When a Facebook Page Makes a Difference

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This paper discusses a study about using a Facebook page in English. It investigates what Iraqi students gain from interacting in English on the page in an EFL context. For data collection, an online questionnaire of ten multiple-choice and open-ended questions and items was sent to the participants, who are college students or graduate students studying English. In total, 35 participants responded to the questionnaire. Also, four participants and one teacher were randomly selected for phone interviews. For data analysis, mixed methods analysis was conducted since the data were qualitative and qualitative in nature. For the qualitative data analysis, the “grounded” approach was followed to find “patterns” or “themes”, and a priori approach…show more content…
However, this paper discusses the use of a Facebook page for another purpose. Facebook can be used for academic educational purposes. Many schools, if not all, have Facebook pages as a secondary platform for sharing, discussion, advertisement, etc., to supplement their major websites. Some of these pages are managed by students. For example, students from the Department of English, Translation and Interpretation, College of Arts, University of Mosul, Iraq, from which I graduated, keep a Facebook group page for sharing ideas, translations, and other language-related aspects. A student, for instance, may post an idiom and ask other members of the group to guess its meaning. Another student may ask other students to give feedback on his or her translation, or offer corrections on the grammar used in a certain text. Therefore, upon observing the increasing number of students joining this page and interacting on it, I thought it would be intriguing to look at what students believe they are gaining from it. This paper examines students’ perceptions of the benefits resulting from interacting in the Facebook group. Facebook for Interaction and Language Learning According to Richards and Schmidt (2010), interaction is “the way in which a language is used by interlocutors” (p. 289). In other words, the use of language results in interaction among individuals. Pilgrim and Bledsoe (2011) define Facebook as “a social network that provides an interface for people to
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