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INTRODUCTION Social networking media phenomenon is continuing to grow at fast pace. includes Facebook.

Such media

It is important to know what it can do on our personal language

communication. Despite the possible harm it has on our community, we would like to know if it can be used for educational purposes and thus improves learners’ language proficiency. According to the journal article of ‘Case Studies on the Use of Online Social Networking in Formal Education,’ it presents two experiments carried out on the use of a social networking site in education. The use of online social networking in formal education is drawn. It states that the networking sites are being used in education in a non-formal way. The benefits and disadvantages of this approach are discussed in this paper. The Facebook is used as platform to carry out experiments. From ‘Connecting Through Facebook: The Influence Of Social Networking On Communication’ thesis by Jason Tyson, argues on that while modes of communicating using technology such as text messaging, e-mail and instant messaging remain dominant forms of interaction, messaging on the social networking site; particularly on the popular site Facebook; has joined this group as another primary form of communication. The idea of how FB has affected interpersonal communications also discussed. Journal article on ‘Facebook in the Language Classroom: Promises and Possibilities’ by Geraldine Blattner and Melissa Fiori positions today’s Social Network Communities within the broader context of Computer Mediated Communication and community building with the intention of shedding new light on the importance of implementing high-tech elearning tools such as Facebook into the L2 classroom. Besides that, it addresses the powerful resources and learning opportunities that this social network has to offer when implemented in a pedagogically meaningful way. A journal of ‘Investigating the impact of Facebook’ by Louis Roelofse examined the effect of language typically used on social network sites such as Facebook on the written academic work of a selected group of high school learners. The aim was to determine the occurrence of access to Facebook and of exposure to Facebook-speak amongst high school learners, and to establish whether any evidence of Facebook-speak features are identified in the written academic work of these learners.


From journal article ‘Are Digital Media Changing Language?’ by Naomi S. Baron, it has found that electronically mediated language is only changing the mechanics of traditional speech and writing in a few minor ways. Furthermore, it is natural for language to evolve. The research is also more of concerning on the way the new media may be changing our attitudes toward language and two attitude shifts stand out from it. The questions to be addressed in this research project are on what does online social networking media impact students’ academic written language and how this social media network can be used for educational purposes? Does this social media network improves the learners’ language proficiency and helps them mastering languages?


RESEARCH METHODOLOGY For this study, two instruments were used in collecting the data and other information. After some considerations being made to answering the research questions, the tools used are questionnaire and interviews. The study was carried out among 25 random respondents within a small range of circles from any social background such as gender, race, and origin. The respondents come from different programs of studies and these include social studies, bioscience and computer science. However, the target participants were the young adults. The category of ‘young adults’ was chosen because it represents the generation of Internet users worldwide. Over the past ten years, teens and young adults have been consistently the two groups most likely to go online (Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2004-2009). Young adults are defined as individuals between the ages of 18 to 25; nonetheless only two respondents are not from that age range. The sample was a bit imbalanced for gender, with 19 females and 6 males of respondents. A set of computerized questionnaire was developed that inquired about individuals’ use of language online and specifically on Facebook medium. Facebook users were chose as it is the language use in it that was being focused. There are sixteen questions altogether in the questionnaire and this include two questions on their details of social background. The questionnaire first pilot tested by a group of small people before finalized and distributed by posting it on Facebook group pages to any 25 potential respondents to respond.


respondents answered the set of questions anonymously. Questionnaire data was analysed to allow the examination of why and how the participants used a particular language in Facebook. The participants were also asked to include any suggestions on advantages and disadvantages of using Facebook in language learning to answer the question on does Facebook benefits in language learning and how Facebook might be beneficial for educational purposes. Interviews were also carried out on four people. The respondents were the volunteers between the age of 20 and 22 students and they are female. Two of them are the Social Science students and the other two are the non-Social Science students. The interviews were conducted through phone calls and the conversations were recorded and the recordings were insisted to be kept private from public use and view. 3

After potential interviewees were identified and permissions to conduct the interviews were approved, a set of questions were rearranged and created before the interviews were carried out. Interview data was analysed to allow the examination of does different form of writing language on Facebook really impact their academic written language projects and how beneficial it is to use Facebook in assisting language learning in classrooms. It is important to point out the limitations of this study. The sample size is small and was selected through personal contacts of the researcher and also a few outsiders, and is thus a combination of non-random and random. In addition, no systematic attempt was made to assess participants’ fluency in their language of use in Facebook. Their language of use can be in English and Bahasa Malaysia. For these reason, the result of this study cannot be assumed to be generalizable to other populations beyond this group of subjects. This study should be considered as an exploratory investigation that had the aims to identify possible issues regarding research question of this study and trends for future research.


