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Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?

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A case study that was conducted exploring Libya student teachers' views about using Facebook games in the English language classroom.

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Facebook Games and English 
Language Learners: 
What Student-teachers Say? 
Presented by: 
Entisar Elsherif, Indiana University of Pennsylvania 
Fatma Dreid, University of Tripoli 
Digital Literacies Symposium 
Digital Literacies in and Beyond the L2 Classroom 
Hosted by the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language, and Literacy
Outline 
 Introduction 
 Facebook Games project 
 Research Questions 
 Research Design 
 Results 
 Conclusion 
 References 
 Photos of Facebook Games
Introduction 
“The learning process should be interesting, 
easy and it should be fun to learn. It also 
should fit with an everyday task and the 
working environment in order to achieve 
optimum results” 
(Pivac & Dziabenko, 2010, p. 1).
“Games are effective tools for learning 
because they offer students a hypothetical 
environment in which they can explore 
alternative decisions without the risk of failure. 
Thought and action combined into purposeful 
behavior to accomplish a goal. Playing games 
teaches us not to strategize, to consider 
alternatives, and to think flexibly” 
(Martinson & Chu, 2008, p. 478).
The idea of this study 
came out of Dr Gian 
Pagnucci’s class. In his 
Technology & Literacy 
course, Entisar and her 
peers were asked to 
play Facebook games 
for a week, reflect on 
the experience each 
day of the week, and 
post the reflections on 
their research blogs.
 After that, we discussed the idea of conducting a 
study on using Facebook games to explore our 
student’s views about using games in the English 
classroom. 
 Since our students use Facebook for 
communication why don’t we encourage them to 
use games for game-based learning.
Facebook Games Project 
 Students choose from a list of Facebook games 
 They play Facebook games for a week then do the 
following: 
- prepare a PPT presentation 
- present their game and their views about the game 
- write reflections about the games and their experiences
Students chose from the following list of 
Facebook games: 
 Royal Story 
 Words of Wonder 
 Village Life 
 Lucky Supermarket 
 Hidden Chronicles 
 Criminal Case 
 Zoo World 
 FarmVille 
 Hay Day 
 Threads of Mystery 
 CityVille 
Photos of the games are listed after the references.
Students prepare a presentation in which they 
answer the following questions: 
 Describe the game (Use pictures and illustrations). 
Would you recommend the game? Why?/ Why not? 
 Was there anything you didn’t know before playing the 
game? What did you do to understand the tasks of the 
game? What kind of knowledge did you gain while 
playing? 
 Reflect on your group work: what did you do as a group 
to prepare the presentation? How did you find playing the 
game together? 
 As a future English language teacher: do you think that 
Facebook Games might help English learners improve 
their language proficiency? How? If not, why? How might 
you use Facebook games to teach English?
Students write one-page reflections that 
include: 
 What do you think of this project?, 
 Do you think games can be used as language learning 
tools?, 
 What would you recommend to improve this project in 
future classes?, and 
 Any other ideas or points of view you would like to share.
Research Questions 
 What are the Libyan English language student teachers’ 
views about using Facebook games as a language 
teaching tools? 
 After playing Facebook games for a while, do they plan 
to use Facebook games in their English language 
classroom?
Research Design 
 Methodology: Qualitative Case Study 
 Study site: English language teacher education program at the 
Faculty of Education at a Libyan university. 
 Participants: 25 Libyan student-teachers taking the Eng214 
Listening & Speaking 3 Course 
 Data Collection sources: students’ presentations, students’ 
reflective journals, and interviews. 
 Data Analysis: line-by-line reading and memoing, and then 
coding.
 Since this project is still in progress, this presentation 
details the results derived from the student teachers’ 
presentations and reflective journals. 
 The following slides are some of the student teachers’ 
presentations and parts of their reflections.
Examples of Student Presentations 
Criminal Case Hay Day
Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?
Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?
Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?
Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?
Results 
 What are the Libyan English language student teachers’ views 
about using Facebook games as a language teaching tools? 
Data indicated that most of the student teachers found playing 
Facebook games as beneficial to language learners. Only five 
student thought that Facebook games were “waste of time” 
and should not be used in the language English classroom. 
 After playing Facebook games for a while, do they plan to 
use Facebook games in their English language classroom? 
Students who were in favor of using Facebook games in the 
English language classroom plan to use these games to teach 
vocabulary, reading, listening and speaking, and writing.
