The ease of use and perceived usefulness of a selected computer game in expanding vocabulary in English among students at a university of technology
Lingwati, Matshafeni Lucas
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The need to utilize English in daily International communications within broad settings, such as business and academia, is accelerated by Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and internationalisation. Internationalisation introduces the increased need (through ICT) to communicate through a common language (global language) and English has evolved into such a ‘global language’. There is evidence in the literature indicating that teachers assume that students have the educated ‘guessing skill’ in the ability to read and write efficiently in English. Literature further proves that limited ESL proficiency is still a major drawback for the efficient and effective use of English as a medium of instruction both in academe and in other industries. Therefore, the current study postulates that interventions such as perceived educational themed computer game playing could facilitate English vocabulary improvement; an approach believed to be more appealing to the students of this ICT-dominated world than traditional rote learning. As a result, students of the Internet age more receptive towards vocabulary conveyed through ICT tools, as opposed to traditional printed texts. The focus of this study was on the utilization of an ICT tool in the form of a computer game in supplementing teaching and learning of English vocabularies. This quasi-experimental mixed methods’ research used seven research instruments that incorporated both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. This research attempted to investigate the effectiveness of a selected computer game on English vocabulary improvement using engineering students (participants) that served as either the control or experimental groups. Data analysis tests, such as Wilcoxon Signed Ranks, Chi-Square and Paired Samples T-Test assisted in analysing the data collected for this study. The significant findings of this study indicate that the study’s selected computer game was easy to use and useful, because there were improvements in English vocabulary amongst participants resulting from the game. Further lessons learned from this study confirm that ICT relevant tools (such as this study’s computer game), do complement teaching and learning. These findings also align with the study’s theoretical framework by indicating that perceived ease of use and usefulness of the study’s selected computer game have an influence towards English vocabulary improvement.