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Beyond the Classroom: Upper-secondary students' experiences of learning and using English in the gaming world
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The technological advancement of the 21st century plays an important role in informal language learning. Today, the gaming industry has progressed into a multi-billion-industry, surpassing the film industry. It is estimated that there are hundreds of millions of gamers. In the gaming sphere, English is the most common language among gamers that allows them to understand games, interact with each other and participate in L2-gaming communities.

This study explores upper-secondary students' experiences of learning and using English through video games, focusing on whether they perceive gaming as a significant contributory factor for developing English skills.

The participants in this study were seven upper-secondary students between the ages of 17 and 18. Data were collected by interviewing each participant individually in a structured way, with 23 interview questions. The interviewees had substantial gaming experiences that were sometimes similar and sometimes uniquely their own.

The findings reveal that playing video games were more than fun and entertaining – it created a platform for informal second language acquisition. For the participants, English was initially a foreign language, but it eventually became a second language that they use every day. Through gaming,the students were able to develop and utilise their English skills spontaneously in naturalistic contexts. The out-of-class practice of English appeared to contribute to their language acquisition particularly vocabulary knowledge and oral communicative competence. Playing games in English also seemed to help the participants with their academic achievement. These findings suggest that gaming that involves interaction with other players can be a way to experience English outside the walls of classrooms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 41
Keywords [en]
Informal language learning, motivation, video games, upper-secondary students
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-13926Local ID: EXE601OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-13926DiVA, id: diva2:1321798
Subject / course
English
Educational program
Teacher Traning Programme
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-11 Created: 2019-06-10 Last updated: 2019-06-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf