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Volume 14 Number 1, Spring 2017, Pages 1-210 PDF Download

'Close Your Book and Open Your Facebook': A Case for Extending Classroom Collaborative Activities Online

    Bakhtiar Naghdipour

This study investigated EFL language teachers' and learners' evaluation of classroom-based pair and group work activities during an intensive English language program and it sought their opinions on the potential of Facebook to extend such collaborative activities online. Data were collected from 26 teachers and 178 pre-intermediate students using surveys and semi-structured interviews at an international university in Cyprus. The data analysis revealed that despite acknowledging the benefits involved in using pair and group work tasks in their classes, more than half of the participants reported that students developed the feelings of boredom and demotivation toward participating in classroom-based collaborative activities, mostly due to their overuse, poor design, and failure to cater to students' learning needs and beliefs and their educational and cultural backgrounds. The results also indicated that, under some conditions, Facebook could function as a learning environment to revamp students' interest and facilitate their engagement in collaborative language learning activities. Both students and teachers suggested specific ideas with respect to the informal as well as formal integration of Facebook into language learning classes.

Keywords: : Facebook, ELT textbooks, collaborative activities, EFL