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Social-Media Assisted Language Learning

Social-Media Assisted Language Learning

  1. 1. Thinking Big on SMALL: Social Media-Assisted Language LearningPaper presented at ThaiTESOL International Conference,Pullman Raja Orchid, Khon Kaen, Thailand.Mr. Chuah Kee ManEmail: kmchuah@cls.unimas.my )Centre for Language Studies, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
  2. 2. ICT in ELT  The proliferation of ICT (Web 2.0 in particular) has created a surge of massive user participations in virtual communities (Kop, 2011; Schutt & Menegon, 2009).  There is Citation Scholarly a need to capitalise on this for language learning (especially in ESL and CALL context).  Many studies indicate that Internet use increases language use and acquisition of second language (Kasanga, 1996; Warschauer, 2010).Page  2
  3. 3. ICT in ELT  The Internet motivates learners to use English in their daily lives and provides functional communicative experiences (LeLoup & Ponterio, 1997; Means et al., 2009).  Oxford (2009) stated Scholarly Citation how the Net Generation rely more on the web-based tools than the teachers in the language learning process.  Social media tools are gaining huge popularity and several studies have found its benefits in promoting language learning (Thorne, Black & Sykes, 2009).Page  3
  4. 4. Social Media Social media in brief: "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological Scholarly Citation foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content." (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010)Page  4
  5. 5. Social Media in ELT  Social-Media Assisted Language Learning (SMALL) – capitalises on the use of social media tools in enhancing English language teaching & learning.  Studies Citation Scholarly pertaining to the use of social media tools in English language teaching and learning are still in its infancy.  Largely focused on the use of a single social media tool, often in an isolated manner. (e.g. the use of Facebook for online discussion).Page  5
  6. 6. Social Media Integration in ELT: The FrameworkThe integration is derived from Connectivism principles(Siemens & Downes, 2008)- Collective intelligence Social Media Tools- the importance of network • Relevant to- knowledge rests in diversity teaching content. of opinions • Supplementary to face-to-face Collaborative instructions e-learning Platform • Allow user participations in a more contronlled mannerPage  6
  7. 7. The Study  Involved a total of 102 ESL undergraduates from an English remedial course.  The participants engaged in the online activities provided via the university’s e-learning portal. Within the portal, several social media tools Scholarly Citation (Wiki, Facebook discussion, Twitter and YouTube) were integrated.  The participants’ activities on the e-learning platform were observed and recorded qualitatively.  At the end of the tenth week, students were required to fill in a survey form.Page  7
  8. 8. The Study  Studies pertaining to the use of social media tools in English language teaching and learning are still in its infancy.  Largely focused on the use of a single social Scholarly Citation an isolated manner. (e.g. media tool, often in the use of Facebook for online discussion).  There is a need to check how these tools can benefit the students in a more integrated- manner.Page  8
  9. 9. Findings  Participants’ General Views on the Online Learning Platform Items 1 & 2  Though majority of them agreed, there are quite a significant number of the participants who disagree.  Perhaps due to their concern on “formality” and the fact that most of the course lectures are delivered via face-to-face interaction.Page  9
  10. 10. Findings  Participants’ General Views on the Online Learning Platform Items 3-6  Items 3-6 rated very highly (more than 50%)  Students had very positive views on the learning platform.Page  10
  11. 11. Findings  Participants’ Perceived Usefulness of the Social Media  YouTube (Item 1 – I viewed the YouTube videos to improve my speaking skills) 60% of the participants thought YouTube Videos helped improve their speaking skillsPage  11
  12. 12. Findings  Participants’ Perceived Usefulness of the Social Media  YouTube (Item 2 – I used the YouTube videos as a resource to learn grammar) 39% of the participants used YouTube videos as a resource to learn grammar. (51% did not).Page  12
