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About a boy: A gamer and L2 English speaker coming into being by use of self-access
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
2015 (English)In: Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, ISSN 2185-3762, Vol. 6, no 4, 352-364 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This is an interview study of Eldin, a 14-year-old Bosnian boy living in Sweden since the age of six. The aim is to investigate how Eldin became a gamer and how he, strongly motivated, learned foreign/second (L2) English mainly through self-access gameplay. Using language learning motivation theories, Dörnyei’s (2005, 2009) L2 Motivational Self System and Dweck’s (2006) concept of mindsets, the questions are: (i) By whom and at what age was the learner introduced to video games?, (ii) What was it about the games that kept the learner motivated for two years before he started to play ‘for real’?, and (iii) How does the learner himself describe his process of language learning? Data consist of an in-depth interview and three university-level vocabulary/multiple-choice tests measuring English proficiency. Guided by the questions, interview data were analyzed qualitatively. Eldin’s mindset seems to favor naturalistic language learning, matching his interest in gaming. Experiences of having fun and daring to use ‘trial-and-error’ in gaming have contributed to his English proficiency, which is equivalent to a passing grade at second-semester university level. Elements of gaming (in particular, competition, stories, and escapism) appeal to Eldin, thereby indirectly contributing to his successful learning of English.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 6, no 4, 352-364 p.
Keyword [en]
self-access, English, ESL, EFL, video games, gaming, motivation, L2 Ideal Self, young learners, vocabulary acquisition
National Category
Specific Languages Didactics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-38952ISI: 000376190400003OAI: diva2:890462
Available from: 2016-01-04 Created: 2016-01-04 Last updated: 2016-06-09Bibliographically approved

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