The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Post, Comment, Read, Help, Like: The Facebook Group in the Foreign Language Classroom

Manfred Sablotny, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, Tunghai University (Taiwan, Republic of China)

Abstract

While social media are nothing new anymore in the foreign language classroom, their integration into existing classroom structures as a supplement to more traditional in-class activities still often constitutes a challenge to both teacher and student. This paper will take a look at the possibilities that the Facebook group function has to offer for the foreign language classroom. The author will share his experiences with using Facebook in German courses at a university in Taiwan to illustrate how social media can be used to practice foreign language skills and broaden the scope of foreign language contact, while engaging in meaningful conversation with others. In the case at hand, students with varying levels of experience with German were registered as members of a Facebook group which had been created for the specific purpose of enhancing the learning experience. In order to achieve close integration with the in-class syllabus, guidelines and basic rules for interaction in the group were established and students were asked to document their group activities and submit them for evaluation on a regular basis. The paper will discuss both benefits and challenges encountered while using Facebook as a social teaching and learning tool.

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