The impact of guided vocabulary practice through board games to enhance A1 sixth graders’ oral production in English
Maldonado Chacón, Pedro Pablo | 2016
The objective of this action research was to check the effectiveness of guided vocabulary practice through board games as a strategy to improve students’ level of oral production in English. This study was conducted with two groups of 12 students each, from two different public schools located in the south of Bogotá, Colombia. 11 boys and 13 girls, ranging in age from 10 to 13, whose English level was A1, according to the Common European Framework of Reference (2001), made up the group of 24 participants. The two groups evidenced common behaviours of apathy and poor participation in activities that involved oral communication in English. The initial analysis revealed the lack of vocabulary as the main reason students felt restrained and insecure when they were required to participate in oral activities. The instruments used to collect the information before, during, and after the pedagogical intervention were vocabulary tests, oral production tests, questionnaires, checklists and teachers’ journals. The data analysis revealed positive results regarding the implementation of teaching and learning vocabulary guided through games. There was evidence that students increased their vocabulary in English as they improved their attitude towards oral activities in the target language. The results of this study provided a pedagogical alternative for the development of oral production skills in second language learners. First, this pedagogical intervention emphasized the need to teach vocabulary in context and provide students with the tools for them to become able to participate actively in oral activities. In this sense, the learning and practice of a high-frequency words list through board games presented positive results. Second, promoting collaborative work and practice of the target language, through board games, raised learners’ self-confidence and security.