 Most of the student teachers’ comments were positive. 
 Student teachers’ positive comments showed that they 
enjoyed playing the games individually and in groups. 
 Student teachers’ comments also showed that they 
learned while playing. 
 Student teachers’ comment showed that games-based 
learning is motivating.
Student teachers thought that Facebook games: 
 A great source for vocabulary learning. 
 Teach how to follow instructions. 
 Fun to learn while playing. 
 Great for learning problem-solving strategies. 
 Playing as a group enhances group work. 
 Some games were suitable for various levels of 
language proficiency.
 Student teachers preferred using Facebook games to teach 
vocabulary since they found many new words. They also 
thought that Facebook games gave them the chance to learn 
words from context. 
 Since they presented about the games, they reported the 
benefits of using Facebook games as topics for classroom 
discussion. 
 Student teachers believed that reading the instructions or any 
information s provided in the games help English learners 
improve their reading skills. 
 Student teachers stated that Facebook games could be used 
for descriptive writing.
Some of them, however, thought that 
Facebook games are waste of time and: 
 Time consuming. 
 Discouraging, because in some games, they 
faced difficulties in getting the tasks done. 
 Boring, because they were repeating the 
same task everyday 
 Not suitable for students with high levels of 
language proficiency because they didn’t 
enjoy them or they didn’t find any new 
information.
Conclusion 
 Facebook games are not only a source of entertainment, but also can 
be used as source of learning. Properly designed activities that 
include Facebook games can stimulate students language learning. 
 Even though 5 student teachers thought that using games in the 
English language classroom was not beneficial, 20 student teachers 
found Facebook games motivating and effective in English language 
teaching and learning. 
 This is an exploratory study. So, our results can not be generalized. 
However, these results can provide a platform for other studies and 
can encourage language teachers to use Facebook games for games-based 
learning. 
 Further research is needed, a research design that includes a control 
group and an experimental group might provide a more complete 
picture about using Facebook games in the English language 
classroom.
References 
 Foreman, J. (2003). Next generation educational technology 
versus lecture. Educause Review, July/August, 12 – 22. 
 Pagnucci, G. (2014). Assignments. 
http://www.english.iup.edu/pagnucci/courses/808/ 
assignmentdeadlines/assignments-2014fall.htm 
 Martinson, B. & Chu, S. (2008). Impact of learning style on 
achievement when using course content delivered via a game-based 
learning object. In Ferdig, R. E. (ed.). Handbook of 
research on effective electronic gaming in education (pp. 478 – 
488). Pennsylvania: IGI Global.
Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?
Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?
Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?
Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?
Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?
Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?
Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?
Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?
Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?

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Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student Teachers Say?

  • 1. Facebook Games and English Language Learners: What Student-teachers Say? Presented by: Entisar Elsherif, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Fatma Dreid, University of Tripoli Digital Literacies Symposium Digital Literacies in and Beyond the L2 Classroom Hosted by the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language, and Literacy
  • 2. Outline  Introduction  Facebook Games project  Research Questions  Research Design  Results  Conclusion  References  Photos of Facebook Games
  • 3. Introduction “The learning process should be interesting, easy and it should be fun to learn. It also should fit with an everyday task and the working environment in order to achieve optimum results” (Pivac & Dziabenko, 2010, p. 1).
  • 4. “Games are effective tools for learning because they offer students a hypothetical environment in which they can explore alternative decisions without the risk of failure. Thought and action combined into purposeful behavior to accomplish a goal. Playing games teaches us not to strategize, to consider alternatives, and to think flexibly” (Martinson & Chu, 2008, p. 478).
  • 5. The idea of this study came out of Dr Gian Pagnucci’s class. In his Technology & Literacy course, Entisar and her peers were asked to play Facebook games for a week, reflect on the experience each day of the week, and post the reflections on their research blogs.
  • 6.  After that, we discussed the idea of conducting a study on using Facebook games to explore our student’s views about using games in the English classroom.  Since our students use Facebook for communication why don’t we encourage them to use games for game-based learning.
  • 7. Facebook Games Project  Students choose from a list of Facebook games  They play Facebook games for a week then do the following: - prepare a PPT presentation - present their game and their views about the game - write reflections about the games and their experiences
  • 8. Students chose from the following list of Facebook games:  Royal Story  Words of Wonder  Village Life  Lucky Supermarket  Hidden Chronicles  Criminal Case  Zoo World  FarmVille  Hay Day  Threads of Mystery  CityVille Photos of the games are listed after the references.
