Using Facebook to Learn English

Topics: United Kingdom, United States, Education Pages: 8 (2105 words) Published: July 22, 2011
Using Facebook to Learn English

Mei-ling Lin
Language Center, Yuanpei University of Science and Technology

Learning English can be fun and the locale can be outside the classroom. It is not just about grades or tests. This paper aims at proposing teachers and students to use Facebook as an alternative venue for learning English. Playing online games, such as Farmville and word games, and learning English at the same time can keep students motivated and make learning interesting. Exposure to the settings of certain games in English enables the students to be familiar with specific topics and themes, which is great for vocabulary building and sentence pattern acquisition. Since Facebook is a popular social networking Web site, teachers and students become friends here. Communication or chatting and cooperation in learning among peers become easier to take place. Hooked on Facebook, teachers and students can also be aware of groups and communities, such as TEFL, English Teaching Forum and WE DIDNT LEARN THIS SO WHY IS IT ON THE TEST?!, where one can become a fan or a member to learn English online. A questionnaire will also be designed and the results will be analyzed to see whether English can be learned through Facebook. This paper will hopefully conclude that it is feasible and justifiable for teachers to introduce Facebook to students and it is an interesting and beneficial method for students to learn English.

Keywords

1. Facebook
2. Learning English
3. Playing Online Games in English
4. Farmville and word games
5. TEFL, English Teaching Forum, Internet Polyglot

利用臉書學英語

林玫玲
元培科技大學語言中心

英語學習可以很有趣,不只是靠成績或考試決定,也不見得一定要在教室裡進行。本文旨在提議教師與學生利用臉書,當作學習英語的另一個場域。玩英語線上遊戲的同時學習英語,可讓學生興趣高昂、讓學習變得有趣。暴露於英語線上遊戲,讓學生熟悉特定的主題,對於單字、句型的學習大有助益。 有鑒於臉書是大家喜愛的社交網路平台,教師與學生在此可成為好友。溝通或閒聊以及同儕間的協同學習就很容易進行。師生加入臉書上的英語社團,成為會員或粉絲,更是另外一種學習的好方法。 文中會有一份設計好的問卷,調查使用臉書是否有助於英語學習。藉此結果分析,希望能讓老師勇於推薦,利用臉書來學習英語,為有效且可行的方法。

關鍵詞
1. 臉書
2. 英語學習
3. 玩英語線上遊戲
4. 單字遊戲
5. 英語社團

Thanks to modern technology, students have many other methods to learn English language other than in the classroom. They find that they can integrate computer technology with language learning. Compared to a classroom setting, using online resources provides students a chance of self-learning. Unlike a traditional teacher-led classroom, students take the initiative in learning and they can learn at their own pace. There are a lot of websites and search engines where students can look for information, and there are also some social websites like Facebook or Twitter where they can have social interaction with others and practice using the English language. Technology, such as Facebook, offers an opportunity for educators to understand the elements of social networking that students find so compelling and to incorporate those elements into teaching and learning (Educause, 2006, p. 2). And Randall Davis (2009) stated that educators should find a number of interesting features (of Facebook) that, when used judiciously, can serve as an information portal for students. Educators are rightfully encouraged to use Facebook as a venue of learning and teaching. Facebook is a platform for students to converse, chat, play games, make friends, and learn English. When they use Facebook to chat, they have more time to reflect on what they are going to say and write so they have less pressure in learning. When called upon to answer questions in a classroom, students, being unable to answer quickly or not knowing the correct answer, tend to feel anxious or embarrassed. Teachers can encourage students to make friends with their teachers and foreigners and use English to chat with one and another on Facebook. Using English as the target language for interaction among friends helps students to internalize the language. Apart from using English to communicate, students can take advantage of some word games, applications and English groups on Facebook. Word...

References: Davis, R. (2009). Facebook. TESL-EJ, 13.3. Retrieved April 16, 2010, from http://tesl-ej.org/pdf/ej51/m1.pdf
Dudeney, G
Educause. (September 2006). 7 Things You Should Know About Facebook. Educause Learning Initiative, 1-2. Retrieved April 17, 2010, from http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7017.pdf.
Reppen, R. (2009). Using Internet Resources to Enhance English Language Instruction. Paper presented at the Eighteenth International Symposium and Book Fair on English Teaching, Taipei, Taiwan.
Social networking. (2008). Retrieved April 22, 2010, from http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/127
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