Vocabulary Games As A Tool for Teaching objective

For many scholars analyzing English as a foreign linguistic communication, vocabulary acquisition is considered as drilling, as they have to memorise unfamiliar words and spelling ( Nguyen & A ; Khuat, 2003 ) and are typically asked to finish tonss of exercisings. Learners find it difficult to prosecute in such rote acquisition of vocabulary activities. In order to relieve the job, computer-assisted linguistic communication acquisition ( CALL ) system frequently use multimedia to prosecute scholars more in the acquisition procedure. Game playing is another popular manner to prosecute scholars in linguistic communication acquisition ( Schult & A ; Fisher,1988 ) . Prensky ( 2001, p.106 ) listed 12 elements as to why games engage people. To call a few games motivate participants ( to accomplish ends ) , satisfy the self-importance ( when winning ) , are merriment ( through enjoyment and pleasance ) and trip the participants ‘ creativeness ( work out the game )

The usage of synergistic games has impacted on the manner of acquisition ( Foreman et all, 2004 ) Krasilovsky ( 1996, p.20 ) claimed that immature scholars tend to ‘favour “ edutainment ” application-academic-orientation games ‘ . Wood ( 2001 ) look into the usage of larning games as a learning tool and concluded that game-like format could be more effectual at capturing scholars ‘ attending that traditional media such as text editions.

This paper reports research conducted in spring of 2003 on the utility of on-line vocabulary games in English vocabulary edifice for some Hong Kong undergraduate technology pupils in footings of larning results.


Are on-line games a favorable acquisition tool compared with activity based larning lessons?

Which group performs better in the post-test, experimental group or the control group?

Does the function of the instructor as research worker and facilitator and instructions given influence the result of the research?


This subdivision reviews the literature on the vocabulary acquisition and appraising standards for educational web site with games.

Channel ( 1988 ) argued for the demand for learning attacks for vocabulary acquisition as a separate acquisition activity since the vocabulary that organizes the mental vocabulary in a talker ‘s head appears to be in an independent entity in processing. Carter pointed to the demand for both a inactive attack ( i.e word semantic ) and dynamic attack ( i.e word use ) in vocabulary instruction and acquisition.

As Taylor ( 1990 ) pointed out, receptive and productive accomplishments are both within the sphere of vocabulary acquisition. However, a scholar may be overloaded if she/he is asked to larn both word significance and signifier at the same time. Thus scholars may get down off with larning word significance by emphasizing receptive accomplishments. After deriving a steadfast appreciation of the word significance, the scholars may so seek other average, such as choral repeat, to assist with apprehension of word signifiers. This will help them in utilizing the learnt words right in new contexts.

Appropriate usage of animal stimulation is believed to be good to larning, non merely for ordinary scholars but besides for scholars with larning troubles ( Schmidt, 2005 ) . Allen ( 1983 ) believed that the more consistent animal stimulation as scholar is exposed to in larning procedure, the higher the opportunity that she/he will larn successfully. Taylor ( 1990 ) added that ‘a combination of stimulation is desirable, with written consolidation for grownups, in order to ease transportation from short-run to long-run memory.

Heidemann ( 1995 ) expressed a similar position in relation to three chief concerns steering the design of the ocular stuffs on larning web pages, viz. learner-oriented rules ( e.g keeping learner motive ) , image characteristics ( e.g showing vocabulary points in semantically related groups ) and image maps ( e.g images are remembered better that words and can therefore act as go-betweens of new cognition ) . The research community by and large agrees that ocular elements like images help scholars retrieve and remember the words they have seen.

Two rating theoretical accounts, viz. CARE ( Yuen & A ; So, 1990 ) and WSE ( Kim et all. , 2001 ) , were adopted in this survey for the rating of educational web sites:

Educational position

Technical position

Five guidelines were described by Wood ( 2001 ) to assist plan effectual vocabulary larning package from an educational position:

Associating the new to the known ;

Promoting active, in-depth processing ;

Supplying multiple exposures to new words ;

Teaching pupils to be strategic readers ;

Promoting extra reading.

With respects to the desirable proficient characteristics of a vocabulary web site, Wood ( 2001 ) suggested the followers:

Animations ;

Sound constituents ;

Hints or hints related to word significance ;

Multimodal presentation of information ;

Online definitions, glossaries or synonym finders

The above characteristics are believed to be besides applicable to the design of educational games.

Cowan ( 1974 ) listed some other appraising standards for measuring vocabulary games.


Peer Interaction

Continuous Motivation

Minimal Equipment

Two vocabulary web sites developed by the English Centre at the University of Hong

Kong and University Word Web were used for this research.


