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An Exploration of Student and Academic Uses and Perceptions of Social Network Sites in Foreign Language Learning

Alghafri, Maryam (2019) An Exploration of Student and Academic Uses and Perceptions of Social Network Sites in Foreign Language Learning. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

In this thesis, I explore how Omani students use social network sites (SNSs) as part of their everyday lives and as a tool to learn English. I paid particular attention to the students’ uses of SNSs in their English learning. I adopted a sociocultural framework to explore and understand the students’ and teachers’ practices. I collected the data for this study using a mixed methods approach in the academic year 2014–2015. The data consisted of responses to a questionnaire of 549 students and focus group discussions with 32 participating students from five Colleges of Technology in Oman. The data also consisted of three semi-structured interviews with three English teachers. The findings show that the students’ daily uses of SNSs seem to be influenced by many contextual and cultural factors. The findings also show that the majority of Omani students used SNSs in their informal learning of English as a foreign language (EFL). Influenced by their positive approach to SNSs in everyday uses, the students expressed positive perceptions about using SNSs in formal English teaching. The teachers also had positive views about using SNSs in their teaching; however, they faced many challenges in integrating them in teaching. This study shows that integrating SNSs in EFL learning is not always as easy as many of us would believe because SNSs are already an essential part of youths’ lives. The findings contribute to our understandings of how the context influences and mediates EFL learning practices.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.784693
Depositing User: Ms Maryam Alghafri
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2019 10:38
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:08
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24543

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