Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


The relationship between digital games and second language (L2) learning is generally a controversial issue. Many adults and teenagers in Saudi Arabia (as well as around the world) play these digital games in English although it is not their first language. This study investigated the relationship between playing digital games as a leisure time activity and English language learning achievement among EFL students at an English language centre (ELC) in a tertiary institute in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The impact of EFL students gaming patterns, types of digital games played, and the amount of online social interaction on their language learning achievement were investigated in relation to students’ language achievement level and progression at the ELC. Students’ language achievement level was measured by their academic records which comprises students’ final exams marks in all English courses as well as their repetition rate (failing to pass one or more course). The study also aimed to investigate the students’ perception about the impact of gaming on their English language learning. This study employed a sequential explanatory mixed methods design conducted in two phases.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.