Research-based design of a medical vocabulary videogame
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This article discusses the research-based design choices and general rationale underpinning the creation of a video game called Medicina. This game is designed to broadly foster better language skills among international nursing students with English as a second language (ESL) and more specifically to teach confusable medication names while also improving reaction time to verbal orders. Research shows that the learning of vocabulary is important to language learning. Without adequate vocabulary knowledge, it is difficult for an international student to interact in professional and university settings. This situation is compounded by the expectation that students will learn key vocabulary incidentally through academic pre-readings, despite the research demonstrating this to be an inefficient and inadequate method of learning. Moreover, medication names are low-frequency vocabulary. Thus, the international student who seeks to enter the health profession encounters the task of learning a large subset of language but without the amount of exposure theorised as being necessary to it. The article will outline how the language-learning video game is designed to encourage rapid discrimination of word form and give multiple exposures to both written and spoken medication names. It concludes with a summary of the preliminary testing of the game and a brief summary of the findings.