FINDINGS Questionnaire From the questionnaire, it is shown that 52% or half of the respondents would spend more than an hour on Facebook per day. It is the highest percentage and that makes it the most common form of FB users among the other four options of answers. The other options included, 16% would spend 45 minutes to an hour, and another 16% would spend a total of six to 20 minutes, 12% of the respondents would spend 21 to 45 minutes and only 4% selected would spend only five minutes or less on FB. Altogether, they make a total of another 48%. This question is important to ensure their level of activeness on using FB. An inactive user’s opinion might disrupt data. Their number one primary use when logged into Facebook was to check status updates of friends and family members. This comprises of 76% of respondents. Comes in second in which comprises 20% of all, is to send messages or wall posts to friends and family members and the rest use FB to play games and applications equipped by the FB itself. No one responds on the choices of using FB primarily to post photos they have taken and to make new friends. A total of 40% of respondents say they use a different form of language when writing on FB than when they are writing in class and another 48%, which is the highest remark say they sometimes use a different form of language when writing on FB and sometimes they do not. The group that say they do not use different form of language only comprises of 12%. From that, 88% responded that their friends do understand each other even though different form of language is used on the FB and left another 12% responded with sometimes they understand and sometimes not.


From the pie chart above, it shows that the highest percentage; 60% of respondents disagree to the statement of writing on FB affects the way they write academic papers. The least percentage, by 12% agrees to the statement. For the next question, out of all respondents, 96% say yes when asked do you concentrate on the language you use when doing written work in academic class. Another 4% says that they do not concentrate and no one voted for the sometimes option.

(16%) Do not worry about spelling (make spelling errors)

(24%) Do not worry about punctuation (Leave out commas and full stops)

(31%) Overly punctuate sentences (use lots of exclamation marks)

(14%) Leave out functional words (leave words like the/an out of sentences)

(14%) Make excessive use of abbreviations and acronyms (e.g. “ROFL” for “rolling on the floor laughing”) From the graph above, the following list are the items of what the respondents always

do when writing on FB. They were allowed to mark all that applies to them. It can be seen that overly punctuate sentences are the famous kind of writing but the other items are just fairly voted as well and the reasons for them to do these writings are as illustrated in the pie chart below.


The highest percentage of respondents voted for express my thoughts better which has 52% of votes. Comes in second is the option of write faster to save time which has 32% of votes. The options of follow the trend and make most of the space given are both voted by 8% of respondents. When asked whether they have ever used abbreviated words in their assignments or exam, either purposely or accidentally, 76% of them voted never while the other 24% voted sometimes and no vote on many times option. For the next question, when asked is it important to be able to distinguish between “May I come in?” and “Can I come in?” 80% voted for yes and the other 20% voted for no. In addition to that, from the next question, 100% voted that as a student, they do understand what kind of language is appropriate in certain context. This is important to ensure they do know their limit in using certain form of languages when writing in different contexts. Fortunately, all of the respondents are aware of the importance of being able to write differently and correctly. Below is the pie chart that shows a 100% respondents votes yes.

For the next question; does online social networking (OSN) like FB benefits in language learning classroom? The answer can be seen in the pie chart below. There is only a slight difference with 52% of respondents voted yes and 48% voted no. This is important to know each of the respondents’ view on whether FB benefits in assisting language learning in classroom.


This looks like a huge debate. The respondents were also asked to state their reasons for their choice. For the respondents who voted No, most of them stated and can be concluded that FB does not benefit in language classroom because FB is not a place for people to learn language. For the respondents whom voted Yes, FB benefits in language learning in classroom as people or students tend to learn new words and able to exchange new knowledge when connecting with their friends. When asked to give at least one advantage of using FB in language learning, and this question is required to be answered by all of them, most of them responded that FB is a good place or medium where we can gain new words thus improves our vocabularies. Some also responded that FB is where we learn from others’ who regularly post about something with good English. For the last question and which is required to all of them, the need to state at least one disadvantage of using FB in language learning. Most of them stated that with FB, students tend to use a lot of abbreviation words.


