Readers, Players, and Watchers: EFL Students’ Vocabulary Acquisition through Digital Video Games

  •  Mohsen Ebrahimzadeh    


The present study investigated vocabulary acquisition through a commercial digital video game compared to a traditional pencil-and-paper treatment. Chosen through cluster sampling, 241 male high school students (age 12–18) participated in the study. They were randomly assigned to one of the following groups. The first group, called Readers, involved those who learned vocabulary through intensive reading; the second group, Players, learned vocabulary through playing a digital video game; the third group, Watchers, were trained through watching two classmates play the digital video game. The vocabulary items were first pretested. Next, each group underwent training for five weeks (one session a week). Then, the vocabulary items were posttested. Also, field notes were made. To compare the three groups, a mixed between within subjects ANOVA was run. Results indicated that the Players and Watchers outperformed the Readers. It is concluded that digital video games can be beneficial complementary activities for vocabulary acquisition in high school classrooms.

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