Social media has substantially modified human’s manner of residing in diverse aspects including communique, expertise alternate, commerce and education. With the development of social media sites, people keep finding more area of study English to be able to explore it further. There no denying that social media and its use have become obvious in field of education which may change our learning way in the future. In recent years, information and communication technologies have become a global culture and our society are more and more becoming an information society. Therefore, technology certainly is the most useful tool of learning which learners can exploit because of its significant influence on education in general and learning language in particular.
Nowadays, the Internet plays a significant role in all kind of technological developments which permit people to rapidly contact, evaluate, share and transfer either data or knowledge. As this recent infographic illustrates, English is the most broadly used language on the Internet , which is used on more than fifty percent of all the pages on the web. Those pages cover various style of English such as business, conversations, scientific reports, news, sports, disscusions, native dialects and so on, which makes the internet an ideal resource for interactive learning. In fact, English is an international language and language skills has been a demand for students among most countries especially in Vietnam. Therefore, it is possible for undergraduates of Vietnamese universities to take advantage of social media as a tool in learning English as a second language.
For instance, the Vietnamese learners can be able to understand the person they interact by replicate their language structure and take note of themselves faults. They also can use their computer-enhanced communication opportunity to enhance and expand their fluency (Lomicka, 2008). This new tools may help in enhancing the learning of second language and even improving the entire teaching and learning process. In develop countries, applying technology into English language learning classrooms is not something strange. However, in Vietnam, many English learners have confronted with difficulty in communication with foreigners like lack of confidence, wrong pronounciation,… because of the inflexible and traditional education which only focus on grammar. This educational method makes students learn passively as they do not have enough opportunities to enhance others English skills. Thus, taking advantage of social media can help students interact with English everyday and improve their English competence. Amittedly, it is remarkable that language learners and teachers all over the world have paid an intimate attention to the practicality of technology in language education settings.
Linking formal education to social media may be considered new within the area of learning English as a 2nd language. Social media contains Web 2.0 e-learning resources that placed emphasis on active participation, connectivity, collaboration and sharing of information and thoughts amongst its users. Social networking sites including YouTube, Facebook, video stream, cooperative communication, and Google Apps. Commonly, social media permits college students to select up and share various look at sources in step with their learning style. The efficacious and appealing nature of social media may encourage learners to dedicate greater time which in turn enable them to concentrate on their intimate learnings because of the cooperative, constructivist and actual learning chance these social media has to give. most significantly, learners make use of the social media for reason of learning English as a second language. The current study aim at measuring, and exploring the ability, functions that the social media can also offer the language learners. Finally, the purpose of the overview of literature on this paper is to evaluate the roles that social media play in learning English as a second language.
Technology plays the role of facilitator in educating a student enriches the educational experience providing options that can accommodate students in learning. (Robert, 2004) posited that technology has impacted student learning via communications, convenience, and control. Moreover, Alm (2006) stated that various technology have been utilized within the area of instruction. One of the systems is Web 2.0 which was created after the presence of Web 1.0., which commonly contains web pages, content, pictures, sound, photographs, video, authentic materials, talk gatherings, chats, emails and music. On the other hand, Web 2.0 consists oflive materials, video cast, podcast, Flickr, blogs, wikis, online discussion boards, and social networking. Moreover, the technology can provide platforms that can be utilized in learning in which its applications may give new channels for learners to receive informative and useful feedback.
Social media is the collective of online communications channels devoted to network-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration. Social media includes popular networking web sites, like Facebook and Twitter; as well as bookmarking sites like Reddit. It involves blogging and boards and any aspect of an interactive presentation which enables users to create and share conversations, personal messages, ideas, information or to participate in social networking.
