Primary school students’ foreign language anxiety in collaborative and individual digital game-based learning

Yu Fen Yang, Alexis P.I. Goh, Yi Chun Hong, Nian Shing Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Few studies have focused on the comparison between collaborative and individual digital game-based learning (DGBL) performance for students who study English as a Foreign Language (EFL). In collaborative DGBL, how the composition of foreign language anxiety (FLA) within groups of students affects students’ performance remains uncertain. This study aimed to examine the effects of anxiety composition on DGBL performance of primary school students with different FLA levels to inform collaborative DGBL instruction. Ninety-six fifth-graders from four classes were identified as low, moderate, and high anxiety students according to Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS). Two classes were randomly assigned into collaborative DGBL while the other two classes in individual DGBL. The students in the collaborative DGBL were further grouped into 12 heterogeneous groups with anxiety composition of Low & Moderate (LM), Low & High (LH), Moderate & High (MH), and Low, Moderate & High (LMH). Those in the individual DGBL underwent individual gameplay learning. It was found that either collaborative or individual DGBL effectively assisted the students to reduce their FLA. The results also showed that the students in the heterogeneous groups generally had better DGBL performance than those who worked individually. Particularly, groups with anxiety composition of LM outperformed those with LH, those with MH, and those with LMH. The study suggests group composition be considered a critical factor that may enhance students’ learning with FLA in collaborative DGBL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1587-1607
Number of pages21
JournalComputer Assisted Language Learning
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaborative learning
  • digital game-based learning (DGBL)
  • foreign language anxiety (FLA)
  • group composition
  • individual learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Computer Science Applications


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