Does exposure to L2 facebook pages impact language learning? An examination of the relation between facebook reading experience and foreign language development
As the most popular social networking site in the world, Facebook has sparked great interest from researchers to examine its educational affordances. While Facebook is oftentimes employed as a technology tool to facilitate language-classroom communication and collaboration, the current study examined the potential utilization of Facebook pages as a source of English reading input. A Facebook recognition test was developed utilizing the checklist-with-foils logic proposed by Stanovich and West (1989) to serve as an indicator of English-as-a-foreign-language learners’ English reading experience on Facebook. Vietnamese undergraduate students were administered the Facebook Page Recognition Test, consisting of real and fake names of English Facebook pages, and a vocabulary size test. Their reading comprehension scores were also collected. Bivariate correlation and linear regression analyses were performed to examine the effect of L2 reading experience on Facebook on the learners’ reading abilities. The findings indicated that the amount of English reading on Facebook could significantly explain the differences in vocabulary and reading comprehension achievements among the participants. The results suggest the potential use of Facebook pages as a source of reading input for language learners. Pedagogical implications are discussed.