondary and university learners of English. in Z Dörnyei & E Ushioda (eds), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self.. Multilingual Mattters, Bristol, pp. 98-117.                           

Davis, R. S. (1996). Simulations: A Tool for Testing "Virtual Reality" in the Language Classroom. In JALT '95: Curriculum and Evaluation. Tokyo: Japan Association for Language Teaching

deHaan J. (2011). Teaching and learning English through digital game projects. Digital Culture & Education, 3(1), 46-55.

deHaan J., Reed W. M., Kuwada K. (2010). The effect of interactivity with a music video game on second language vocabulary recall. Language Learning & Technology, 14(2), 74-94.

Dougil, J. (1987). Drama Activities for Language Teaching. London: Macmillan.

Frasr, B. J. (1991). Two decades of classroom environment research, in B.J. Fraser & H.J. Walberg (Eds) Educational Environments: evaluations, antecedents and consequence, pp 3-27. London: Pergamon.

Freiermuth, M. (2002). Connecting with computer science students by building bridges. Situation and Gaming, 3(3), 299-315.

Gentry, M., & Gable, R. K. (2001). My class activities: A survey instrument to assess students’ perceptions of interest, challenge, choice, and enjoyment in their classrooms. Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press.

Gentry, M., Gable, R. K., & Rizza, M. G. (2002) Students perceptions of classroom activities: are there grade-level and gender differences. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 539-544.

Ghanizadeh, A. (2016). The interplay between reflective thinking, critical thinking, self-monitoring, and academic achievement in higher education. Higher Education, DOI 10.1007/s10734-016-0031-y.

Ghanizadeh, A., & Alishahi, M.H. (2016).  The bonds between EFL learners' perceptions of    classroom activities, self-regulatory skills, and language achievement.  International Journal of Educational Investigations, 3(2), 72-85.

Ghanizadeh, A., & Jahedizadeh, S. (2015). An exploration of EFL learners' perceptions of classroom activities and their achievement goal orientations. International Journal of Research Studies in Education, 4(3), 33-45.

Ghanizadeh, A., & Royaei, N. (2015). Emotional facet of language teaching: Emotion     regulation and emotional labor strategies as predictors of teacher burnout. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 10(2), 139–150. doi:10.1080/22040552.2015.1113847.

Haertel, G. D., H. J. Walberg, and E. H. Haertel. (1981). “Social-Psychological Environments and Learning: A Quantitative Synthesis.” British Educational Research Journal 7, 27–36.

Hidi, S., & Renninger, K. A. (2006). The four-phase model of interest development. Educational Psychologist, 41, 111–127.

Hyland, K. (2009). Language-Learning Simulations: A Practical Guide. In: English Teaching Forum, 31(4).

Jahedizadeh, S., Ghanizadeh, A., & Ghonsooly, B. (2016). The role of EFL learners’ demotivation, perceptions of classroom activities, and mastery goal in predicting their language achievement and burnout. Asian-Pacific Journal of Second and Foreign Language Education, 1-16. DOI 10.1186/s40862-016-0021-8

Javid, C. (2013). An investigation of effectiveness of simulation in developing oral skills: A case study. European Scientific Journal, 9(32), 254-270.

Jones, G. (1986). Computer simulations in language teaching -- the kingdom experiment. System, 14(2), 171-178.

Kharrazi, A., & Kareshki, H. (2010). Environmental perceptions, motivational beliefs and self-regulating learning by Iranian high school students. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 5, 2160-2164.

Lee, J., Yin, H., & Zhang, Z. (2009). Exploring the influence of the classroom environment on students’ motivation and self-regulated learning in Hong Kong. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 18 (2), 219-232.

Livingstone, C. (1983). Role-play in Language Learning. Singapore, Longman.

Lyu, Y. (2006). Simulations and second/foreign language learning: Improving communication skills through simulations. Theses and Dissertations. Paper 1364.

Meihami, H., Meihami, B., & Varmaghani, Z. (2013). CALL in the form of simulation games: Teaching English vocabulary and pronunciation through sims. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, 8, 57-65.

Miller, M., & Hegelheimer, V. (2006). The SIMS meet ESL: Incorporating authentic computer simulation games into the language classroom. International Journal of Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 3(4), 311–328.

Nemitcheva, N. (1995). The Psychologist and Games in the Intensive Foreign Language Game-based Course. In D. Crookall & K. Arai (Eds.), Simulation and Gaming across Disciplines and Cultures (pp. 70-74). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Ozkal, K., Tekkaya, C., Cakiroglu, J., & Sungur, S. (2008). A conceptual model of relationships among constructivist learning environment perceptions, epistemological beliefs, and learning approaches. Learning and Individual Differences, 19, 71-79.

Purushotma, R. (2005). Commentary: You’re not studying, you’re just . . . . Language Learning & Technology, 9(1), 80–96.

Ranalli, J. (2008). Learning English with the sims: Exploiting authentic computer simulation games for l2 learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 21(5), 441-455.

Sam, Y. W. (1990). Drama in Teaching English as a Second Language - A Communicative Approach. In: The English Teacher (XIX); MELTA.

Schwienhorst, K. (2002). Why virtual, why environments? Implementing virtual reality concepts in computer-assisted language learning. Simulation & Gaming, 33(2), 196–209.

Tompkins, K. P. (1998). Role Playing/Simulation. The Internet TESL Journal, 4(8).

Wang, Y. H. (2010). Using communicative language games in teaching and learning English in Taiwanese primary schools. Journal of Engineering Technology and Education, 7(1), 126-142.

Young, A. J. (1997). I think, therefore I’m motivated: the relations among cognitive strategy use, motivational orientation and classroom perceptions over time. Learning and Individual Differences, 9(3), 249-283.


Related Papers