The Effect of Using Gaming Techniques on Students' Oral Language Abilities in EFL Online Classes: An Action Research

Document Type : Original Article


1 B.A. Student in TEFL, Farhangian University, Zanjan, Iran.

2 Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics, Farhangian University, Zanjan, Iran.


 Speaking and listening are essential language skills used as a measure for evaluating the students’ proficiency level. These skills receive more importance in the Iranian new educational curriculum by the publication of new English book series. However, as noticed in some of the classes, the purpose of mastering oral language abilities is not efficiently fulfilled. Accordingly, the present collaborative action research aimed to firstly identify the reasons underlying students’ inability to perform oral skills in order to do the online activities in classes and secondly provide some suggestions to solve the existing problem. The study was conducted in a junior high school in Marand, Iran. The participants included 36 female 9th-grade students, who met on the Shad application and were selected based on convenience sampling. Class observations, interviews, and students’ performance in language tasks were used to collect the required data. Gaming was implemented as the selected solution in a separate class planned for focused speaking and listening activities. More specifically, sentence-expanding games on different levels (adding words to a simple sentence to expand it and also adding sentences to the initiating sentence and making a short story) were used as the main methods in these sessions. The findings from the descriptive statistics indicated an improvement in students’
motivation and engagement in speaking activities, as well as their accuracy in making sentences. They also showed positive attitudes toward the use of these game-based tasks in EFL classes. The study provides practical implications for materials developers and language teachers.