• Applying Twitter to EFL Reading and Writing in a Taiwanese College Setting

      Cheng, Hao Yuan (2012-10-15)
      This study is an exploration of the potential language learning value of applying Twitter as a tool for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) reading and writing in a college setting in Taiwan. The Twitter-assisted learning approach was based on Vygotsky’s framework of social learning theories in which learners experience social collaboration, peer-modeling and a peer-monitoring process. Twitter, a microblogging social network website, provides learners an asynchronous platform and facilitates motivation for discussion. Participants were randomly assigned to two equal-size groups: a Twitter and non-Twitter group. Participants completed pretests and posttests to assess reading and writing. During this two-month investigation, both of the groups experienced the same learning materials and teaching methods, but the non-Twitter group engaged in free-writing activities while the Twitter group used Twitter for major course writing exercises. The students’ pretest and posttest results were analyzed by independent and dependent sample t-tests. The analysis indicated that different learning approaches did not make a significant impact on the learners’ reading and writing performance. However, the dependent sample t-test revealed that writing scores from the pretest to posttest in each group were significantly different. The learners were also given a Motivated Strategy Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) to measure whether their learning attitudes changed after the experiment. Comparison of the mean scores of the MSLQ from these two groups, as well as an examination of the t values through an independent sample t-test analysis, indicated that Twitter-assisted learning had a significant positive influence on the experimental group’s learning attitude.