Sustaining Vocabulary Acquisition through Computer Game: A Case Study

Nadzrah Abu Bakar, Elaheh Nosratirad


Learning vocabulary is not easy and it may be very frustrating to some learners. Many approaches have been taken to attract learners to learn new vocabulary. The aim of this case study is to explore how a computer game can be adapted as a learning tool to sustain adult vocabulary learning independently. This study used the existing SIM 3 game as a selected platform to investigate the vocabulary learning among ESL adult learners in an independent learning environment. Three adult ESL learners from different backgrounds participated in this study. Learners were examined on how they learned vocabulary and the learning experiences that helped them to gain new knowledge of English vocabulary while playing the game. A combination of mixed-data methods, including playing session observations, semi-structured interviews, a self-report checklist, pre- and post-tests and vocabulary lists, were used to collect extensive data. The findings show that computer games can be beneficial in sustaining language learning, especially in providing space to learn independently. With enough practice and consistent playing, along with the right objective of using it, a computer game can be utilized as a tool for independent learning to learn new vocabulary.

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