Mobile Assisted Language Learning in “English Clubs” In Tunisia: Gamification as a tool

  • This study looked at the use of “gamification” in extracurricular educational opportunities to learn the English language in Tunisia. Its aim was to investigate the extent to which learners’ (from primary school level) English language skills are evolving during MALL sessions (“gamification” sessions) in English clubs.

    “Android Application Evaluation” and “Club-room Observation” were used as data collection tools. Moreover, ten groups of four learners; from primary school, were followed over ten MALL (gamification) sessions. In this study, three Android educational games (AEG) were used: “Poptropica English (VOC) word games”, “Educational games for kids” (two English Language Learning games) and “Kids Math” (an educational game which is designed to teach the basics of mathematics).

    The observed groups were divided as follows: six groups of beginner EFL learners (from the fifth grade) with teacher intervention, two groups of EFL learners (from the fifth grade) with no intervention. These eight groups used “Poptropica English (VOC) word games” and “Educational games for kids”. The last two groups were with non-linguistic intervention. They utilized “Kids Math”.

    The results show that learners’ are motivated to learn the English language outside classrooms. Moreover, their vocabulary and grammar levels evolve whether language is the focus of the teaching/learning process or not (i.e. In the two groups with non-linguistic intervention, the researcher used “Kids Math”. It is designed in English).

    In the light of these results, the researcher makes several pedagogical recommendations. Teachers’ knowledge about MALL should be updated. Moreover, instructors’ intervention is indispensable due to the learners’ age and needs (for many students, instructions are not understandable). In addition, an application (i.e. An Android educational game) cannot, by itself, be sufficient. Thus, teachers should also vary the teaching materials according to the context of the MALL session.

    List of acronyms:

    MALL Mobile Assisted Language learning
    ELLApps English  Language Learning Applications
    AEG Android Educational game
    MPO Moderate Participant Observation
    LCA Learner-centered Approach

 

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