Adapting Board Games to Stimulate Motivation in Vocabulary Learning in Six Year Old Learners - A Case Study

Fotini Gerovasiliou, Makrina Zafiri

Abstract


The particular study focuses on the use of board games and argues that they are a useful and practical tool in order to stimulate six year old students’ motivation in learning topic vocabulary in a foreign language classroom. It explains how a number of ready-made board games can be adapted, according to the educational aims, the students’ age and language level in order to maximize positive results in foreign language learning. Through playing board games, young students not only become much more active, but they also anticipate coming to the learning classroom more eagerly since they involve the elements of joy, interaction, cooperation and competition. Moreover, games place the teacher in a background role, acting more as a facilitator; therefore they allow students to take on more responsibility for their learning.

To this end, an experimental study design, employing both qualitative and quantitative data research tools, was adopted. The participants, who were eight students of six year old age, were divided into two groups. In the experimental group, only board games were applied in order to give students the opportunity to practise the disseminated topic vocabulary while the control group practised their vocabulary through the activities proposed by the coursebook and the worksheets which were constructed by the researchers. A pre-test and post-tests were administered to students before and after the action research and semi-structured interviews with the students of the experimental group were conducted in order to probe into the students’ views concerning the proposed tool and method of instruction. The analysis of the tests indicated a difference in favor of the experimental group. Finally, the findings of the students’ responses revealed the beneficial effects of using board games to stimulate vocabulary learning to students of the specific age group and language level. 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jse.v7i3.11323

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