About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3667-3675
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0899

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

DAILY TWEET STRUCTURE AND DISCOURSE: MIXED-METHOD ANALYSIS OF TWITTER WRITING ASSIGNMENTS IN THE EFL CLASSROOM

T. Bonnah, M. Donnellan

Kwansei Gakuin University (JAPAN)
Twitter has become a ubiquitous and influential Social Networking Service (SNS), and thus its usefulness in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teaching has naturally come under scrutiny. Twitter use and market penetration is especially significant in Japan, where a Japanese-friendly interface was introduced in 2008 (Mette 2009), and where currently over 22 millions users reside (statista.com). As EFL instructors at a leading Japanese university where students habitually interact on Twitter, the two presenters realized the promise of SNS to promote student writing outside of the classroom, especially the everyday practice of writing as opposed to the constraints of classroom-bound writing assignments. Students were assigned daily Twitter writing tasks, which were well received by them, and which offered them a unique opportunity to interact with their peers and their teacher in an authentic manner and on a routine basis.

In this unique action research report, the presenters compiled and analyzed a corpus of Twitter data from their pilot program at a Japanese university. The corpus was compiled from tweets generated daily by low-level EFL learners using personal mobile devices, essentially an 'extensive writing' teaching approach that works oppositely from traditional intensive writing assignments. While much EFL research on Twitter uses corpus linguistic methods to analyze lexico-grammatical features, this research employs an original mixed-methods approach which blends both quantitative and qualitative methods. In addition to analyzing the statistical significance of grammatical and lexical features, the authors also looked at socio-linguistic features, namely discourses of identity, authority and interaction, via their appearance in semiotic features of student writing. Specifically, we inventoried the consistency and clarity of messages, their distinctiveness, relevance to their supposed readers, use of multimodal literacies, and the understanding of English cultural norms they displayed. Using this mixed analytical methodology, we uncovered both how these tweets evidenced EFL improvement, as well as the motivational and affective factors that are integral for learning to take place.

This research thus presents not only a unique way to look at how to analyze the educational value of Twitter and similar technologies, but more importantly it articulates a teaching methodology that harnesses the unique characteristics of SNS, while at the same time showing practicalities of successful integration of mobile technology into the language classroom. The presenters also offer advice for discourse analysis of Twitter data, as well as a breakdown of implications of their findings for integration of SNS in EFL, as well as in other second language acquisition or teaching contexts.
@InProceedings{BONNAH2017DAI,
author = {Bonnah, T. and Donnellan, M.},
title = {DAILY TWEET STRUCTURE AND DISCOURSE: MIXED-METHOD ANALYSIS OF TWITTER WRITING ASSIGNMENTS IN THE EFL CLASSROOM},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.0899},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.0899},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {3667-3675}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Bonnah AU - M. Donnellan
TI - DAILY TWEET STRUCTURE AND DISCOURSE: MIXED-METHOD ANALYSIS OF TWITTER WRITING ASSIGNMENTS IN THE EFL CLASSROOM
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.0899
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 3667
EP - 3675
ER -
T. Bonnah, M. Donnellan (2017) DAILY TWEET STRUCTURE AND DISCOURSE: MIXED-METHOD ANALYSIS OF TWITTER WRITING ASSIGNMENTS IN THE EFL CLASSROOM, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 3667-3675.
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