Impacts of Social Networking Sites-Facebook- on Learning English as Foreign Language (EFL)
In the contemporary world, social networking sites (SNSs) such as Facebook and Twitter are playing important roles in learning English as Foreign Language (EFL). Lee and Kim (2014) sought to examine the application of digital media for learning English as a foreign language in Korea. The quantitative study established that the Korean learners seem to center on the development of receptive proficiencies but are reluctant to communicate with strange English speakers, which would improve their writing and speaking abilities. The digital distinctiveness of the Korean EFL learners is inclined towards the friendship-propelled genre of contribution rather than the interest-propelled one. Such a setting appears to have been shaped with distrust of unfamiliar users, which in turn obstructs the creation of a peer-anchored learning environment. A quantitative research study by Thurairaj, Hoon, Roy and Fong (2015) aimed at investigating the connection between the application of SNSs and English proficiency amid EFL learners. They found that the application of SNSs such as Facebook increases English expertise and results in positive language knowledge. The rate of the application of the short messaging has not greatly influenced the learning of EFL of many learners.
In a pre-test and post-test study, Bahrani and Sim (2012) determined that language learners can advance their speaking skills to a noteworthy degree by using audiovisual media expertise in informal surroundings. The learners of English as foreign language perform in an excellent manner than the ones of English as a second language. This performance is evidently suggestive of the reality that disclosure to authentic language contribution from audio visual expertise in unofficial setting can lead to great involvement to the development of language. Responses to a questionnaire show positive outcomes of funny videos in that humor helped in improving learning (Kößler & Nitzschner, 2014). This appears to be authentic even in case of other foreign languages, in addition to complex tasks; videos ought to be employed for the understanding of new insight in the learning of EFL.
From a survey containing a questionnaire with open-ended questions, it is evident that the majority of EFL learners choose Facebook as the most excellent social network for learning (Faizi, El Afia, & Chiheb, 2014). The survey also indicated that reading and listening are the most noticeable proficiencies for improvement, which is warranted by the reality that listening is normally striking as the weakest dexterity for the majority of the EFL learners. Kuntz (2013) expressed that web 2.0 expertise could be utilized in the facilitation of learning and training of skills in EFL, as well as other standard informal languages. In a critical survey that could be applicable for other qualitative and quantitative studies, Kuntz (2013) found that social networking sites contribute to the learning of foreign languages as they increase the experience and reading concerns of the learners.
Mondahl and Razmerita (2014) carried out a report on a pilot study in a mixed method. They found that collaborative learning practices through social media are supportive and favorable to successful learning, which results in effective foreign language learning. Moreover, they affirmed that the learning of EFL could be enhanced by the use of SNSs, particularly for a new cohort of learners. The study gave a comprehension of the intensity of the influence of SNSs in the learning environment and the means of fostering understanding of social proficiencies and shared knowledge. Vurdien (2012) sought to examine the manner in which a blog as a computer-mediated instrument involves a group of learners and offers the perspective that personal blogs can stimulate learners to develop their proficiencies through self-expression and opinion from peers. Blogs could be utilized as an instrument for learning out of class and help both teachers and learners gain from their effectiveness for personal insight generation and information distribution (Vurdien, 2012).
Bani-Hani, Al-Sobh and Abu-Melhim (2014) assessed the approaches and discernments of EFL learners with respect to the application of Facebook groupings in the learning of writing. In a study of forty two students that took part in a semi-experiment research that utilized a mixed method of data analysis, Bani-Hani et al. (2014) expressed that learners can enhance their writing proficiencies through employing Facebook, which acts as a helpful resource for learning EFL. Facebook creates a community that enables learners exchange knowledge and understanding. A qualitative study by Suthiwartnarueput and Wasanasomsithi (2012) ascertained that English is significant for upholding discussions on Facebook as students have positive approaches concerning it as a way of writing and learning. The research was carried out founded on the considerable task of grammatical insight expressing Social Constructivist Theories where Facebook undertook the task of a society where EFL students share understanding and experiences. Through a mixed method, EFL learners were found to treasure Facebook as a portfolio tool that facilitates their writing and reading proficiencies, in addition to boosting research skills (Aydin, 2014a). Since EFL learners detect some flaws in the course of the F-Portfolio progression, the study suggested that future studies ought to concentrate on the aspects that could influence the F-Portfolio development in dissimilar EFL backgrounds with expressive and evaluative assessment of the response of educators and learners to the F-Portfolio.
