Learning vocabulary in English as a foreign language through the computer game Rebuild 2 : An experiment with adult learners at a university in Sweden

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för språk (SPR)

Abstract: Playing computer games in English affects one’s vocabulary size, and thus this project’s aim was to examine how the strategy and turn-based computer game Rebuild 2 can affect adult learners’ vocabulary acquisition according to their perceptions. This project also examined what effects note-taking has on vocabulary learning while playing the game. Two studies were conducted with university students with B1 to C2 level of English where one group took notes and the other group did not. The participants did a vocabulary test of 20 words from the game before playing and after playing the game. Then a retention-test was done one week later. They were tasked to explain and to use the words in sentences. The results indicated that the game helped the participants learn new words. On the other hand, it also caused confusion and words that were once explained correctly were incorrectly explained. Moreover, this project showed that there is a difference in vocabulary acquisition between taking notes and taking no notes. However, the questionnaires revealed that the difference is caused by how the participants perceive the game. Namely that the participants with a positive view on the game learnt more words than the participants with a negative view on the game.

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