Difficulty Of Teaching Narrative Writing In British Class

It is an proven fact that narrative writing is one of the very most difficult concepts to teach in an British writing class. Among the aims of the KBSM English curriculum (2000) state governments that students can 'listen, view, read and respond to different texts, and express ideas, ideas, thoughts and feelings imaginatively and artistically in spoken and written form'. Thus, narrative writing has turned into a staple question in the Constant Writing portion of Newspaper 1 for the English SPM examination. Despite the 9 many years of writing experience the students had, majority of the students in Malaysia remain making serious writing problems in their narrative essay. These problems are usually linguistic problems but errors made in writing mechanics are equally as damaging.

Since the KBSM curriculum's inception, teachers all over the country and even educators in universities have been endeavoring to prescribe a strategy on coaching writing. However, only a tiny minority would utilize Computer Assisted Terminology Learning (CALL) as a possible solution and how many would actually realize that youths of the generation are incredibly much technologically savvy? By exploiting this craze, we might have the ability to integrate technology into the classroom on a complete new level, beyond the original theories of CALL. Video games, a form of entertainment relished by youths and individuals alike hold a proper of potential in assisting language learning. With this research, I am considering how playing a particular genre of video games will affect the narrative writing skills of the Malaysian ESL learner.

Background of Problem

Video game titles are a large part of the lives of students all around the world. Predicated on the annual hardware sales statistics released by VGChartz. com, 28. 4 million video gaming consoles were sold as of July 2010 and 12% of the consoles were sold in the Asian region (excluding Japan). On top of that, The Entertainment Software Relationship (2010) believed about 25% of worldwide gamers are below 18 years. By synergizing both reports, it has become an undeniable fact that students below 18 years would have performed some type of gaming. This opened a proper of potential where vocabulary learning elements could be built-into video games. Regarding to Salisch, Oppl and Kristen (2006), educational games can improve a child's knowledge in almost all things including reading, speaking, hearing and writing skills in the child's indigenous language. Thus, it could be said that video games play a significant role in enriching a learner's writing capacity as video game stories are usually narrative motivated to immerse the gamer into its account.

Currently, professors in Malaysia remain cautious about the usage of Computer Assisted Terminology Learning tools in the school room. The failing of British for the Teaching of Mathematics and Research is one of the testaments to this truth. Countless CALL courseware were developed but not fully utilized by the teacher. Instructors in Malaysia still prefer to use traditional coaching methods of chalk and have a discussion over technology-aided teaching methods. The true probable of CALL has yet to be completely tapped by British professors in Malaysia. The ineffectiveness of current British teaching methodologies could perhaps be that the students, being technologically savvy, find the traditional lessons boring, uninteresting rather than stimulating. Teachers who won't embrace the technological culture of the students like the Internet and video gaming may have overlooked out on the various benefits these tools could potentially offer.

In this review, I am using the action-adventure video game developed by the award being successful builder, Naughty Dog Inc. , entitled 'UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves' exclusively for the PlayStation 3 gaming system. This game has been dubbed as one of the best action adventure headings ever developed for the PlayStation3 console. According to Arne Meyer (2010), a Community Strategist of Naughty Dog Inc, 'UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves' has sold over 3. 8 million copies worldwide and has acquired numerous Game of THE ENTIRE YEAR award. This game highlighted dramatic in-game situations that will make the player a dynamic participant in the cinematic experience and its own gaming engine unit, designed designed for the PlayStation3 unit, successfully captured individuals emotions for in-game portrayal. This feature of the game made it unique and place it apart from the rest of the video gaming of the same genre.

This research seeks to address a few of the pressing issues in the gray area of video games and words learning through extended connections with a commercially available video game. Can participating in a video game really help students in acquiring certain language skill? More specifically, this research was created to study learning from game titles by assessing what young adults in Form 4 learn by participating in an existing, off the shelf, commercially available electric gaming: 'UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves'. The overall game 'Uncharted 2: Among Thieves' originated to captivate, but can be used to instruct narrative writing due to its immersive game play experience and narrative composition.

Problem Statement

The current technology of ESL learners in Malaysia keeps growing up in an ever more technologically advanced world. In a very technology where traditional learning methods are becoming obsolete, professors of ESL would have to alter their paradigms to simply accept modern teaching methods which revolved around technology itself. Over the past few years, research in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) has been impactful and it has become an established simple fact that terms acquisition through CALL methods are very much successful in the current technology of ESL learners. However, proponents of CALL have yet to build up a way which specifically targets the narrative writing capability of the ESL learner. Researchers and educators would agree that the narrative skill is the trickiest skill to teach within an ESL school room as narrative writing required a higher level of creative thinking. But, many analysts didn't consider an important tool in their research: video games. Although numerous research have been done on the consequences of video games over a child's mental development and learning, little or none have focused on its effects on an ESL learner's narrative writing capability, especially in an area context. As a result of this, video games are not fully exploited for their wealth in terminology teaching.

The general notion of video gaming in the aged generation is the fact video gaming do not add anything to the educational development of a kid. Video games are seen as distracting, un-educational, and detrimental. It was often blamed for triggering students to execute badly in their studies. These myths are further aggravated by the numerous studies which appeared to connect video gaming and violent tendencies in children. These factors induced video gaming to be stigmatized and overlooked as a potential terminology learning tool. However, recent studies concluded that there are no real relationship between playing video gaming and negative tendencies development among children; some children even performed much better than their non-game using peers (Durkin & Barber, 2002). It would be interesting to study at the amount of linguistic improvement inspired by the video game and the factors creating it as current studies have yet to find a solid relationship between gaming learning and narrative writing skill development.

Most ESL learners' acquisition of an L2 from video gaming is accidental. This means, the games were not designed with dialect learning as its goal, rather, the overall game was written with the sole target of immersing the participant into the account and making them ignore they are actually playing the overall game (Dansky 2007). This created a pseudo-immersion environment where the learner's L2 (in cases like this, English) is employed was the key medium of communication as the entire game is shown in English. Professional game authors are usually unaware of the actual fact that the narrative structure they applied in their game script are being subconsciously utilized by players to develop narrative writing structures of their own. Since most Malaysian parents and teachers do not play nor understand video games, they are not aware that video gaming are inlayed with a rich narrative structure that could be transferred to its players.

Most parents and teachers often complained that kids nowadays are spending too much time playing video gaming. They thought that video games are not highly relevant to a kid's academic progress and that time is better spent doing something more profitable. These views stemmed from the fact that adults are simply reluctant to accept the emergence of new solutions and unwilling to use of the traditional 'safe-zones' based on ideas and methods which worked more than the years. Parents and educators alike needed to be prepared on the potential of video gaming enhancing words acquisition and be trained how to utilize this tool effectively. Once they learn to see through their child's eye, they'll finally break the stigma which plagued video gaming for years.

There is also a continuing misunderstanding between edutainment software and commercial video games. Edutainment software were designed in the 1980s and comes under type 2 of Communicative CALL. Many ESL teachers were either not persuaded or unaware that edutainment software designed under the Communicative CALL period can improve an ESL learner's language acquisition. Furthermore, these software tend to be expansive and were highly dependent on increasingly improving computers, thus, edutainment software had been shunned by the teaching community generally. Now, with the introduction of commercial gambling, teachers of ESL will be able to exploit commercial video gaming to enrich their class room. Hardware problems which plagued edutainment were made obsolete with video games consoles and teachers no more have to obtain a license to utilize the software in the school room due to the Rational Use clause under the Digital Millennium Copyright Action (DCMA). ESL teachers would have to understand that edutainment software and commercial software are distinct entities which commercial video gaming are in the same way educational as its edutainment counterpart. Besides, commercial video games have a larger potential of improving language acquisition compared to edutainment software as the majority of edutainment software focused on all subject matter but English and it is still made with drill and practice methodologies in mind; an outdated methodology in the ELT world.

Purpose of Research

The purpose of this research is to recognize the elements in the narrative composition used in action-adventure video games with regards to standard ESL narrative. Apart from that, this review also aims to verify the influence of action-adventure video gaming in learners of ESL's narrative writing potential.

Objectives of Research

There are two objectives in this research. It aspires to:-

identify the elements in the narrative composition used in action adventure video gaming in relation to basic ESL narrative.

examine the affect of action trip video gaming in learners of ESL's narrative writing ability.

Research Questions

The following will be the research questions that I'll look into:-

what are the elements in the narrative composition found in action adventure video gaming with regards to general ESL narrative?

how would action adventure video gaming impact an ESL learner's narrative writing potential?