  • 9. Students prepare a presentation in which they answer the following questions:  Describe the game (Use pictures and illustrations). Would you recommend the game? Why?/ Why not?  Was there anything you didn’t know before playing the game? What did you do to understand the tasks of the game? What kind of knowledge did you gain while playing?  Reflect on your group work: what did you do as a group to prepare the presentation? How did you find playing the game together?  As a future English language teacher: do you think that Facebook Games might help English learners improve their language proficiency? How? If not, why? How might you use Facebook games to teach English?
  • 10. Students write one-page reflections that include:  What do you think of this project?,  Do you think games can be used as language learning tools?,  What would you recommend to improve this project in future classes?, and  Any other ideas or points of view you would like to share.
  • 11. Research Questions  What are the Libyan English language student teachers’ views about using Facebook games as a language teaching tools?  After playing Facebook games for a while, do they plan to use Facebook games in their English language classroom?
  • 12. Research Design  Methodology: Qualitative Case Study  Study site: English language teacher education program at the Faculty of Education at a Libyan university.  Participants: 25 Libyan student-teachers taking the Eng214 Listening & Speaking 3 Course  Data Collection sources: students’ presentations, students’ reflective journals, and interviews.  Data Analysis: line-by-line reading and memoing, and then coding.
  • 13.  Since this project is still in progress, this presentation details the results derived from the student teachers’ presentations and reflective journals.  The following slides are some of the student teachers’ presentations and parts of their reflections.
  • 14. Examples of Student Presentations Criminal Case Hay Day
  • 19. Results  What are the Libyan English language student teachers’ views about using Facebook games as a language teaching tools? Data indicated that most of the student teachers found playing Facebook games as beneficial to language learners. Only five student thought that Facebook games were “waste of time” and should not be used in the language English classroom.  After playing Facebook games for a while, do they plan to use Facebook games in their English language classroom? Students who were in favor of using Facebook games in the English language classroom plan to use these games to teach vocabulary, reading, listening and speaking, and writing.
  • 20.  Most of the student teachers’ comments were positive.  Student teachers’ positive comments showed that they enjoyed playing the games individually and in groups.  Student teachers’ comments also showed that they learned while playing.  Student teachers’ comment showed that games-based learning is motivating.
  • 21. Student teachers thought that Facebook games:  A great source for vocabulary learning.  Teach how to follow instructions.  Fun to learn while playing.  Great for learning problem-solving strategies.  Playing as a group enhances group work.  Some games were suitable for various levels of language proficiency.
  • 22.  Student teachers preferred using Facebook games to teach vocabulary since they found many new words. They also thought that Facebook games gave them the chance to learn words from context.  Since they presented about the games, they reported the benefits of using Facebook games as topics for classroom discussion.  Student teachers believed that reading the instructions or any information s provided in the games help English learners improve their reading skills.  Student teachers stated that Facebook games could be used for descriptive writing.
  • 23. Some of them, however, thought that Facebook games are waste of time and:  Time consuming.  Discouraging, because in some games, they faced difficulties in getting the tasks done.  Boring, because they were repeating the same task everyday  Not suitable for students with high levels of language proficiency because they didn’t enjoy them or they didn’t find any new information.
  • 24. Conclusion  Facebook games are not only a source of entertainment, but also can be used as source of learning. Properly designed activities that include Facebook games can stimulate students language learning.  Even though 5 student teachers thought that using games in the English language classroom was not beneficial, 20 student teachers found Facebook games motivating and effective in English language teaching and learning.  This is an exploratory study. So, our results can not be generalized. However, these results can provide a platform for other studies and can encourage language teachers to use Facebook games for games-based learning.  Further research is needed, a research design that includes a control group and an experimental group might provide a more complete picture about using Facebook games in the English language classroom.
  • 25. References  Foreman, J. (2003). Next generation educational technology versus lecture. Educause Review, July/August, 12 – 22.  Pagnucci, G. (2014). Assignments. http://www.english.iup.edu/pagnucci/courses/808/ assignmentdeadlines/assignments-2014fall.htm  Martinson, B. & Chu, S. (2008). Impact of learning style on achievement when using course content delivered via a game-based learning object. In Ferdig, R. E. (ed.). Handbook of research on effective electronic gaming in education (pp. 478 – 488). Pennsylvania: IGI Global.