Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

E-Sports in the ESL Classroom: Can they Help Students Overcome Language Transfer Issues?

Tatiana María Sánchez-Rodríguez, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain)

M. Victoria Domínguez-Rodríguez, Instituto Universitario de Análisis y Aplicaciones Textuales (IATEXT) Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain)


E-Sports popularity is constantly increasing, not only in the gaming world but also in many other areas such as education, media or marketing. Nowadays, the incorporation of e-Sports as a teaching tool, as well as a means to prepare students for future job outcomes, is being seriously considered, especially in English as a Second language (ESL). However, this initiative has been openly rejected by many authors arguing, among other reasons, various application problems in the foreing language classroom [1, 2]. Yet the controlled use of e-Sports in the ESL classes could be helpful if we take into account that engaging certain types of learners is a challenge in today’s ESL classes, especially teenagers and adults, . In fact, using e-Sports in the ESL classroom may help in students’ struggle with language transfer issues, so that the communicative situations that arise improve the their achievements, or mastery, of specific language-related contents [3]; this use can be also particularly beneficial to avoid cross-cultural misunderstandings when performing the language.The aim of this paper is to analize the influence of e-Sports intotwo main types of language transfer issues: a) language structure; and b) phonics transfer [4]. A model task the university subject “Oral Communication Skills in English” (Degree in Computer Engineering) was designed applying a communicative approach that combined e-learning and cooperative learning and to answer the following question: Could a task involving the use of eSports help students overcome language transfer issues when enhancing cross-cultural communication through live forums and chats? Although we still have a long way to finally implement e-Sports in fixed learning environments, the results of our research suggest that they may help students overcome language transfer issues when learning ESL and, ultimately, avoid cross-cultural commmunication misunderstandings, only if e-learning is properly adapted to the group characteristics and language cultural aspects are taken into account.

Keywords: e-Sports, English as a Second Language, language transfer, communication, e-learning.

[1] López Gómez, S. & Rodríguez Rodríguez, J. (2016). Experiencias didácticas con videojuegos comerciales en las aulas españolas. [Didactic experiences with comercial videogames in the Spanish classrooms]. (Available at:
[2] Murillo Fort, C. (2018). Los e-Sports y su relación con la universidad y el mundo profesional. [e-Sports and its relation with University and professional world]. (Avilable at:
[3]  Jiménez Niño, P. (2009). Public Speaking in EFL Settings: The Issue of Overcoming Fears (Available at:
[4] Odlin, T. (1989). Language Transfer: Cross-Linguistic Influence in Language Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

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