Lowering Anxiety Among Low Proficiency ESL Learners using the Mafia Game
Wan Muhammad Saefullah Wan Norhaidi1, Raihana Romly2, Ahmad Niza Syazre Abdullah3

1Wan Muhammad Saefullah Wan Norhaidi, University Malaysia.

2Terengganu Raihana Romly, University Malaysia.

3Terengganu Ahmad Niza Syazre Abdullah, University Malaysia. 

Manuscript received on 10 May 2019 | Revised Manuscript received on 17 May 2019 | Manuscript Published on 02 June 2019 | PP: 67-73 | Volume-8 Issue-7S2 May 2019 | Retrieval Number: G10110587S219/19©BEIESP

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Abstract: Low proficiency ESL learners often experience anxiety and feel uncomfortable in language classes because of their limited linguistic knowledge. Therefore, teachers can incorporate language games in the classroom to lower the learners’ anxiety in ESL classroom in order to maximise the positive result on the learners’ language learning, acquisition and motivation. This study focuses on the use of the ‘Mafia Game’ in ESL classroom to help the learners to be less anxious in ESL classroom since respondents involved in this study are low proficiency ESL learners. The “Mafia Game” was played as a speaking activity which required players to interrogate and make a decision in a team. The instruments used in this study included a set of questionnaire, students’ self-report and a set of semi-structured interview administered to 137 undergraduate students and 12 facilitators. The findings revealed that learners tended to have lower anxiety in learning English using the game. Besides, findings showed that the game is a useful tool to engage learners’ participation and to improve the speaking ability of low proficiency ESL learners. It can be recommended that using games in ESL classroom is beneficial to low proficiency ESL learners from several aspects, however teachers ought to consider thoughtfully when selecting suitable games and also instructions that must be given to students during the implementation of the game since students with different English ability performed differently.

Keywords: Language Games, Anxiety, Low Proficiency Students, ESL Learners.
Scope of the Article: Agent Architectures, Ontologies, Languages and Protocols