In a case study and interview, Lin, Kang, Liu and Lin (2015) determined that to acquire variety in learning approaches, EFL teachers may integrate SNSs into the syllabi since they play a significant role in the learning and experiences of students. The interrelations in the SNSs, particularly Facebook, amid the participants relied mostly on the educator instigation and were greatly done for course management endeavors. In contrast, learner instigated EFL learning messages linked majorly on shared tasks did not result in considerable interaction.
In a quantitative study that employed the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, Kao and Craigie (2014) sought to explore the influence of the application of English language in Facebook interactions and the Big Five personality attributes of scholars on the rate of the success in learning EFL. They found that English application on Facebook and the Big Five personality attributes of learners enhanced their degree of success in learning EFL. In their case study that employed the mixed method of data analysis, Yen, Hou and Chang, (2013) affirm that SNSs, especially Facebook, have positive influences on the motivation of learners as they lower the rate of anxiety while cognitively developing knowledge into a context. Role-playing gave attributes that permitted the learners to employ language actively instead of inactively. The researchers recommended future studies and evaluations of the behavioral examples, which will hold considerable significance.
In a mixed method of study, it was found that Facebook could be employed as a platform to better the learning of EFL (Kabilan, Ahmad, & Abidin, 2010). However, educators must incorporate the SNS as an educational program with preset learning aims and results for a successful learning experience. On this note, Kabilan et al. (2010) suggested that more research on Facebook ought to assess the interrelations of learners and the involvement of others in numerous pre-organized and pre-established language learning endeavors with particular aims in the Facebook community. In a qualitative study with open-ended interview questions, Gamble (2014) demonstrated positive approaches towards the application of Facebook for learning EFL since the SNS has pedagogical affordances, which enables learners to share resources and ideas and engage in activities that strengthen their language proficiencies. The irrefutable reputation of Facebook internationally and the prospective teachers find that the achievable incorporation of the SNS into language categories is beneficial where further studies are vital, particularly on the views and inclinations of the learners that will finally gain from its application.
In an explanatory qualitative study, Kamnoetsin (2014) employed interviews and field observations and established that Facebook is crucial in learning EFL as it boosts the understanding of the students if it is designed and utilized correctly. Facebook is beneficial for the distribution of knowledge amid the students. The views of the learners assert that Facebook is a precious and efficient platform for gaining knowledge for particular use, for instance, helping in writing and offering up-to-date information. The quantitative research via cross-sectional survey carried out by Bsharah, Gasaymeh and Abdelrahman (2014) differed with the existing notion of the negative impact of Facebook on the social life of the learners. Using Facebook helps in nurturing the learners’ social skills and intellect because it offers a platform where students can interact freely and share knowledge. The findings demonstrated that most of the learners are consistent users of Facebook and the standpoints of the participants on their degree of social intellect were positive and at reasonable level.
A qualitative study conducted by Razak and Saeed (2015) found that the application of SNSs for the engagement of EFL learners in a team is beneficial as they can learn while taking part in social aspects. This motivates them to learn EFL beyond the classroom scope. The findings of the study also illustrated that the learners of English as a second language employ different successful revision policies that facilitate their learning. The research relied on the framework of learning theory because it presumes that the involvement of learners in important interrelations promotes their learning endeavors and helps them create and restructure their knowledge. In a quantitative study that used diaries and questionnaires, Toetenel (2014) recommended that new initiatives in the application of SNSs by teachers be incentivized and included in pay rewards. The research stated that the utilization of SNSs bettered group cohesion and the students embarked on operating in dissimilar teams once the use of the sites was initiated.
