Moving beyond four walls and forming a learning community for speaking practice under the auspices of Facebook

Quynh PT Duong, Thinh N. Pham

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    There is a paucity of opportunities for Vietnamese EFL students to use and practise English speaking skills both inside and outside the classroom, attributing to students’ lack of interest and motivation in improving their speaking skills. Given that learning can be distributed across a multitude of formal and informal settings, the social and informal features of Facebook serve as potentially ubiquitous support for students to productively practise and use the target language. To date, however, much of the discussion of the promising incorporations of Facebook into EFL teaching and learning repertoire remains largely in writing and intercultural communicative effectiveness, with an evident scarcity of empirical research on students’ speaking practice. This qualitative study was conducted with 10 Vietnamese EFL learners, aiming to examine whether the Facebook-based learning community articulated any educational potentials for EFL speaking practice. The findings revealed that there were three features of the Facebook-based learning community, including flexible access, shared visions and values and collaborative relationships, which were beneficial for the members to maintain learning motivation, be more engaged in peer collaboration and co-construct essential knowledge for speaking practice. The findings suggested that the Facebook-based learning community could serve as a means for promoting more speaking practice among Vietnamese EFL learners.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalE-Learning and Digital Media
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2021

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