Enhancing Online Language Learning Task Engagement through Social Interaction

Keywords: online language learning, task engagement, social interaction, social networking


Encouraging learners to engage in learning activities outside of formal class time is an ongoing challenge for language teachers. It has been argued that the social aspect of technologies can used as a support for learning, but how to achieve this remains a challenge. There is evidence that from a theoretical perspective, social networking appears to provide many of the conditions necessary for supporting learning, and there is an increasing number of studies that have started to explore the potential of social networking in language learning contexts. Results thus far have been rather mixed, where learners tend to show positive attitudes but limited interaction. The purpose of the current study is to examine how social networking is used by teachers and learners as a support for supplementary out-of-class vocabulary learning through Quizlet. Learner engagement was investigated in two consecutive semesters using the same two intact classes in each semester (N=48), the first semester where learners were given support in class, and the second semester where learners were provided with support by the teacher using LINE. Learner engagement in the Quizlet activities across the two semesters were investigated, as well as the logs of all interactions in the class LINE group and the individual interactions with the teacher. The results are discussed in terms of how social networking may be used as a support tool in terms of a community discussion tool, a teacher-to-student reporting tool, and student-to-teacher reporting tool.

Author Biography

Phuong Tran, Waseda University

Phuong Tran is a full-time Research Associate at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. She was previously a lecturer at Danang University of Foreign Language Studies in Vietnam where she taught English for three years, along with teaching English at a private language school for eight years. She has had an interest in the role that social networking could play in language learning for several years, and she has quite extensive research experience in the field of social networking for language teaching and learning.