A Game-based application on english vocabulary acquisition: a case study in the EFL context

Akkuzu, Mustafa
The advances in technologies offer an effective platform for educational activities. For example, games are used in educational contexts as motivating learning tools in many countries. Language learning is one of the educational fields that have been affected by technological improvements. Mobile games can be effective learning tools while learning English as a foreign language. Within the scope of this pretest/posttest quasi-experimental case study, a game-based application was developed to measure students’ vocabulary acquisition in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context at a Turkish state school in a rural area and evaluated by students and teachers. The study also adopted a mixed method research design with a quantitative and a qualitative aspect. In the design and development of the test part of the game, cross-situational theory was adopted as the theoretical framework. The multiple trial aspect of the theory was emphasized in the game design. The game was developed with Android Development Tools (ADT) and coded using the JAVA programming language. The game-based application was administered to students between second and eight grades (the primary and secondary levels) at a Turkish state school during an English class. Prior to the study, a pre-test was administered to the participants to check whether they know the words to be used in the game. Then the participants played the game on the mobile devices with Android Operating System in different screen sizes in the classroom environment. Following the game-based application, a post-test was administered to the students and they were asked to fill in a survey to evaluate it. Finally, semi-structured interviews were held with the English teachers to gain insights into their opinions of the application. For the quantitative data analysis in the study, SPSS 22 was used. The paired-sample t- test was used to check whether the pre-test and post-test results were statistically significant or not. One-Way ANOVA method was used to analyze the failed count results. Moreover, Cronbach’s alpha was used to check the internal consistency of the student responses to the items on the survey. On the other hand, the content analysis was used in the qualitative data analysis. At the end of the study, the results showed that Turkish students between second and eight grades at the state school reported having fun and feeling motivated while learning new English vocabulary by means of game based applications. It was also concluded that the multiple trial aspect of cross-situational learning is an effective strategy to learn vocabulary via a game-based mobile application in English as a foreign language in primary (i.e., from Grade 2 to Grade 5) and secondary schools (i.e., from Grade 5 to Grade 8). Moreover, the results of the study indicated that playing the game for learning English vocabulary had a positive impact on students in terms of their interest and motivation. Hence, the findings of the study demonstrated that the game-based application developed in this study was effective in terms of vocabulary acquisition in English and motivating for primary and secondary school students.


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Citation Formats
M. Akkuzu, “A Game-based application on english vocabulary acquisition: a case study in the EFL context,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.