Jones (2015) carried out interviews and a survey and concluded that EFL learners employ SNSs broadly though at dissimilar phases, for instance, beginners mostly interacted and shared information. The different SNSs such as Facebook create a setting where the EFL learners become progressively engaging. In this regard, SNSs have proved appropriate for backing language development and their preference is rising fast since they promote unofficial, social interactions. In a study employing ethnography through observation, Harrison and Thomas (2009) suggested the use of longitudinal studies for the realization of an enhanced comprehension of the intricate progression of mediation entailed in the creation and retention of communities in SNSs. The findings disclosed that EFL learners could apply SNSs to examine new associations instead of just retaining the already extant ones.
A quantitative study by Aydin (2014b) that used a questionnaire and a survey indicated that the EFL learners choose passive conducts concerning their interrelations with educators. The researcher implied that future studies are supposed to center on the relations amid the degree of interrelation and other aspects, for example, the knowledge of SNSs, time take in Facebook, and the nature of friends on the learners’ list. Jong, Lai, Hsia, Lin and Liao (2014) carried out a quantitative study through anonymous questionnaires and stated that the benefits of Facebook in EFL learning encompass the ease in sharing learning materials, quick comprehension of the posts of the educators, and the interrelations with other users. Nevertheless, Facebook is not employed in the assessment of earlier research on a given subject matter. Considering the rationales for the application of Facebook, peer sharing on educational issues was found to be amid the most significant. A qualitative study by Backer (2010) founded on interviews, and thematic examination ascertained that though EFL learners enjoy the experience of Facebook, some of them have challenges with the application of the technology. Backer (2010) sought to investigate the impact of the utilization of Facebook on the motivation of the users and the autonomous learning and accountability as a section of the creation of a successful assessment. A high proportion of learners have the knowledge of using Facebook and smartphones in studying and sharing information.
Wang, Woo, Quek, Yang and Liu (2012) carried out a quantitative study anchored in an online survey and declared that the use of Facebook in EFL learning could pose some limitations. For instance, it does not support the sharing of some files and the learners could feel insecure and uncomfortable since it may at times fail to uphold confidentiality. EFL learners are fundamentally contented with the application of Facebook as its essential functions are easily executed in group settings. In their research, Cain and Policastri (2011) sought to examine the success of an optional Facebook activity planned to expose learners to concerns not undertaken in the classroom setting and to the views of professionals in an informal platform where they can hare with experts, peers, and other users.
In a mixed-method study that employed a questionnaire, outcomes on test questions, and focus group, Cain and Policastri (2011) asserted that most of the EFL learners enjoyed using Facebook with the lack of formality of the learning setting appearing to be a major component of its triumph. The study by Mahdi and El-Naim (2012) evaluated the influence of informal application of computer-mediated communication on the interrelations of EFL learners. Computer-mediated communication represents an umbrella expression that denotes the communication of individuals through computers in both a synchronous and asynchronous manner. Mahdi and El-Naim (2012) employed a questionnaire and an interview in their study and revealed that the informal application of computer-mediated communication could be influenced by different factors, which include busy schedules and the interferences of the educators.
Aydin, S. (2014a). EFL writers’ attitudes and perceptions toward F-Portfolio use. TechTrends, 58(2), 59-77.
Aydin, S. (2014b). Foreign language learners’ interactions with their teachers on Facebook. System, 42, 155-163.
Backer, E. (2010). Using smartphones and Facebook in a major assessment: The student experience. e-Journal of business Education & Scholarship of Teaching, 4(1), 19-31.
Bahrani, T., & Sim, T. S. (2012). Informal language learning setting: Technology or social interaction? Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology-TOJET, 11(2), 142-149.
Bani-Hani, N. A., Al-Sobh, M. A., & Abu-Melhim, A. R. H. (2014). Utilizing Facebook groups in teaching writing: Jordanian EFL students’ perceptions and attitudes. International Journal of English Linguistics, 4(5), 27-34.
Bsharah, M., Gasaymeh, A. M., & Abdelrahman, M. B. (2014). The Relationship between the use of Social Networking Sites (SNS) and perceived level of social intelligence among Jordanian university students: The case of Facebook. International Journal of Psychological Studies, 6(3), 1-12.
