Utilizing a Social Networking Website as an ESL Pedagogical Tool in a Blended Learning Environment: An Exploratory Study

Nor Ashikin, Ab Manan, Ahmad Alias, Ambigapathy Pandian
2012 International Journal of Social Sciences and Education   unpublished
This exploratory study was conducted to investigate the possibility of blending a conventional classroom teaching with an online instruction via a social networking website, Facebook. Since Malaysian adolescents have been found to spend a great deal of their time outside school hours online with an evident preference towards entertainment and social networking websites (Tan, Ng & Saw, 2010), it is felt that using an online tool to supplement their classroom teaching would be in line with the
more » ... in line with the current trend. Since English is the language commonly used by these youngsters in their online communication, it is felt that there are potential benefits of utilizing one of the features from this popular social networking website, Facebook which is 'Facebook Group' in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) context. The researchers believe that the features offered by 'Facebook Group', with careful manipulation, can be used as a powerful pedagogical tool. Blending conventional face-to-face instruction with online learning activities does not only solve teachers' problem of inadequate class time but will make learning more appealing to the techno-savvy younger generation learners. This article will describe how face-to-face instruction was blended with online activities via 'Facebook Group' in this exploratory study.