Communication is a key component in learning a second language (L2). As important as the ability to communicate in the L2 is the willingness to use the L2 or, what has been identified in the literature as Willingness to Communicate (WTC). Language is best learned when situated in, and based on, real-life experiences. Technological tools such as virtual worlds, mobile devices, and augmented reality (AR) are increasingly used to take language learning outside of the classroom. The affordances (e.g., portability, engagement, context-sensitivity) of these tools may have an impact on the following WTC antecedents: perceived competence, reduced L2 anxiety, security, excitement, and responsibility. The nature of this impact suggests that an AR mobile game may positively affect students' WTC. The purpose of this case study was to examine student perceptions regarding the use and design qualities of an AR mobile game in the language learning process and the effect of these qualities on student perceptions of their WTC. Nine students in a second-year Japanese language class at an institute of higher education in California participated in the study by playing an AR mobile game for three weeks. Data were collected through a demographic survey, game-play observations, game artifacts in the form of images and audio, game log data, and interviews. Findings suggest that AR mobile games can provide a viable means to take language learning outside the classroom and into self-selected spaces to affect positively students' WTC. From this investigation, it is evident that AR mobile language learning games can: (a) extend learning outside the classroom, (b) reduce L2 anxiety, and (c) promote personalized learning.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Learning technologies; Language and languages--Computer-assisted instruction; Language and languages -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Japan; Second language acquisition

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Jago, Martine