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The Use of multiplayer online computer games in developing EFL skills

Altınbaş, Mehmet Emre
The aim of the present study was to investigate the outcomes of using multiplayer online computer games for the development of EFL skills. For this purpose, the study employed a sequential mixed-methods design in which quantitative and qualitative data was collected by 13 multiplayer online gamer EFL learners studying at a private university in Konya, Turkey. The quantitative data was collected through the analysis of the English proficiency levels of the participants before and after a gaming period in which the participants played multiplayer online computer games to improve their EFL skills via two sample Cambridge Preliminary English Tests. The qualitative data was collected by conducting a semi-structured interview with participants to learn about their opinions towards playing multiplayer online computer games to improve EFL skills. The quantitative findings revealed that the gaming period resulted in a significant overall development of target language skills and a significant development of target language listening and speaking skills. On the other hand, the quantitative findings did not indicate a significant increase in the reading and writings cores of the participants. The qualitative findings uncovered the benefits and challenges of the gaming period in terms of the overall gaming experiences of the participants, teacher guidance during the gaming period, using an upper-limit of playing hours during the gaming period, development of target language skills and additional comments. Based on the findings, the study provides theoretical implications for researchers and practical implications for EFL teachers.