IDLE Challenges: Playing Digital Games?

Muhammad Najmussaqib Diya Alhaq, Nur Arifah Drajati, Agus Wijayanto


The purpose of this research is to examine the challenges faced by the learner and the activities they undertake concerning informal digital learning of English (IDLE) implementation in the English as foreign language (EFL) context. The impact of the COVID-19 on the education sector feels very challenging. Especially in EFL learning at the high/secondary school level, it is crucial since the skills are needed to support such level students' more complex need. It leads many experts to find the formal model's best alternative: playing digital games as IDLE. However, the current indications showed various challenges in the efforts of implementing IDLE within an academic context. As part of a more extensive sequential qualitative mixed-method study, seven high school students from various Indonesia parts were interviewed. From the findings, it is discovered that there were still some challenges regarding the implementation of IDLE in an academic context: physical and behavioural assumptions, dealing with the growth of physical and behavioural effect misconception and logical fallacy within the community; communal judgment, the a priori assumption of 'gaming stereotype' which massively wide-spread; and, technical challenges, regarding the implemental availability of the contemporary learning model. It is also recommended that finding solutions to these challenges requires many parties' involvement. It is due to some of the challenges were fundamentals. It is expected that many parties' involvement will make the resulting efforts to be a holistic solution.


COVID-19; Digital games; English Foreign Language; Informal digital learning

Full Text:



Adžić, S., Al-Mansour, J., Naqvi, H., & Stambolić, S. (2021). The Impact of Video Games on Students' Educational Outcomes. Entertainment Computing.

Alhaq, M. N. D., Drajati, N. A., & Tarjana, M. S. S. (2020). Self-efficacy analysis of EFL student with digital game experiences. AKSARA: Jurnal Bahasa dan Sastra, 21(1).

Ashraf, H., Motlagh, F. G., & Salami, M. (2014). The impact of online games on learning English vocabulary by Iranian (low-intermediate) EFL learners. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 98, 286-291.

Azubuike, O. B., Adegboye, O., & Quadri, H. (2020). Who gets to learn in a pandemic? Exploring the digital divide in remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. International Journal of Educational Research Open, 100022.

Bhargava, D., Leeprechanon, N., Rattanadecho, P., & Wessapan, T. (2019). Specific absorption rate and temperature elevation in the human head due to overexposure to mobile phone radiation with different usage patterns. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 130, 1178-1188.

Benson, P. & Reinders, Hayo. (2011). Beyond the Language Classroom. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 7.

Dong, C., Cao, S., & Li, H. (2020). Young children's online learning during COVID-19 pandemic: Chinese parents' beliefs and attitudes. Children and Youth Services Review, 118, 105440.

Entwistle, G. J., Blaszczynski, A., & Gainsbury, S. M. (2020). Are video games intrinsically addictive? An international online survey. Computers in Human Behavior, 112.

Fernández, C., de Salles, A. A., Sears, M. E., Morris, R. D., & Davis, D. L. (2018). Absorption of wireless radiation in the child versus adult brain and eye from cell phone conversation or virtual reality. Environmental research, 167, 694-699.

Hirschel, R., & Fritz, E. (2013). Learning vocabulary: CALL program versus vocabulary notebook. System, 41 (3), 639-653.

Jackson, C., Vynnycky, E., Hawker, J., Olowokure, B., & Mangtani, P. (2013). School closures and influenza: systematic review of epidemiological studies. BMJ open, 3(2).

Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2019). Educational Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Approaches. Sage.

Lai, C., Ni, R., & Zhao, Y. (2012). Digital games and language learning. Contemporary Computer‐Assisted Language Learning. London: A&C Black.

Lee, J. S. (2019a). Informal digital learning of English and second language vocabulary outcomes: Can quantity conquer quality?. British Journal of Educational Technology. 50 (2). 767-778.

Lee, J. S. (2019b). Quantity and diversity of informal digital learning of English. Language Learning & Technology, 23(1), 114–126.

Lee, J. S., & Drajati, N. A. (2019). Affective variables and informal digital learning of English: Keys to willingness to communicate in a second language. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 35(5), 168-182.

Lee, J. S. & Hsieh, J. C. (2019). Affective variables and willingness to communicate of EFL learners in in-class, out-of-class, and digital contexts. System. 82. 63-73.

Lee, J. S. & Lee, K. (2019). Informal digital learning of English and English as an international language: The path less traveled. British Journal of Educational Technology. 50 (3). 1447-1461.

Lie, A., Tamah, S., M., Gozali, I., Triwidayati, K., R., Utami, T., S., D., & Jemadi, F. (2020). Secondary school language teachers' online learning engagement during the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 19, 803-832.

Oyedotun, T. D. (2020). Sudden change of pedagogy in education driven by COVID-19: Perspectives and evaluation from a developing country. Research in Globalization, 2, 100029.

Peterson, M. (2016). Computer Games and Language Learning. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Shi, J., Renwick, R., Turner, N. E., & Kirsh, B. (2019). Understanding the lives of problem gamers: The meaning, purpose, and influences of video gaming. Computers in Human Behavior, 97, 291-303.

Sintema, E. J. (2020). Effect of COVID-19 on the Performance of Grade 12 Students: Implications for STEM Education. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 16(7), em1851.

Sundqvist, P. (2011). A possible path to progress: Out-of-school English language learners in Sweden. Beyond the language classroom (pp. 106-118). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Syauqi, K., Munadi, S., & Triyono, M. B. (2020). Students' Perceptions toward Vocational Education on Online Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Evaluation and Research in Education, 9(4), 881-886.

Unwin, T, Sumisra, R. G., Galvez, P., & Stefan, V. (2020, November 12). Learn from Home During COVID-19 [Workshop session]. Internet Governance Forum 2020, Online Conference.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Muhammad Najmussaqib Diya Alhaq, Nur Arifah Drajati, Agus Wijayanto

Al-Ishlah Jurnal Pendidikan Abstracted/Indexed by:




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.