Universiti Malaysia Terengganu
Education is a vital catalyst in developing and generating skilful students who can confidently gain a competitive edge in the age of Information Communication Technology (ICT). The education system of a country plays a crucial role in shaping the future of the nation, specifically inculcating critical thinking skills, effective communication skills as well as competence in English language communication skills. The Malaysian government’s aspiration is to increase the use of information communication and technology (ICT) in the educational system. Therefore, Malaysia focuses on this for the future with careful and strategic planning for the educational system in order to enable students to face global challenges. Apparently, the use of social media in the field of language teaching and learning is gaining tremendous favour with the government of Malaysia. Despite the benefits of implementing social media in ESL classroom, critics argue that “there are serious risks to using social media in the classroom” (Karen Lederer, 2012). In fact, there are critics which call for regulation and for removing social media from classrooms. Nevertheless, this study intends to explore the usage of facebook in ESL classroom and the impact in language learning, specifically in secondary schools. Further, it also attempts to elicit students’ perceptions on the implementation of the social media in language learning. This study involved 13 secondary schools in Terengganu, in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. This study features 260 participants from the ESL classroom. The data for this study consists of students’ transcripts from the facebook interactions as well as interviews. The findings revealed that facebook is an effective tool for students’ interactions especially in the discussion of their task-related activity as well as non-task-related activity. To conclude, this study is desired to provide valuable insights for the future research in computer-mediated communication, predominantly focusing on the use of new media which is crucial in the age of information and communication technology.
facebook, interactions, social media, language learning