Interviews One respondent representing the Social Science students, a first year TESOL student’s opinions and answers is taken for this study. She is twenty years old. She is taken to represent the English student-teachers and her views on this issue are highly needed. She considered herself as an active FB user in the term of a student. Assessment of a subject is being done in a FB page where she along with her classmates is required to post a personal review related to the teaching development. For this, formal written language is used. When it comes to personal use, informal language, colloquial and internet slangs are used. When asked by accident or purposely, have you ever used any FB language in your academic project? She answered yes, sometimes. She also stated that even though they are reminded that the usage of emoticon and short forms are highly not recommended but surprisingly they did it anyway without noticing it (She was referring to the FB page). However, when it comes to writing papers, formal language is used where grammar rules are taken into more seriously. When asked have you ever been asked to correct your use of language in your paper? And if it yes, is it because your usage of FB that is affecting you? She answered yes and it is FB that affects the way she writes but it affects in both good and bad way. She added that the existence of the ‘Grammar Nazi’ individuals for instance will help us as they will correct our grammar mistakes every time we made a mistake. Eventually, people will learn from it. A situation of ‘an English language teacher is using FB as a platform to teach English with his students, what is your opinion with this statement’ is given to the respondent. She stated that it is a good approach and it depends to the teacher on how he conducts it.

She also

undoubtedly said that FB is absolutely will be beneficial in language learning. She concluded that FB does affecting her academic written language performance. From the second interviewee that represents the non-Social Science students, is another female of the age of twenty two. She is a Bio-Science student. She is a major in Animal Resource and Management (Zoology) and she in her final year. She is an active FB user and primarily logs in FB to check out status updates from friends, family members and even from favourite artists. She stated that she never either accidentally or purposely write FB language in her academic papers. When asked have you ever been asked to correct your use of language in your paper? And if it yes, is it because your usage of FB that is affecting you? She answered that sometimes she misspelled but it is not the usage of FB that is 9

affecting her. It was just a result of not knowing the right spelling. When given a situation on an English language teacher is using FB as a platform to teach English with his students, what is your opinion with this statement, she completely disagree and questioned why would people use FB to learn something. Nevertheless, when given a second situation, a teacher made a FB page for his students to share their work and they are required to use correct sentence and spelling, she responded that it would be beneficial. At the end of the interview she concluded that FB does not affecting her academic written language performance at all. When the respondents were asked if writing the way u write in FB is allowed in your academic paper, what would be your reaction? Both first and second interviewees expressed their shock feeling and it should not ever be that way. The TESOL student stated that it is important to have a silver lining between the informal and formal languages. To her, the usage of formal language for educational purposes is highly required.

For the second

interviewee (Bio-Science student), her course papers are filled with scientific terms thus it is not proper to use FB language in writing papers. academic papers are not a mere daily conversation.


Formal language should be used because

DISCUSSION How this social media network affects a learner’s written work? From this investigation, it shows that students do not find their written academic work affected by FB. The way they write on FB which is obviously different, do not affect their performance whenever it comes to academic works. Somehow, there are still a number of respondents who are unsure on this and also from the first interviewee who concluded FB does affecting her academic written language. On the contrary, the study from ‘Investigating the Impact of Facebook’ journal by Louis Roelofse concentrates on whether or not Facebook-speak; written language used during communication on Facebook, has any remarkable impact on the written academic work of a group high school learners. In detail, it investigated the effect of this Social Network Site (SNS) on the academic written language of the selected learners. This study includes a few interviews and questionnaires for both students and teachers. Teachers’ point of views was being studied unlike this paper. From the excerpts given below, it shows that teachers agree and the others even strongly agree that FB has a negative effect on their students. Question four on the teacher’s questionnaires asked “do you think the incorporation of Facebook-speak, if any, has a negative effect on written work?” Three out of the five participants stated they agree and two selected strongly agree. This evidence supports the hypothesis that Facebook has an effect on the learners work and that this observed effect is a negative one. Other than that, the final posted question on teachers asked whether they thought that new literacies associated with electronic media should be integrated into the written academic work at schools. Four from five participants selected strongly disagree and the other chose disagree. This indicates that language aspects associated with FB have the tendency to be negative as was indicated by the data from these particular teachers, as being negative. The highlighted observed language features are all regarded to be contrary to the required formal language as prescribed by schools. In addition, educators do not foresee any positive values in relation of FB to written academic work. It is said that teachers’ opinions are not final and accurate. Facebook language could be regarded as a type of genre containing its own functions within the language syllabus of a school. Facebook text could be an additional, independent new literacy to be studied with the existing types of formal written texts found in the language syllabi.


