Exploring the influence of online computer games in learning Kiswahili at ordinary level in Mbarara district
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This study aimed at exploring the influence of online computer games in learning Kiswahili at Ordinary Level in Mbarara district. The objectives of the study were to establish how online computer games influence students‟ grammatical accuracy, communicative competence, and their motivation and classroom participation in learning Kiswahili. The study also sought to find out the challenges affecting the use of online computer games as a resource to support the learning of the Kiswahili language. The study was guided by the digital game-based learning theory. Students were exposed to learning the Kiswahili language by playing online computer games which emphasized various Kiswahili grammatical aspects, while enabling the students to own the learning process, as well as provoking critical thinking in the students. The study used a qualitative research design and was conducted in Ntare School in Mbarara district. The sample included15 (fifteen) Senior Three students who offer Kiswahili language at Ordinary Level. Four methods of data collection were used and these included in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, classroom observations, and playing online computer games in the laboratory. The findings revealed that online computer games influenced students‟ grammatical accuracy, communication competence, classroom participation, and motivation. This was evidenced through the students‟ improved post-test scores after playing the online computer games, compared to their pre-test scores before they played the online computer games. However, the findings revealed that attitude and user-related challenges, and maintaining computers and the stability of the internet affected the use of online computer games in learning Kiswahili. It was recommended that online computer games should be formalized and used as a pedagogical resource by the students in learning the Kiswahili language at Ordinary Level.