Cain, J., & Policastri, A. (2011). Using Facebook as an informal learning environment. American journal of pharmaceutical education, 75(10), 207.
Faizi, R., El Afia, A., & Chiheb, R. (2014). Social media: An optimal virtual environment for learning foreign languages. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), 9(5), 64-66.
Gamble, C. (2014). Student perceptions of integrating Facebook into the EFL classroom. Kwansei Gakuin University humanities review, 18, 19-33.
Harrison, R., & Thomas, M. (2009). Identity in online communities: Social networking sites and language learning. International Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society, 7(2), 109-124.
Jones, A. (2015). Social media for informal minority language learning: Exploring Welsh learners’ practices. Retrieved from http://jime.open.ac.uk/articles/10.5334/jime.ak/print/
Jong, B. S., Lai, C. H., Hsia, Y. T., Lin, T. W., & Liao, Y. S. (2014). An exploration of the potential educational value of Facebook. Computers in Human Behavior, 32, 201-211.
Kabilan, M. K., Ahmad, N., & Abidin, M. J. Z. (2010). Facebook: An online environment for learning of English in institutions of higher education? The Internet and Higher Education, 13(4), 179-187.
Kamnoetsin, T. (2014). Social media use: A critical analysis of Facebook’s impact on collegiate EFL students’ English writing in Thailand. Retrieved from http://scholarship.shu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3075&context=dissertations
Kao, P. C., & Craigie, P. (2014). Effects of English usage on Facebook and personality traits on achievement of students learning English as a foreign language. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 42(1), 17-24.
Kößler, F., & Nitzschner, M. (2014). The efficiency of different online learning media – an empirical study. Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference on Cognition & Exploratory Learning in Digital Age, 1(1), 244-248.
Kuntz, B. (2013). Using Twitter, blogs and other Web 2.0 technologies and internet resources to enhance Arabic as a foreign‐language reading skills. ECEL2013-Proceedings for the 12th European Conference on eLearning: ECEL 2013. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/openview/20fae35206b218f931d3dae6890ea5d0/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1796419
Lee, J. H., & Kim, H. (2014). An exploratory study on the digital identity formation of Korean university EFL learners. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 13(3), 149-172.
Lin, V., Kang, Y. C., Liu, G. Z., & Lin, W. (2015). Participants’ experiences and interactions on Facebook group in an EFL course in Taiwan. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 1-11.
Mahdi, H. S., & El-Naim, M. E. M. (2012). The effects of informal use of computer-mediated communication on EFL learner interaction. Studies in Literature and Language, 5(3), 75-81.
Mondahl, M., & Razmerita, L. (2014). Social media, collaboration and social learning: A case-study of foreign language learning. The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 12(4), 339-352.
Razak, N. A., & Saeed, M. A. (2015). EFL Arab Learners’ Peer Revision of Writing in a Facebook Group: Contributions to Written Texts and Sense of Online Community. English Language Teaching, 8(12), 11-23.
Suthiwartnarueput, T., & Wasanasomsithi, P. (2012). Effects of using Facebook as a medium for discussions of English grammar and writing of low-intermediate EFL students. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 9(2), 194-214.
Thurairaj, S., Hoon, E. P., Roy, S. S., & Fong, P. W. (2015). Reflections of Students’ language Usage in Social Networking Sites: Making or Marring Academic English. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 13(4), 302-316.
Toetenel, L. (2014). Social networking: a collaborative open educational resource. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 27(2), 149-162.
Vurdien, R. (2012). Enhancing writing skills through blogs in an EFL class. European Association for Computer-Assisted Language Learning (EUROCALL). Retrieved from http://eurocall.webs.upv.es/documentos/newsletter/papers_20(1)/35_vurdien.pdf
Wang, Q., Woo, H. L., Quek, C. L., Yang, Y., & Liu, M. (2012). Using the Facebook group as a learning management system: An exploratory study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(3), 428-438.
Yen, Y. C., Hou, H. T., & Chang, K. E. (2013). Applying role-playing strategy to enhance learners’ writing and speaking skills in EFL courses using Facebook and Skype as learning tools: A case study in Taiwan. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 28(5), 383-406.