Scope of Research

This research will be done on 5 determined Form 4 male students of Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar (English School) JB and would be investigating the impact of action-adventure video games on their narrative writing capability by focusing on the narrative buildings used in their written narrative.

Significance of Research

The impact the research may bring is that in the foreseeable future, professionals from both academic and gaming industry may be able to clearly separate between edutainment game titles and commercial video gaming. An avenue of future cooperation to make a game which is both interesting and written using pedagogical ideas of terminology learning could be achieved to sublimely integrate words learning pedagogy with commercial video gaming. Fusing both the video games industry and the academics industry would start an ocean of learning opportunities for both professionals to help expand innovate in their fields. Game designers can design a casino game which still kept true to the game design philosophy of earning games fun, interesting, interactive and cinematic and at exactly the same time, making the overall game a well of language teaching resources for terms practitioners. Language teachers may also reap the benefits of future collaborations with game writers as they will be able to impart their narrative writing knowledge to be taught in academic institutions.

Apart from that, hopefully from the productive nature of the research, instructors of ESL would realize that playing video gaming are not just a waste of time. Teachers could funnel the potential of video gaming to include a gaming into the school room by getting the students writing reflective journals to chronicle their gaming experience and this written and oral assignments could be given based on the tried game. Learners of ESL would no more find English as a boring at the mercy of learn as video games would encourage their interest and their acquisition of L2 may be hastened with the background knowledge activated. Instructors of ESL could also experiment with the several genres of commercial video games available in the market to find new active resources to build up coaching materials and lessons. These unlimited options would essentially remove the stigmatization of video gaming among professors of ESL in Malaysia to help expand exploit the entire potential of video gaming as an interactive vocabulary learning tool.

Last however, not least, this research would start new possibilities and means of providing meaningful and participating content via an electronic medium, hence, broadening the range and implementation of Computer Assisted Words Learning in Malaysia. CALL's development in Malaysia boomed with the government's British for the Coaching of Mathematics and Science (ETMS). But, it is again put on a stagnant keep as the federal government reversed the insurance policy in '09 2009. This research, if done correctly, can kick start CALL's development in Malaysia and possibly kick off Malaysia into gaming design. Once the teaching community acknowledged the probable of commercial video games, game developers in Malaysia would gain the inspiration to produce high quality video games which are appropriate to the Malaysian framework, retaining the very aspects which made commercially successful video gaming fun and engaging, at the same time imbued with educational goals as stated in the National Education Idea.

Limitations of Research.

As this is a little range research, it will have its constraints. This research uses an experimental research design with a purposive sampling method; selecting only 5 respondents, the results produced from this study may not represent the general population. That is due to the hardware limitation of the study which only permits 2 PlayStation3 gaming console to be utilized throughout the 6 week review (budget constrains), restricting the amount of participants in order to meet up with the 6 week period. Also, this research is only going to be taking in Form 4 male students of Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar (British College)JB, thus, the consequences of the gaming would have on feminine students cannot be done due to the gender selection. Last but not least, I'm concentrating only on the composition of the narrative essay produced by the respondents. So, this research wouldn't normally be able to determine the effects of gaming in other areas of dialect learning such as vocabulary acquisition, sentence structure enhancement, oral skills etc.

Definition of Terms

Action-adventure games

Action-adventure games combine components of their two component styles, action and experience. Typically displaying long-term obstacles that must definitely be overcome by using a tool or item as leverage, as well as much smaller road blocks almost constantly in the manner, that require components of action games to triumph over. Action-adventure games have a tendency to concentrate on exploration and usually involve item gathering, simple puzzle handling, and battle.


A narrative is actually a tale that is created in a constructive format that describes a series of fictional or non-fictional occasions.

Video Game Narrative

Video game narrative is the component of storytelling within the video tutorial game's script. It will serve as a method by which the storyline materials are communicated to the audience.


In gaming design, the storyline is exactly what actually happens throughout the game which may be differentiated from its game technicians and be translated into a narrative.


The backstory details the annals prior to the events of the game and it offers the response to the question "What happened previously?" and "What caused this situation to occur?"


Immersion is defined in gaming design as the state of mind where a person is totally utilized in what they are really doing. This is actually the ultimate goal in every game narrative as total immersion allows the players to be absorbed into the report and allows maximum entertainment experience.

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