The Influence of Video Games on ESL Students’ Writing Skills

Video Games - Xbox Controller
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Every year international students interested to continue their education at USA universities apply for the English as a second language (ESL) programs. To be accepted, most ESL programs require international students to have certain knowledge and proficiency in English, both speaking and writing. English is already considered to be among the most frequently used languages for international business and education. It doesn’t come as a surprise that young people are learning this language to improve their skills, experience, knowledge, and chances for better opportunities in life and career, but also to stay relevant and in sync with their generation.

The ESL educators are trying to use this positive attitude and interest, exploit all available media, and enhance exposure to the sources that could be beneficial for the improvement of the English language writing and speaking skills. Video games are, without a doubt, one of those valuable sources.

The Impact of Video Games

According to the statistics published in the Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA’s) annual report for the year 2020 more than 214 million people in the USA play video games one hour per week minimum. Furthermore, 75% of households have at least one member who actively plays. In total, 64% of all adults and 70% of all young people under the age of 18 in the USA play video games on regular basis.

Speaking of younger generations, 68% of men ages 18-34 prefer to play video games with friends, and 70% claim that games help them to stay in touch with friends and family. Statistics for women of the same age group show that 46% likes to play with friends and 55% use gaming as a form of socialization.

Since there are so many different kinds of video games and with new ones resurfacing daily, undoubtedly games are a playground open for all age groups and genders. With progress made in learning with educational gaming and more scientific proves that video games can be beneficial for school children and students, it’s safe to say that this is only the beginning.

The Benefits of Using Video Games to Improve Writing Skills

Since students and young people, in general, are already present and engaged in the world of games it’s only natural that they respond better to digital ways of teaching. New generations are used to turning to online services for support and assistance. Therefore, technology-based teaching programs affect them more positively than traditional ones.

This is notable, especially with the writing, vocabulary, and language skills development. For students, whether they are native speakers or in the ESL program, the writing process can be very difficult and stressful. ESL students often need help with assignment writing so they use this essay service to get fast and professional assistance and support for writing. For them, it’s a chance to learn more about language syntax, new words, and expressions, and to gain insight into the natural usage of different narrative styles.

According to a study conducted on students who were in the English as a second language program, video games should be used for improving ESL students writing skills.

Vocabulary Acquisition

Almost 74% of participants involved in the study agreed that playing video games helped them to improve their English vocabulary. As a form of confirmation, 87% or a majority of students applied new words learned from video games, in their writing assignments.

Narrative Skills

More than 76% of the students have positive impressions and think that video games help them improve their writing skills, especially the narrative one. According to 80% of participants, games helped them to become more creative, enhanced their imagination and organizing ideas, and improved their writing style.

Students’ Perception

Students believe that video games can be very effective, enrich the learning process and encourage the use of new words. However, they also added that to provide better interaction and to prevent possible distancing from the learning process, games have to be carefully chosen to fit students’ level of comprehending.


Studies conducted in the USA and abroad showed the direct connection between playing video games and improving English writing skills. Since games are mostly interactive, the students can be influenced most positively, and feel inspired to improve their English language skills. The biggest advantage, over the other methods of learning, is that visual clues can help connect words with meaning. Also, this is an opportunity and encouragement for students to learn new expressions, to fully understand the game.

Author Bio
Emma Rundle is an experienced blogger and professional content writer. She specializes in writing about technology, educational gaming, various educational software, and mass communication apps. The source of her daily inspiration and energy is doing what she likes which makes her persistent in encouraging others to do the same. Emma is a passionate nature lover and hiker.