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Computer Games Boost English Skills

Update Date: Aug 29, 2014 01:10 PM EDT

Computer gaming could improve your language skills, according to a study on English.

Researchers found that people who are good at computer games know more English words.

Swedish researchers from the University of Gothenburg and Karlstad University said the latest findings confirm previous observations that young people who spend a lot of time playing interactive English computer games have greater vocabularies than those who spend less time playing computer games.

The latest study involved 76 young people between the ages of 10 and 11.

Researchers found significant differences between genders when it comes to gaming. The study showed that boys spend an average of 11.5 hours a week playing computer games and girls spent only 5.1 hours. However, girls spent significantly more time on language-related activities online, with girls spending about 11.5 hours on social media sites like Facebook and boys spending 8 hours.

The study also revealed that computer games known as Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), a genre of role-playing computer games in which players interact with one another in a virtual world, were most effective for the development of English vocabulary.

"As a player you simply have to be able to understand what's being said, to read English and to interact yourself by both writing and speaking English," Liss Kerstin Sylvén, Associate Professor at the University of Gothenburg, who conducted the study together with Pia Sundqvist, Senior Lecturer in English at Karlstad University, said in a news release.

"The importance of coming into contact with English outside school, for example by reading English or, as in this case, by playing computer games, means a lot in terms of young people's English vocabulary. It also has positive effects on what happens at school in the classroom. The subject of English at school and the English that the young people encounter and use in their leisure time are not two separate worlds," Sylvén added.

The findings are published in the journal ReCall.

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