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Title: Using WhatsApp in EFL Instruction with Saudi Arabian University Students
Contributor(s): Alshammari, Radhi  (author); Parkes, Mitchell  (author)orcid ; Adlington, Rachael  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2017
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.24093/awej/vol8no4.5Open Access Link
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Abstract: Messaging tools such as SMS are effective tools for foreign language learning. While many quasi-experimental studies confirm efficacy and positive student attitudes towards these types of tools, little is known about existing teaching practices that utilize messaging tools in tertiary contexts, or the attitudes of students or instructors towards them. This qualitative study investigates the use of WhatsApp, one popular messaging application, in teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) through examining the attitudes of Preparatory Year students and faculty members at a university in the central-north of Saudi Arabia. Thematic analysis of focus group interviews indicated that WhatsApp is used in EFL instruction for information exchange, language learning support, and language practice. This is achieved through teacher-directed learning, peer learning, and autonomous learning instructional strategies. Thematic analysis also identified the affordances and affective outcomes of using WhatsApp. Student and faculty attitudes towards WhatsApp were positive although some faculty members expressed reservations towards its use. It is argued that applications such as WhatsApp should be leveraged to encourage autonomous and peer learning, repositioning instructors as facilitators, and to develop learning communities. However, increasing the informal, anywhere-anytime learning supported by mobile learning must be tempered with guidelines for students regarding faculty contact hours and response times to allay faculty fears and encourage greater student autonomy.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Arab World English Journal, 8(4), p. 68-84
Publisher: Arab World English Journal
Place of Publication: Malaysia
ISSN: 2229-9327
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130103 Higher Education
130306 Educational Technology and Computing
130207 LOTE, ESL and TESOL Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Maori)
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 390303 Higher education
390405 Educational technology and computing
390108 LOTE, ESL and TESOL curriculum and pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 160304 Teaching and instruction technologies
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Education

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