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Gamification Elements in English Lessons to Encourage Young Learners’ Communication in a Foreign Language

Evija Latkovska1, Amanda Cine2
1 University of Latvia, Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art
2 Basic school ‘Rīdze’

Abstract. Communication is a part of people’s lives. Speaking with each other is one of the most general ways of communication. If in one’s native language speaking skills are acquired naturally in the due course of a person’s development, in a foreign language speaking has to be learnt in a more purposeful manner. Furthermore, it has to be noted that not always speaking means communication as the latter entails its specific strategies. Therefore, people, who find communication problematic in their native language, may look upon communication in a foreign language as a challenge. It is because besides personality traits and communication strategies, people have to know vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar of a foreign language. The authors of the present study being involved in teaching English as a foreign language and its methodology are of the opinion that when young learners start learning a foreign language, teachers are the ones who help pupils get ready for speaking and communication, doing it in a way that is appealing and motivating for pupils. Taking into account characteristics of primary school pupils and recent trends in education, the aim of the study is to explore how pupils of Grade 3 can be encouraged to speak in English if gamification elements are incorporated in speaking activities. Research method was a case study (a research sample – 16 pupils 9 to 10 years old); data was collected using teacher observation of the lesson routine. The main findings show that gamification elements incorporated in speaking activities encouraged the pupils to speak up in English boosting their self-confidence. A scoreboard, points, badges and reward as gamification elements used in the particular study helped the teacher attract the pupils’ attention and they used the chance given by the teacher to communicate in English.

Keywords: Communication, speaking, teaching and learning English as a foreign language, gamification elements, young learners

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2022. Proceedings of Scientific Papers = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2022. Rakstu krājums
Riga, University of Latvia, 2022. 1135 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-911-1