Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Adult students; Second language acquisition; English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers; Educational games;


In the recent three decades teaching second language (L2) vocabulary has expanded from sentence-level morphosyntactic features and pragmatics to the promotion and advancement of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). Nevertheless, the L2 instructors are constantly seeking alternative strategies for vocabulary teaching and assessment due to a superficial level of vocabulary memorization and lack of student engagement. As an instructor-practitioner, I undertook a self-study of the process of implementing Playful Language Instruction (PLI) of L2 vocabulary in an Intensive English Program. In this self-study I combined conceptual lenses of theories of play, CLT, and the Adult Learning Theory to examine how playful robotics contribute to vocabulary retention and effective language learning in the adult English language classroom. The data of analysis was a descriptive self-narrative text based on my reflections from the videotapes of my playful language instruction, my personal notes, responses from student interviews, responses from the Anxometer data, artifacts of the actual playful activities with Bee-bot, students’ self-confidence checklists, and the discussions of my project with my critical friend. NVivo software was used for the qualitative data analysis. Through the cyclical reflection process of the Constant Comparative Method and Conversation Analysis it was revealed that the deliberate self-positioning of an instructor-facilitator and acts of translanguaging in a non-threatening environment contribute to emotional condition of joy, scaffolding, and cooperative learning for L2 learning students. The implications of this study are offering new insight of facilitation of L2 vocabulary teaching through balanced translanguaging and providing support for instructors in regards to lesson planning by defying the regular and providing more communicative learning experiences.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Sohyun Meacham, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 265 pages)



File Format