A written exercise was conducted to show why the teachers behave like that. The learners’ written exercises accounted for the majority of data that substantiated the hypothesis that Facebook-speak/SMS-speak impact on the written academic work of second language learners at school. Firstly, the exercise was structured so that learners had to write a letter to a friend giving them news of the Olympic Games which they are imagined to have attended. Out of the 88 participants that completed the exercise only 13 formatted their responses into a conventional letter. Therefore 88% of the learners would have failed the exercise, had it been an official school test. Writing a letter is a part of the official school syllabus so learners should have been familiar with the required format. How this social media network can be used for educational purposes? Does this social media network improves the learners’ language proficiency and helps them mastering languages? The studies below show how well the social media networking is in assisting language learning. Using Facebook in language learning is favourable and shows positive evidences. Using Facebook enables encouragement to the students’ learning efficiency and also easing teacher’s work. When comparing these with the data collected from this study, the respondents show a great number by which ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are almost equally divided by them. This means that the amount of people agree and against this idea are in balanced. This can be considered as a healthy number as our community is actually aware of this possibilities and they have their reasons to support their choice. According to the journal article of ‘Case Studies on the Use of Online Social Networking in Formal Education,’ it emphasizes more on how FB is beneficial to its users. The observation from the study shows that the use of online social networking (OSN) can be very beneficial in teaching and learning process. For this study, two teachers used FB as OSN platform to set a few exercise as both parties have FB accounts. One case study was on the French exercise and the other was General Paper and English Literature exercise. From these case studies, the students have shown their interest in using OSNs for educational purposes. From the participation rate, it showed that students were motivated to work out the exercises online. In addition, the researchers cleared that the participants were able to support and assess their peers using OSN which enhanced learning during a French discussion topic 12

posted by their teacher. The teacher too was quite satisfied in using FB as a tool for teaching and stated that 55% of her students were really interested to use FB as a new method to study. As for the English teacher, she stated that this method is quite successful for teaching and learning purposes but it could be further improved. She noted on a few issues for instance, “there were no responses from the students at the beginning and the teacher had to remind them of the exercise posted.” She outlined two important FB features that can be used for educational purposes and there are (a) groups to post exercises and (b) FB questions for polling purposes. Journal article of ‘Facebook in the Language Classroom: Promises and Possibilities’ too revolves around how FB is beneficial to language learning. According to Blattner and Fiori, FB is undoubtedly a tool that can enhance the sense of belonging. FB has unique features offering constructive educational experiences while able to maintain privacy and safety of its users.

OSN would encourage their participation in any language lessons.

Technology is an inherent part of our students’ daily activities and as Windham (2005) reported via the researchers, many students expect technology to be an integral part of Higher Education. The editor also noted that Facebook, the web-based Socratic dialog, deserves intense and critical analysis. What forms of knowledge and awareness will evolve from this ubiquitous sharing of a learning canvas? From a pedagogical perspective, Ertmer (2005) pointed out that low level technology uses are generally associated with teacher-centred classrooms, whereas high-level technology usually promote constructivist practices in which the students have to collaborate. Thus, High tech e-learning technologies require professors to adapt to a new way of communicating with students and to modify classroom methodologies (Dillon and Walsh, 1992; Smith et. al, 2000).

From pedagogical practice mentioned in the report and via researchers, recent

investigations have pointed out that Facebook can have a positive effect on the student-tostudent and student-to-teacher relationship (Mazer et al, 2007). This is when FB is used for community building. In addition, Mazer and his colleagues noted that by accessing a social networking website, students may see similarities with peers and instructor’s personal interest which can lead to more comfortable communication and learning outcomes.

By this,

confidence can be improved and thus encourage more effective learning. From this study, it can be said that Facebook may have its impact on academic written language in both ways, good and bad. Mostly, it does not affect them in a huge way. 13

Students realised the importance of keeping the formal language in a hundred years’ time thus when writing academic papers, more attention is given to it. Facebook may be used as medium language learning and it depends on the teachers on how they handle it. It has its advantages and disadvantages. Using OSN can motivate students and able to keep a closer relationship between teachers and their students and also among the students themselves. Future studies should be more focused on the type of academic writings and how is it Facebook or other OSN affect the writings. It would be interesting to understand more clearly from their writing on both FB and academic papers. The study would be more encourage on a bigger scale of respondents and with more balanced gender.



Blattner, G., Fiori, M. (2009). Facebook in the Language Classroom: Promises and Possibilities. Retrieved from Baron,









from Crystal, D. (2001). Language and the Internet. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press Gitimu, P., Sponcil, M. (n.d.). Use of social media by college students: Relationship to communication and self-concept (2012, 03). Impact of Social Network on the Language English. Retrieved 03, 2012, from Roelofse, L. (2013, December 12). Investigating the impact of Facebook-speak on the written academic work of learners in a Western Cape high school.

Retrieved from R., Elaheebocus, Khedo, K. K., Suntoo, S.M., & Mocktoolah, A (2012). International journal of computer applications, 45(8).


Impact FB on academic written language