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Learning Vocabulary through Games

by Thanh Huyen Thi Nguyen, Nga Thi Thu Khuat
Asian EFL Journal ()

Abstract

Vietnamese students usually feel bored in vocabulary lessons because they have not changed their learning habits, such as writing words on paper, trying to learn by heart or learning passively through the teacher's explanations. To help students find language classes, especially vocabulary lessons more interesting, and to achieve more from games, we conducted action research to find the answer to the question, "Do games help students learn vocabulary effectively, and if so, how?" Most academic reviews start from an assumption that games, bundled with other aspects of learning, e.g., CALL, are beneficial. However we singled out the component of games to study that in isolation. After reviewing academic opinions on this specifically focussed matter, of which there are relatively few, we began action research which included applying games in our own classes, observing other teachers' classes, and interviewing both teachers and learners so as to elicit students' reactions, feelings and the effectiveness of games in vocabulary learning. The research shows they are effective in helping students to improve their vocabulary building skills.

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