HOW EFFECTIVE ARE ESL GAMES COMPARED TO TRADITIONAL LEARNING
The aim of this research was to discover the effectiveness of educational games in acquiring vocabulary and conversation skills while learning English as a second language (ESL) in Thai context. The study sought to examine how games and activities aided ESL learners in retaining vocabulary and engaging in role play activities. Educational games enable learners to acquire vocabulary and the relevant context subconsciously while they are engaged in seemingly non-academic activities. The result of using games and activities in the classroom is the creation of a playful atmosphere which makes the teaching-learning process more engaging and thus also makes the learning experience more enjoyable for both the learner and the teacher. The data was collected from six ESL classes totaling 160 learners from the SSRUIC Airline Business major. Evaluation checklist and survey questionnaires were selected as the research tools. The analysis of the data collected revealed that games could indeed accustom learners with new words and phrases and thus aid in deep-seated retention of vocabulary in a better, faster and more engaging way in comparison to memorization or standard textbook study. Games also help develop learners’ communicative abilities. Most of the learners interviewed recognized that the game-based methods have their advantages and benefits in terms of improving vocabulary and conversation skills. However, to overcome certain limitations, the researcher suggests further study in this direction.
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International College Suan Sunandha
Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand