Stamatia Savvani

"After all, the cultivated person's first duty is to be always prepared to rewrite the encyclopaedia."
Umberto Eco


My research interests revolve around teacher emotions, attitudes and practices in English language teaching. As a former English language teacher I have worked with young children, and have applied game-based language teaching approaches in my practice.

Drawing from classroom experience, I investigate the optimal ways of incorporating games (digital or physical) in foreign language learning. I have employed commercial games in order to facilitate creative writing, social and communication skills.

On this page you can find research projects I have undertaken, published academic papers, presentations and workshops.

MA Thesis

English Language Teacher Attitudes and Effective Management of Change in the Greek Digital School

Under the supervision of Dr Chris Alexander, my MA thesis at the University of Nicosia revolved around the Digital School initiative in Greece which follows the European policies for digital integration in public schools. I investigated teachers' familiarity and attitudes towards the online platforms of the Digital School as well as their training on them. Data was collected with questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. I found that digital integration is rather uneven or slow in the Greek state schools, and I provided suggestions for management of change to further improve the situation and benefit from digital tools and resources.

Conference Paper

State-of-the-art Duolingo: Features and Applications

I have also explored the merits of incorporating digital games or platforms in and out of the classroom. My publication at the ICL 2018 Conference concerns the review of a popular language learning application: Duolingo, from a pedagogical viewpoint.

Cite as: Savvani, S. (2018, September). State-of-the-art duolingo features and applications. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning (pp. 139-148). Springer, Cham.

Conference Paper

A Participatory Approach to Redesigning Games for Educational Purposes

Playing games can increase student motivation and engagement. Creating games, on the other hand, additionally addresses higher order thinking skills of learners. I describe a participatory approach that involves both English language teachers (or other educators) and learners in Game Design for educational purposes. Examples of games created in the EFL classroom can be found in the pre-print below.

Cite as: Savvani, S. & Liapis, A. (2019, November) A Participatory Approach to Redesigning Games for Educational Purposes. In Proceedings of the 8th International Games and Learning Alliance Conference. Springer.

Conference Paper

Emotions and Challenges During Game Creation: Evidence from the Global Game Jam

Due to the social nature of the event, and the constraints on time and theme, the Global Game Jam is likely to lead to an emotionally intense game creation process. Through a self-report questionnaire, I examined the emotional experiences of GGJ attendees from five different jam sites in three European countries.

Cite as: Savvani, S. (2020, September). Emotions and Challenges During Game Creation: Evidence from the Global Game Jam. In Proceedings of the European Conference on Games Based Learning.

Conference Paper

Formalising Casual Tabletop Games for Language Teaching

Can authentic games be used to align with the most structured language curricula? This paper discusses how some popular party games can be employed to practice grammar and vocabulary skills.

Cite as: Savvani, S. (2020, September). Formalising Casual Tabletop Games for Language Teaching. In Proceedings of the Foundations of Digital Games Conference. ACM.


Teaching Languages with Games: A Practice-based Workshop

I co-organised this workshop focusing on the practical application of games in language teaching contexts. Practical teaching models using games were demonstrated, such as TBLT, multiliteracies, game design theory and GMing a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Conference Presentation

The impact of game-based teaching on language teachers' emotions

I presented preliminary findings of the longitudinal study that forms my PhD thesis during the TEFL Day & Symposium "Mental health in foreign language education" on November 27th 2021. My talk covered how teachers feel before and after applying games in their classroom, focusing on the Greek private sector of English language teaching context.