The impact of a digital game on EFL students’ willingness to communicate in English
Keywords:WTC; WTC in L2; digital games; Minecraft; EFL learners
The English language has expanded communication worldwide, which created a demand for authentic communication among English learners. Correspondingly, language classes have been recognized as the key factor in assisting English learners to meet expectations and increase their motivation to engage in life-like communication in English. Thus, the concept of learners’ willingness to communicate (WTC) has gained prominence in the language learning process regarding attitudes to using English in interactions. A higher level of WTC in a second language (L2) may result in more authentic communication. Therefore, to enrich language classes, it may be essential to integrate technology into English classes to stimulate atmospheres conducive to creative and interactive communication. As digital tools, games offer learners a collaborative atmosphere by providing them a safe and exciting environment to practice English. Originally part of the researcher’s Ph.D. dissertation, the present study aimed to investigate the impact of a digital game, Minecraft, on Turkish EFL learners’ WTC levels in the second language. The quasi-experimental research involved 10 weeks of Minecraft playing sessions, set up as both in- and out-class activities incorporated into the experimental group's instruction plan, while the control group followed the regular plan. The results of the study indicated that, after Minecraft was integrated into English classes, there was a significant increase in participants’ WTC in L2. Furthermore, the study emphasizes the particular advantages of using Minecraft in English classes, supplying learners with a fertile ground for communication.