A Serious Game to Learn Basic English for People with Hearing Impairments

  • María José Fernández
  • Angel Jaramillo-AlcázarEmail author
  • Marco Galarza-Castillo
  • Sergio Luján-Mora
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 918)


In recent years, higher education has faced the need to apply educational changes due to the increase of students with special needs in the classroom. Day after day, we see changes in technology that can be exploited and mobile devices are an example of this trend. Mobile devices can be a tool used to improve the education of students with special needs, and people with hearing disabilities are not a exception. Thus, this research focuses on the development of accessible mobile serious games for education. Serious games allow people with hearing disabilities to learn by combining a tool such as a video game with a learning methodology. In this paper, we present My First English Game (MFEG), a video game whose main objective is to teach basic topics of the English language in an interactive way. Additionally, the video game includes accessibility features that make it inclusive for people with hearing disabilities. The final goal of this work is to contribute to the improvement of English learning for people with disabilities.


Video games Accessibility English learning Hearing impairments Serious game 


  1. 1.
    Accessible University: Defining Accessibility (2016).
  2. 2.
    Bouzid, Y., Khenissi, M.A., Jemni, M.: Designing a game generator as an educational technology for the deaf learners. In: International Conference on Information Communication Technology and Accessibility, pp. 1–6 (2015)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Francia, J.: What is Scrum?— (2017).
  4. 4.
    Ghannem, A.: Characterization of serious games guided by the educational objectives. In: International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality, pp. 227–233 (2014)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Guillén-Nieto, V., Aleson-Carbonell, M.: Serious games and learning effectiveness: the case of It’s a Deal!. Comput. Educ. 58(1), 435–448 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Harmer, L.: Health care delivery and deaf people: practice, problems, and recommendations for change. J. Deaf Stud. Deaf Educ. 4(2), 73–110 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    International Game Developers Association (IGDA)—Game Accessibility SIG: Accessibility in Games: Motivations and Approaches (2004).
  8. 8.
    Jaramillo-Alcázar, A., Luján-Mora, S.: Mobile serious games: an accessibility assessment for people with visual impairments. In: International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality, pp. 1–6 (2017)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jaramillo-Alcázar, A., Luján-Mora, S.: An approach to mobile serious games accessibility assessment for people with hearing impairments. In: International Conference on Information Technology and Systems, pp. 552–562 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jaramillo-Alcazar, A., Guaita, C., Rosero, J.L., Lujan-Mora, S.: Towards an accessible mobile serious game for electronic engineering students with hearing impairments. In: IEEE World Engineering Education Conference, pp. 1–5 (2018)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Koster, R.: Theory of Fun for Game Design, 2nd edn. O’Reilly Media, Inc. (2013)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kotaku: Deaf Gamer Founds A Fighting Games Team For Players Like Him (2017).
  13. 13.
    Li, Z., Wang, H.: A mobile game for encouraging active listening among deaf and hard of hearing people: comparing the usage between mobile and desktop game (2015).
  14. 14.
    Markets and Markets: Serious Game Market worth \$5,448.82 Million by 2020 (n.d.).
  15. 15.
    Michael, D.R., Chen, S.L.: Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train, and Inform. Muska & Lipman/Premier-Trade (2005)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Özkul, A., Köse, H., Yorganci, R., Ince, G.: Robostar: an interaction game with humanoid robots for learning sign language. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics, pp. 522–527 (2014)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    PCGamesN: Legally deaf-blind CS:GO player Loop offered pro streamer contract after community support (2017).
  18. 18.
    Roblox: Whats Roblox? (2018).
  19. 19.
    Sauvé, L., Sénécal, S., Kaufman, D., Renaud, L., Leclerc, J.: The design of generic serious game shell. In: International Conference on Information Technology Based Higher Education and Training, pp. 1–5 (2011)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Takahashi, D.: At 10, Roblox surpasses 30 million monthly users and 300 million hours of engagement—VentureBeat (2016).
  21. 21.
    United Nations General Assembly: Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (2008).
  22. 22.
    Wang, K.: Application of information technology in cultivating college English learning motivation. In: International Conference on Logistics, Informatics and Service Sciences, pp. 1–5 (2016)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    World Health Organization: World report on disability (2011).
  24. 24.
    World Health Organization: Grades of hearing impairment (2016).
  25. 25.
    World Health Organization: Deafness and hearing loss (2017).

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • María José Fernández
    • 1
  • Angel Jaramillo-Alcázar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marco Galarza-Castillo
    • 1
  • Sergio Luján-Mora
    • 2
  1. 1.Facultad de Ingenierías y Ciencias AplicadasUniversidad de Las AméricasQuitoEcuador
  2. 2.Departamento de Lenguajes y Sistemas InformáticosUniversidad de AlicanteAlicanteSpain

Personalised recommendations