Shouting in the Kenyan Space: Can Spaceteam ESL Improve L2 Learners’ Oral Reading Fluency?
Keywords:spaceteam ESL, digital game, oral reading fluency, speed reading
This study examined the effects of Spaceteam ESL, a digital shouting game, on the development of oral reading fluency (ORF) among 71 English as a second language (ESL) students in three primary and secondary schools in Mombasa, Kenya. Following a mixed-methods approach for data collection and analysis, we pre-tested and post-tested the participants on their ability to read aloud efficiently (speed) and accurately (accuracy) in three tasks: (1) phrases extracted from the game; (2) phrases not related to the game; and (3) a short anecdote. Paired-samples t-tests results revealed that, as hypothesized, participants who played Spaceteam ESL improved their ORF on measures of speed on all tasks, possibly because of the fast-paced nature of the game. However, no significant differences were observed in terms of accuracy due to a ceiling effect: the participants had already mastered the intricacies of the letter-to-sound rules of English orthography. Overall, these findings corroborate our hypothesis that some of the affordances of Spaceteam ESL (e.g., focus on speed reading, multiple and varied opportunities for practice) could contribute to the development of some aspects of oral reading fluency.
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