The research methods used in this survey include a quasi-experiment, study questionnaires and interviews.


1.4.1 Consequences of the pre-test and post-test

The consequences suggested that larning with the vocabulary web sites which included games is more effectual than activity based acquisition. The statistical grounds besides clearly indicates that the experimental group outperformed the control group in the post-test. Finally, the findings besides indicated that the instructors who taught in the control group and in the experimental group were all experient instructors. They used the same set of instruction and learning stuffs. Therefore the statistical consequences would non be expected to be peculiarly sensitive to teacher competency and manner.

1.4.2. Consequences of study questionnaire

The consequences showed, over 70 % of the respondents found the games to be gratifying and effectual in assisting their vocabulary edifice. They besides preferred the games in Professional Word web to University Word Web.

Responses to vocabulary sites

The bulk of them stated that the were satisfied with the resources, pilotage and

instructions by the two sites as they were readily available and relevant.

Online vocabulary larning versus face-to-face acquisition lessons

Approximately 68 % pf the respondents preferred the usage of web sites for vocabulary acquisition

compared to face-to-face acquisition lessons.


The consequences show quantitatively and qualitatively that scholars playing the online

vocabulary games tend to larn better and could retrieve the learnt vocabulary longer than those who learnt face-to-face vocabulary. Research showed that vocabulary acquisition can be significantly improved by their usage. Majority pupils preferable on-line games because they want liberty in their acquisition and want to command their ain acquisition from vocabulary web sites with games.

Students besides preferred more motivative games to retain involvement and effectivity of larning. Teachers feel their function is more outstanding with the usage of communicating engineering tools.

Part 2



This is a quasi-experimental survey done for approximately 9 hebdomads. Since participants can non be

indiscriminately assigned and does non supply for full control of possible confounding variables. There are 2 groups, the experimental group and the control group. These 2 groups are so divided into another 3 groups of experimental groups ; Groups A, B and C. Three groups for control group ; Groups D, E and F. A pre-test and post-test is conducted in the first and the 9th hebdomad.

The experimental group used vocabulary words from selected web sites to larn and the other 3 groups were required to larn the same vocabulary through-activity based acquisition.


The topics in this survey were 100 freshers majoring in technology in the Hong Kong

University of Science and Technology in the academic twelvemonth 2002-2003. The topics were indiscriminately placed in 6 groups. Three groups, Classes A, Band C were indiscriminately selected as the experimental group. The other groups D, E and F formed the control group.

Each category had a size of 18 in the control group, whereas the experimental group had 15-16 pupils. 87 % of the topics were male and 13 % were female, as technology is traditionally a male subject.


The topics in this survey were required to take a pre-test and a post-test. The

experimental process used by GROOT in his CAVOCA survey ( Groot,2000 ) was drawn upon and adapted. Five stairss were involved:

1 ) . Pre-test

2 ) . Learning Procedure

3 ) . Post-test

4 ) . Survey questionnaires

5 ) . Interviews



Use proposed checklist to measure the selected web sites that contain vocabulary games

Subjects are chosen at random

Use suited methodological analysis ; a quasi-experiment, study questionnaire and interviews

Pre-test conducted to prove receptive and productive accomplishments

( reply 30-fill-in-the-blank inquiries in 30 proceedingss )

Learning Procedure

( 2 50-minute lessons each hebdomad for 9 hebdomads )


( after the 9th hebdomad )

Survey Questionnaire

( given to the experimental group )


( the experimental group and instructors were interviewed )

Figure 1.1 Research Procedure

Statistical Analysis

Measures of scattering was used to analyze the information collected. The independent

samples t-test was applied to analyze if the differences between the average tonss of the control and experimental groups in the pre-test and post-test were statistically important ( Pa?? 0.05 ) . An equal discrepancies premise was used when using the t-test as the difference in the standard divergences of the sampled distributions ( pre-test and post-test ) was instead little. Equal.

The t-test consequences show that for the pre-test the difference in the average tonss between the groups was non important ( P=0.0616 ) . However, in the post-test the value of P was 0.0136, bespeaking a important difference between the average tonss obtained by the two groups. The consequence sizes of the control and experimental groups were found to be 0.2373 and 1.3976 severally. The average mark in the post-test was at the 91.9 percentile of that of the pre-test ( Cohen, 1988 ) .

The statistical grounds indicates that the experimental group outperformed the control group in the post-test.

Below is a tabular array to demo the consequences of the analysis:

Test Type

Group type


Mean SD






7.89 3.165




8.02 3.054






8.59 2.718




11.78 2.269



Table 1.1. Consequences of an independent samples t-test with equal discrepancies assumed ( full score=15 )