Types of Social Media and Social Networks Sites
There are different sorts of social media which may be utilized in several ways. It should be noted that things around us can be taken advantage of if we know how to utilize them. For instance, most people have smartphones, but they scarcely utilize all the application available in it. Sometimes they are not appropriately directed and at times they don’t have the chance or time to spend on learning modern things. However, typically not the case for English learners, since software and applications available on smartphone may help English learners to associate with others. The sorts of social media and social network sites can be classified as:
Watching video is a beneficial activity for learners to learn English because many of them use it for entertainment purposes. As the development of the Internet, many sorts of movies, videos, and TV shows are also uploaded in Youtube. Therefore YouTube has become a tool for language learners as it offers hours of linguistic input and enables users to upload videos and share their learning progress with others (Terantino, 2011). Indeed, learners can take advantage of it to learn English because Youtube have a variety sources of videos, films and even TV shows. Nowadays, films and TV shows are an significant part of almost everyone’s daily life; an ordinary person spends a minimum of one or two hours watching videos. Thinking about the potential of videos in helping improve language studying, it can be argued that watching videos can be used for learning new words on a daily basis which might help language learning process more interesting and enjoyable unlike the traditional ways in school. Another advantage of using movie as a language learning tool is that it offers an authentic source of learning involving native audio system with different intonation. The difference between learning language through reading books and learning language through watching videos is that learners also have some vested interest in watching movies not only for entertainment but also for studying the new things shared in those movies. Movies also help learners realize the correct pronunciations, which is rather difficult to learn from books in school. Moreover, videos, movies or Tv shows in Youtube can help learners improve their listening skills and also speaking skills such as showing the natural expressions and the natural flow of speech which happen in various types of conversation. This learning method is particularly beneficial for Vietnamese students who are living in a non-English-speaking environment. Learners who are in this situation can take advantage of Youtube since it can offer them with this real-life language input.
Web blogs are also known as one of the earliest forms of social media. Millions of people have their own blog to write things about some news and their personal thoughts on some specific issues. Readers can reply by adding or posting comments on others blog. Blogs have a wide range of topics and they assist learners in improving the reading speed, vocabularies , also proper use of grammar and enhanced reading comprehension of language. Blogs can be used in various ways for different purposes such as learning new ideas on how people use blogs to interact with each other by referring to a particular language blog or how to learn new vocabularies in the different modern context of a particular time.
Twitter allows people easily communicate with each other like comment, share and keep up with current news from all over the world. Pramod (2015) pointed out that Twitter have a positive impact on learning English language due to some of its positive benefits. The most significant advantage of Twitter is that it can engage learners and connect people who are never acquainted with each other even the differences in language. The interesting fact about Twitter which different from other flatform is the size limit which maximum of 140 characters. Indeed, the feature of its limitation to 140 characters can lead to a developing in a type of discursive grammar set and makes learners more creative and concise in writing. Learners are able to construct sentences in the form of tweets. Similarly, the concise and precise writing style in Twitter enhances the concentrate on communication, and the writing process which is potentially a good exercise for English language learners (AWEJ, 2015). It is also an interesting tool to helps learners have plenty of chances to connect to the real world, have opportunities to interact with native people and get real world data as the input.
Blattner & Fiori (2009) stated that Facebook is the primary social media that takes pride in its more than billions followers and it is one of the fastest developing and well known website on the Internet. Furthermore, Facebook also plays a crucial role in learning English language as it provides a convenient environment for learners communicate with others in English. Learners can generate their personal profile page and share their interests and activities to others all over the world. McLoughlin & Lee (2008) reported that Facebook has various tasks of communications, material sharing, modification and collaborative construction. Similar to Twitter, Facebook can help users enhance their writing skills as it mostly requires English to communicate with people all over the world. Also, Facebook can be useful for learners in learning English especially in Vietnam since it has a large amount of pages for learners to learn English effectively (Anh, 2017).