  13. 13. Findings  Participants’ Perceived Usefulness of the Social Media  YouTube (Item 3 – I viewed the YouTube video to improve my writing skills) 32% of the participants used YouTube video to improve their writing skills. (59% did not).Page  13
  14. 14. Findings  Participants’ Perceived Usefulness of the Social Media  Twitter (Item 1 – I followed the Twitter feeds to learn vocabulary) 52% of the participants followed the Twitter feeds to learn vocabulary. (40% disagreed).Page  14
  15. 15. Findings  Participants’ Perceived Usefulness of the Social Media  Twitter (Item 2 – I followed the Twitter feeds to get latest course info) 43% of the participants followed the Twitter feeds to get latest course info. (55% disagreed).Page  15
  16. 16. Findings  Participants’ Perceived Usefulness of the Social Media  Twitter (Item 3 – I followed the Twitter feeds to get tips on grammar) 45% of the participants followed the Twitter feeds to get tips on grammar. (48% disagreed).Page  16
  17. 17. Findings  Participants’ Perceived Usefulness of the Social Media  Wiki (Item 1 – I collaborated with my peers in completing a Wiki) 49% of the participants collaborated with their peers in completing a Wiki. (37% disagreed).Page  17
  18. 18. Findings  Participants’ Perceived Usefulness of the Social Media  Wiki (Item 2 – I participated in the Wiki activities to improve my writing) 63% of the participants claimed they participated in the Wiki activities to improve their writing. (27% disagreed).Page  18
  19. 19. Findings  Participants’ Perceived Usefulness of the Social Media  Wiki (Item 3 – I contributed more via the Wiki activities than in class) 51% of the participants claimed they contributed more in Wiki activities. (38% disagreed).Page  19
  20. 20. Findings  Participants’ Perceived Usefulness of the Social Media  Facebook Discussion (Item 1 – I participated in the discussion actively) 72% of the participants claimed they participated in the Facebook discussion actively. (25% disagreed).Page  20
  21. 21. Findings  Participants’ Perceived Usefulness of the Social Media  Facebook Discussion (Item 2 – I enjoyed discussing with friends online) 57% of the participants claimed they enjoyed discussing with friends online. (34% disagreed).Page  21
  22. 22. Findings  Participants’ Perceived Usefulness of the Social Media  Facebook Discussion (Item 3 – I took the opportunity to write more in the forum) 53% of the participants claimed they took the opportunity to write more. (35% disagreed).Page  22
  23. 23. Findings  Summary of Findings YouTube was primarily used to practise speaking Skills (pronunciation and sentence patterns) Twitter feeds were followed mainly to learn new vocabulary. Wiki activities encouraged students to write collaboratively. – Students tend to write more. Students enjoyed sharing ideas and opiion in the Facebook discussion. Learn grammar & vocabulary.Page  23
  24. 24. Findings  Based on the findings, the noted affordances and constraints of social media tools in ELT are: Affordances Constraints  Facilitate open and collective  Can be “overwhelming” and sharing of information. unmanageable.  Encourage participations  Internet accessibility and (not only the good ones) reliability (good connection)  Rapid dissemination of  Can be a threat to correct content and information. grammar due to the nature of  Giving learners the context the tool (e.g. Twitter, to use the language. Facebook)Page  24
  25. 25. Recommendations  How to Maximise The Potentials of Social Media Tools in ELT o Proper Integration: The tools must be integrated in an appropriate platform to allow better management. o Establish relevance: Provide context for the use of each social medial tool and not merely using it. o Define clear expectations for participations: encourage students’ participations by stating what they are expected to do. E.g. responding to the forum twice a week or no “SMS language” allowed. o Acknowledge contributions: use back students’ responses in the social media to motivate them.Page  25
  26. 26. Conclusions  This study has shown students positive views on the use of social media tools for English language learning in a collaborative environment.  It has also outlined the affordances and constraints of using social media tools for English language learning.  Several recommendations to maximise the use of such tools are also given.  Further studies can be done by looking into students performance/achievement.Page  26
  27. 27. Thank you.Questions? Feedback?kmchuah@cls.unimas.my

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