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Language-related computer use: Focus on young L2 English learners in Sweden
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Center for Language and Literature in Education. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies. (Centrum för språk- och litteraturdidaktik (CSL))ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0511-4624
Göteborgs universitet.
2014 (English)In: ReCALL, ISSN 0958-3440, E-ISSN 1474-0109, Vol. 26, no 1, 3-20 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents findings from a study investigating young English language learners (YELLs) in Sweden in 4th grade (N=76, aged 10–11). Data were collected with the help of a questionnaire and a one-week language diary. The main purpose was to examine the learners’ L2 English language-related activities outside of school in general, and their use of computers and engagement in playing digital games in particular. A comparison is made between language-related activities in English, Swedish, and other languages. Another purpose was to see whether there is a relationship between playing digital games and (a) gender, (b) L1, (c) motivation for learning English, (d) self-assessed English ability, and (e) self-reported strategies for speaking English. In order to do so, the sample was divided into three digitalgame groups, (1) non-gamers, (2) moderate, and (3) frequent gamers (>4 hours/week), based on diary data (using self-reported times for playing digital games in English). Results showedthat YELLs are extensively involved in extramural English (EE) activities (M=7.2 hrs/w).There are statistically significant gender differences, boys (11.5 hrs/w) and girls (5.1 hrs/w; p < .01), the reason being boys’ greater time investment in digital gaming and watching films.The girls, on the other hand, spent significantly more time on pastime language-relatedactivities in Swedish (11.5 hrs/w) than the boys (8.0 hrs/w; p < .05), the reason being girls’greater time investment in facebooking. Investigation of the digital game groups revealed that group (1) was predominantly female, (2) a mix, and (3) predominantly male. YELLs with an L1 other than Swedish were overrepresented in group (3). Motivation and self-assessed English ability were high across all groups. Finally, regarding the self-reported strategies, code-switching to one’s L1 was more commonly reported by non- and moderate gamers than frequent gamers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2014. Vol. 26, no 1, 3-20 p.
Keyword [en]
EYL, CALL, Computer-assisted language learning, computer games, English language learning, self-report, ESL students, schoolchildren, EFL
Keyword [sv]
andraspråksinlärning, dataspel, lärande, självbedöming, engelska, yngre barn
National Category
Specific Languages Didactics Learning Media Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-30900DOI: 10.1017/S0958344013000232ISI: 000332956600002OAI: diva2:688207
Available from: 2014-01-16 Created: 2014-01-16 Last updated: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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Sundqvist, Pia
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