Kevin Reay Wrobetz
Kobe Gakuin University
This study uses post-game survey data from six gaming sessions of the English language smartphone edition of Klaus Teuber’s The Settlers of Catan conducted throughout one academic semester in a Business English course at a private Japanese university to analyze how smartphone gaming can be used as a pedagogical tool to teach enrolled students (n=4) how to develop effective business strategies in dynamic systems. Instruction on the development of effective business strategies for dynamic systems comprised of unpredictable variables including environmental contexts and multiple agents influencing the system may benefit from more active pedagogical approaches that utilize interaction with business simulations (e.g. game-based learning) instead of simply relying on passive instruction (e.g. textbook explanations) in order to allow students to discover for themselves the most effective strategy to cope with such dynamic systems. The simulated trading environment provided in The Settlers of Catan has shown itself to be an effective pedagogical approach to simulating dynamic systems and providing students with opportunities to develop their own effective strategies to cope with dynamic systems such as supply and demand, resource management, and trade while using the target language. The results from the post-game surveys used to identify and track how the students’ game strategies and language use changed throughout the study period suggest that utilizing the pedagogical approach outlined in this study not only promotes intellectual engagement with the concepts of supply and demand, resource management, and effective trading strategies but also encourages linguistic development of business-oriented English.