Gazi University (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 3262-3277
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Learners employ certain strategies to manage and direct their own learning and contribute to their development. Similarly, language learners also benefit from certain learning strategies to process new information and monitor their progress. These learning strategies could be found complex to apply in educational settingd by some foreign language teachers but even online environments can help educators to guide their students’ foreign language learning and support them during their studies. As a part of Web 2.0 technologies, social networking sites such as Facebook could offer new perspectives for teachers and different learning experiences for students. So this paper aims to show foreign language teachers how to use Facebook to develop learning strategies of students and how to apply it in classroom settings. For this purpose, 221 student teachers and 6 teacher educators in English Language Teaching (ELT) Department at Gazi University were given written interview form (WIF) and subsequently there were stimulated recall sessions with 21 student teachers and 6 teacher educators who were applied WIF previously. After written and oral data were gathered, they were coded and categorized according to the previously defined area- namely learning strategies including cognitive, meta-cognitive and socio-affective learning strategies. Constant comparison method of grounded theory was employed to form categories and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS)-16 was used to calculate the items found in demographic information and to assess whether these items affect the results obtained. The results show that high majority of student teachers in Language Teaching (ELT) Department at Gazi University at Gazi University are in favor of Facebook integration in English classes, female student teachers are more positive about Facebook use to develop certain learning strategies than their male counterparts and they welcome newer technology applications for educational purposes. Additionally, the findings offer us valuable insights into how to make use of Facebook to develop cognitive, meta-cognitive and socio-affective learning strategies in English classes and provide important applications for online learning. In light of the obtained data, it can be said that newer Web applications and online resources affect the direction of foreign language learning and create new learning opportunities for digital learners of the 21st century. What remains unknown is how to turn these tools into educational devices and how to educate student teachers in their pre-service programmes to be equipped with the necessary knowledge, experience and expertise. In this way, they can meet their students’ expectations better and serve their needs more easily. Moreover, necessary changes can be made in teacher training programmes and various materials could be developed to serve this purpose in the rapidly changing world.
Facebook, English language teaching, social networking sites, teacher education, learning strategies.