Considerations for Online English Language Learning: The Use of Facebook in Formal and Informal Settings in Higher Education

Considerations for Online English Language Learning: The Use of Facebook in Formal and Informal Settings in Higher Education

Evriklea Dogoriti (University of Ioannina, Greece) and Jenny Pange (University of Ioannina, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8614-4.ch066
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Abstract

This chapter examines the influence of Facebook (FB) in formal and informal learning in the language classroom. The theoretical framework of Web-based language teaching is first introduced. A selection of studies concerning the use of Social Networking Sites in the teaching of English (ELT) and conclusions drawn from the literature follow suit. The studies have been selected on the grounds of discussing students' engagement, motivation, collaboration, and communication through the use of SNS and, for the most part, Facebook in ELT. The studies also focus on the attitudes of higher education, foreign language learners towards FB, as well as the potential of FB as an academic teaching medium that may support other Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools like Learning Management Systems. The review of the studies indicates that Facebook may reinforce communication skills and engagement in the learning process and support participation and collaborative learning in formal learning environments.
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Background

Facebook, being one of the most popular and widely used social networks among students, was chosen in this study to examine EFL learners’ motivation, attitudes, engagement in the activities and learning performance in an online course. To investigate the potential of Facebook as an academic technological tool which may support other ICT tools, a review into the discussion of the possible uses of FB and SNS is conducted. To provide the foundations of the present chapter some background information to outline the challenges in the domain of online language teaching and learning and the use of FB in formal and informal settings in higher education is first briefly presented. Lastly, the chapter discusses the impact of FB integration in widely used e-learning web tools. It focuses mainly on the potential of Facebook as an academic teaching medium which may support other ICT tools like LMS. The current chapter is structured as follows:

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