The Use of Social Media for Student’s English Learning

By: Nor Kholis Majid

English Department Student of 2019, Class C

The pervasiveness of technology has remarkably brought enormous changes in many fields of life including in the educational realm. Namaziandost and Nasri (2019) argue that education field all over the world is now obviously experiencing a revolution resulted from the evolving technologies which enable students to generate content, exchange thoughts and share knowledge. All those activities can be done easily with the help of social media. As the term that is popularly used nowadays, social media is defined as the online means of communication, conveyance, collaboration, and cultivation among interconnected and interdependent networks of people, communities, and organizations enhanced by technological capabilities (Tuten and Solomon, 2015). Social media, as a product of technology advancement, offers myriads of advantages when it is incorporated in learning. Chen and Bryer (2012) explain that the open-access social media sites help students to explore more information and experiences than what they would obtain if they are in a closed environment alone. It shows that the use of social media will bring a great number of advantages for English learners. They can choose what and how to learn English that matches their personal needs by communicating with other users from around the world. There is no limitation of time and place as they do at school. Those kinds of advantages absolutely will help the student in improving their English skills.

Language is used by human beings to communicate among each other. In learning English, one has to practice using it continuously by communicating with other people in English either in written form or in spoken form. Practicing English can be done by using social media as people from all over the world can communicate regardless time and geographical matter. Nasrullah and Khan (2019) in their study reported that students believed by using social media, they noticed some improvement in their communication skills and they could have conversations with other people at any time. In addition, students are in favor of using social media as it helps them learn to improve their English skills due to the fact that it is accessible and handy. The use of social media can facilitate its users to develop four English skills, listening, reading, writing, and speaking. To improve speaking skill, students can start with their favorite things such as songs, movies, or Youtube videos. Reading is a behavioral activity that has to be improved time by time. It can be started by reading Instagram’s caption in English or tweeting in English. Students can start to improve their writing skill through Twitter, a caption on Instagram, and even on blogs. They can write about their interests, ideas, wishes, humor, and anything else they think about. Practicing speaking by using social media is very practical to be done since social media has a wide range of audiovisual contents and might reduce the effects of psychological factors on speaking, as reported by Juhana (2012), such as fear of making mistakes, shyness, anxiety, lack of self-confidence, and lack of motivation that might hinder students to speak English in class.

Social media gives unlimited access for the students in communication, expressing thoughts, or even finding information. They have all the things that will be very helpful for improving their English skills. Even though social media has useful functions in improving students’ English skills, it is going to be worthless without good control from parents and teachers. Some of the most popular platforms are not designed for education, but innovative teachers or parents are able to take advantage and finding ways to use these technologies for learning. Instagram is not an app for educational purpose but it can be a good place to improve students’ writing skill as well as their speaking skill. Teachers or parents can ask for students to make a short English video with a long caption. Parents and teachers do not only give the tasks to the student but they have to come along with the students so that they can follow up the students when the students have a problem.

In conclusion, social media has a huge impact on students’ development in learning English. There are a lot of platforms that can be accessed by the students to improve their listening, reading, writing, and speaking skill. All those skills can be improved well if the parents or teachers take a control on their learning process. Parents or teachers have to be able to follow up the students so that they can help them when the student find some problem during their learning.

Sources:

Chen, B., & Bryer, T. (2012). Investigating instructional strategies for using social media in formal and informal learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(1), 87–104.

Namaziandost, E., & Nasri, M. (2019). The impact of social media on EFL learners’ speaking skill: A survey study involving EFL teachers and students. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research, 6(3), 199–215.

Nasrullah, S., & Khan, M. F. R. (2019). Examining the impact of social media on the academic performances of saudi students - case study: prince sattam bin abdul aziz university. Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews, 7(5), 851–861.

Pitaloka, N. L., Anggraini, H. W., & Sari, A. (2021). Learning english through social media: Experiences of EFL student teachers at one Islamic University in Indonesia. Ta`dib: Jurnal Pendidikan Islam, 26(1), 1-14.

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