Applied English linguistics
Play for first-year students in EFL classrooms in higher education?
Is “play” only a notion reserved for children? The significance of play in child development and learning has been sufficiently established in the field of early childhood (Altun, 2018). Research on play in adulthood has, however, been scarce and the paucity of literature in relation to the role of play in formal higher education is worth noting (Pivec, 2007). Play is often, if not only, explored when it is taken narrowly as games (as in computer/ video games, and massively multiplayer online role-playing games). An action research study was undertaken in a Hong Kong university in Fall 2018, with an aim to investigate whether play, in its broader sense and as defined by the students, could help improve their English language proficiency and learning attitude towards English. A questionnaire survey was administered in pen-and-paper form in late October 2018. The findings show a correlation between play and students’ perceived improved English language proficiency, as well as a correlation between play and an improved learning attitude towards English. These results were presented in Fall 2019 at the Center for Language Education, HKUST in an attempt to call the participants’ attention to link their best teaching practices with play.