Main Article Content
Accessing quality resources for English learning is an urgent pedagogical issue due to the lack of English teachers in Thailand. To compromise, it has become necessary to apply technology in English classes in the 21st century, through which students can access high-quality materials provided globally. Teachers need to tackle new challenges where the trends of technology and gamification in English language learning seem more appealing. This study explores how gamification contributes to student performance and perceptions through the Winner English program. The program was designed primarily to be self-paced but has been adapted to be used as a part of compulsory classes at school. The experiment group comprised Grade 9 students from eight Thai secondary schools, while the controlled group from the other eight schools studied English classes traditionally. The posttest results indicate a vast improvement to English performance by the experiment group once the program was integrated into English classes. Individual feedback underlined how the program was supported through gamification, such as the reward system and leaderboards, and offered an excellent opportunity to practice English accurately. Gamification shows promising attributes for English learners whose learning behaviors have become ubiquitous, fun-loving, and autonomous. Understanding the benefits of gamification could spark cautious optimism in English education in Thailand.
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