The English and Foreign Languages University, India
One common problem observed in ESL/EFL classes is that learners feel anxious to participate in the communicative activities in the class. A major reason for the problem might be the fear of making mistakes while speaking in English. An observation was made by the researcher (during a survey that was conducted before the study) which suggested that learners rarely get the opportunity to interact in English with their peers outside the classroom. The present study aims to investigate the effect of providing online communicative tasks through popular social media on ESL learners’ participation in classroom communicative activities. The study was based on the assumption that as social media is one of the most preferred mediums of communication for learners; it could also be seen as a potential teaching/learning tool. The paper thus also discusses the added benefits of using blended learning method in ESL/EFL classroom. A study was conducted with 20 Non-Native Speakers of English (NNS) in India who are currently pursuing their degree in engineering. The subjects had to participate in multiple rounds of both online and offline discussions. Tools used to collect data included facebook messenger, communicative face to face tasks, semi-structured interview and classroom observation. The data collected during the intervention was analyzed using mixed method. The findings of the study stated that there is a positive effect of online synchronous discussion on ESL learners’ participation in classroom communicative activities.
Online synchronous discussion, face-to-face discussion, pre-task, ESL