TEACHING EFL VOCABULARY TO YOUNG DIGITAL NATIVES: A STUDY WITH TURKISH 5TH GRADE EFL LEARNERS
Inspired by the recent studies on the topics of teaching vocabulary to young learners through digital games (Aghlara & Tamjid, 2011; Cellat, 2008; Chou, 2014; Jang, 2014; Yip & Kwan, 2006), the current study aimed to examine the effect of online vocabulary games on teaching new words to young learners in EFL. For this aim, 46 Turkish 5th grade EFL students in a state school were assigned into control and experimental groups. Both groups studied 22 words in 6 instructional sessions conducted in 6 subsequent weeks in the second semester of 2016-2017 academic year. Throughout this period, the data was collected via recognition- production tests and semi-structured interviews. The results of the recognition and production tests showed that experimental group outperformed the control group in terms of vocabulary gains. The results of the semi-structured interviews also supported the quantitative results indicating that online vocabulary games increased motivation of the students. Additionally, it was observed that young learners were amused by digital games and were willing to learn more via them.
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