Fostering Foreign Language Learning with Twitter: What Do English Learners Think About It?

Belgin AYDIN

Education in 21st century is dominated by the generation of digital natives who are greatly exposed to and participate in technology in their social and educational lives. There is no doubt that anything experienced in social life directly affects learners' educational experiences. Highly popular social networks are being used in almost every educational area. In the process of teaching English as a foreign language social networking sites enhance active participation of learners for real purposes. This helps them gain motivation and real life experience through gaining different roles, such as authors and readers. One of the most widely used social networking sites is Twitter, a microblogging platform. This study focuses on use of twitter as a microblogging platform by learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) at Anadolu University School of Foreign Languages. The study aims to gain insights about learners' perceptions of the use of Twitter in language learning process and how participants feel about their tweeting as an extra -curricular activity throughout 4 weeks, each consisting of three different hot topics either determined by the class teachers or by students themselves. The study based on voluntary participation, and the content had no relation with the curriculum. The participants answered a questionnaire and evaluated Twitter along with language learning process. The results reveal that Turkish learners had mostly positive opinions on using Twitter and stated that twitting messages facilitated their language learning experience. Including extracurricular activities, such as Twitter, into language teaching is suggested as a result of this study.

KEYWORDS: Twitter, Social Networking Site, EFL, micro-blogging, foreign language learning.

DOI : 10.17718/tojde.382734