Children’s Use of Systemic Functional Linguistic Metafunctions During Digital Math Gameplay
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between children’s language use during digital math gameplay and mathematics learning outcomes through the lens of Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) metafunctions. Participants were 77 third- and fourth-grade children (ages 9-10) who interacted with three digital math games during semi-structured interviews. Researchers collected quantitative (pretests and posttests) and qualitative data (interview video/audio). Data analyses included frequency tables of metafunctions and nonparametric analyses due to data being skewed. The Wilcoxon Signed-Ranked test showed significant differences in ranks from pretest to posttest in two of the digital math games. A Spearman’s Rank-Order Correlation showed significant correlations among the three metafunctions in all three digital math games, but no significant correlations between metafunctions and changes in test ranks. Frequencies suggest that, when children use more metafunctions when talking about a digital math game, it may be supportive of obtaining higher learning outcomes.