Investigating the Impact of Using Games in Teaching Children English

Ying- Jian Wang, Hui-Fang Shang, Paul Briody



The ever increasing numbers of EFL learners adds greater urgency to the need to prioritize the most effective means by which language proficiency can be enhanced; developing language skills through games being one such method. This study examines the overall effects of using games on the improvement of young children’s English proficiency in relation to the following criteria: motivation; vocabulary acquisition; and anxiety due to peer pressure. The overarching aim of the research is to investigate the relationship between the usage of games and students’ English proficiency. In this study, the subjects numbered 50 grade-six EFL students from one elementary school. By applying quantitative and qualitative research methods, the major findings demonstrate that students evidenced significant improvements in their learning motivation and vocabulary acquisition, and that their anxiety levels due to peer pressure were reduced when learning included games. Other findings reveal that there is a significant relationship/difference in the utilization of games and students’ English performance, most notably with regards to proficiency levels. The various implications for pedagogical application of gaming components in regards to enhancing young learners’ English performance and attitudes are also presented.


Keywords: Motivation; vocabulary acquisition; anxiety; games; English proficiency

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Copyright (c) 2011 Ying- Jian Wang, Hui-Fang Shang, Paul Briody

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