A Facebook Project for Japanese University Students: Does It Really Enhance Student Interaction, Learner Autonomy, and English Abilities?

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Language: English

© 2012 Research-publishing.net


Facebook is the most popular social network service (SNS) in the world and a great platform for a link to the world. It can also be used effectively for language learning in EFL environments. However, that is not the case in Japan. The number of Facebook users accounts for less than 6 % of the population. This is partly because the most popular SNS in Japan is MIXI, which is available only in the Japanese language. This study examined the potential of Facebook for Japanese university students to develop their English skills as well as student interaction and learner autonomy. It describes how to introduce and integrate Facebook into a freshmen English course in a Japanese university. The survey conducted at the beginning of the semester revealed that only 15% of the students had a Facebook account. In order to habituate the students to using Facebook and improve their English skills, a writing task on Facebook was assigned every week. The results of the project, based on the feedback from the students and two surveys conducted at the beginning and the end of the semester, will be presented. I will also discuss how Facebook can facilitate not only the language learning of students, but also the interaction between the students, and access to the outer world.

Keywords: social network, Facebook, learner autonomy, writing.


Nihon no Facebook riyosha 1000 mannincho [The number of Japanese Facebook users exceeded 10million]. (2012, March 22). Nihon Keizai Shimbun (p. 15).

Schalow, T. (2011). Building an online learning community in Japan: The challenge of distributed learning in a social network. In S. M. Thang, K, Pramela, F. F.Wong, L. K. Lin, M. Jamilah, & M. Marlyna (Eds.), Language and Cultural Diversity (pp. 89-105). Serdang: Universiti Putra Malaysia Press.

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Hamada, Mayumi. (2012). A Facebook Project for Japanese University Students: Does It Really Enhance Student Interaction, Learner Autonomy, and English Abilities?. In Linda Bradley, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 104-110). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2012.000035

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A Facebook Project for Japanese University Students (2): Does It Really Enhance Student Interaction, Learner Autonomy, and English Abilities?
Hamada, Mayumi.
A follow-up study of the Facebook project for Japanese university students: Has it been enhancing student interaction, learner autonomy, and English learning?
Hamada, Mayumi.