Social media motivate learners to learn English
Most of the social media users agree that using social media in education is good for learner’s achievement, motivation, and performance (Celik, Akilli, & Onuk, 2014). Many of learners regularly use social media in order to tweet, post questions or comments online, blog, share videos or links, and chat online. By linking this social media use to learning English, learners feel that what they are learning is significant for authentic communication and they can learning themselves by building a network of people to communicate with. Social media can motivate young learners as they are fond of doing their things on computers, smart phones and other digital media. Social media also offers lots of models for how language is definitely used and endless opportunities to use critical thinking skills to evaluate sources of information. Moreover, using social media can create more chance to further users’s professional growth.
Two sides of social media affect learners learning English
The vocabulary section of the recent study indicates that the respondents care about the usage of rich vocabulary as much as they can afford in their communication through social networking.
Social media also have a negative impact on students learning. Using internet abbreviations sometimes affects students writing in a negative way (Milana, 2016). The research states that most of users avoid long sentences and replace them with shorter ones. Also speedy writing skill ends with making spelling mistakes. Craig (2003) indicated that while using social media users create undesirable reading and writing habits as using common abbreviations and unusal slangs. As a result, this situation leads to the damage of the learners’ formal writting skills. However, Milana (2016) affirmed that the positive effects of social media surpass the negative effects. The users care about the usage of vocabulary as much as they can afford in their communication through social media. Positive effects are mainly showed in the learners’s vocabulary enlargement, pronunciation improvement, scanning ability development while reading the text on social media. Also, through social media learners can chase last social events and news in English, which really develop their listening skill in a positive way.
Findings and discussion
The research revealed that the learners enjoy using social media as it was encouraging and satisfying. Social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have become extremely popular among Internet users who want to exchange their thoughts as well as to engage in other online activities. It should be noted that the social media can be accessed easily; they are free and attractive to users and are regarded as the new platform for students of English to express themselves in original ways. A large number of learners agrees that social media is a beneficial learning platform that can help improve the second language learning as well as adding up the learners’s knowledge. The findings of this study revealed that the learners enjoy using social media since it was stimulating and pleasurable. As a result, social media strengthen motivations, and self-determination in students’s self learning. The benefit of social media as a learning tool provides a new awareness to learners which existed in different forms, including asking questions and the sharing of thoughts. Currently, there are two trends of social networking applications for learning and education activities: using popular social networking sites (using common features combined with learning activities, creating education page) and use social networking sites dedicated to learning. The use of popular social networking sites for learning purposes contributes to promoting and supporting learning activities but is not really effective. Therefore, current social networking sites have focused on the complete space for learning (Nhị, 2011).
Students consider Facebook social network an integral part of life and using social media has become a daily routine. It is difficult students to leave Facebook, because all their friends are on Facebook and in the future, they will not want to give up Facebook. These friendships are not just an extension of the existing student relationships in real life, but more and more relationships are created and exist only on Facebook. It is noteworthy that there are a number of methods in using social media to facilitate learning among students such as to share and update information about lectures, group exercises, timetables, extracurricular programs, also exchanges, making friends, participating application online. Thereby, the social network Facebook represents its interaction, while at the same time can bring users different utilities( Lộc, An, & Thuận,2013). To conclude, the use of social media in educational environment showed that most of the students are concerned with having opportunities to learn and they used the social media as a tool to improve their language skills.
Recommendations and Conclusion
This study measures the prominence of social media in learning English as the second language. The findings of the study showed that most of the students use social media in order to improve their English language proficiency. Social media can be regarded as a tool which is helpful in improving the English language learning. It is noteworthy that social media is an effective tool in improving students’s English language learning. The students’ believe that social media is a precious and powerful tool for learning English as the second language. Terantino (2011) who said that the purpose of using technology in education is to improve the standard of teaching and learning. It is considerable that social media offers a range of tasks that helps students in share and update information. It is also worth highlighting that the social media have enabled learners to communicate with foreigners in English. This study has proven that students’s knowledge, attitude and learning attainment were positively by the impact of the usage of social media. Based on the results of this study, students should be encouraged to use social media like Facebook and Youtube in learning English as a second language. Also, students should use social media in order to build social relationship with foreigners.
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