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Running Head: COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND THE USE OF THE SOCIAL

NETWORK LANG-8.COM IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM TO IMPROVE THE


WRITING SKILL IN STUDENTS

Collaborative Learning and the Use of the Social Network Lang-8.Com in the Language
Classroom to Improve the Writing Skill in Students

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COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND THE USE OF THE SOCIAL NETWORK LANG8.COM IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM TO IMPROVE THE WRITING SKILL IN
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1.
Computing and communication technologies have supported the revolution of
information and collaboration around the world in the past decade (Millar & Durham, 2010).
Users can now easily share information rapidly through social networks, Wikis and blogs. A
concept called Web 2.0 was first presented by OReilly in 2004, which was based on the social
networking and blogging services mostly used by communities (Millar & Durham, 2010).
Facebook, Twitter, and Bebo are examples of the popular social networks used by many people
around the world. There are many social networks set up to serve a purpose; however, those set
up to share information collaboratively are the most important of all the social networks. The
learning of the English language has been vital in recent times due to the rapid changes in
development and technology. Social networking tools have been integrated into the education
system, and it has been said to broaden the mind of students (Chenzi, et al, 2010). Examples of
social network sites used for learning purposes are called Lang-8, Mango, Livemocha, and
Busuu (Jennie, 2010). These sites are beneficial since they assist in the integration of social
networks into the learning system. Students who form networks in these social sites are able to
make corrections on each others language use, hence improving writing skills. The combination
of social networking and education extends the learning outside classrooms and allows people to
learn directly from their peers. However, education in social sites has its disadvantages, where
learners can lose focus and engage in nonproductive activities. There are also issues of
miscommunication, time wasting, and privacy.
2.
Connectivism is a combination of network, chaos, and self-organization theories
(Siemens, 2005). The process of learning is always changing, and new discoveries are made
every day; therefore, one needs to stay connected and say up to date with the ongoing changes.
The foundations of knowledge are altering rapidly in areas around the world, and a learner need
to be attentive and know the vital information to take consideration. Connectivism empowers one
to expand his or her facts and learn extensively about critical decisions made (Siemens, 2005).
Learning and knowledge can be acquired when reading or listening to different opinions.
This is enhanced by connectivism where one can join or the resources of information and see
how they relate. Connectivism is based on such principles and also that knowledge can be
acquired not only from humans but also from appliances that are not human (Siemens, 2005).
Another principle of connectivism is the need to gain more knowledge than one currently has.
One can also have a continuous learning process by maintaining and nurturing the connections
(Siemens, 2005). A core skill in connectivism is the ability to see and identify the relations
among certain data and come up with conclusions. People who have knowledge about a certain
topic can keep up to date with their topic interests. According to Siemens (2005), ones decision
making process in choosing what to read is a learning process. Answers to a research question
can give entirely different results on a daily basis; therefore, one needs to stay connected with
other researchers in order to get latest developments.
Knowledge management activities can be addressed in companies, where the correct
knowledge is connected to the right people. Siemens (2005) describes that learning occurs when

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND THE USE OF THE SOCIAL NETWORK LANG8.COM IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM TO IMPROVE THE WRITING SKILL IN
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the right people have the right information, which means that beneficial information needs a
person who knows how to apply it. An organization can benefit immensely if information flows
continuously through it. Therefore, in learning and organizational application, information needs
to be created, preserved and systematically distributed throughout concerned individuals.
Learning in any set up depends on the way information is preserved and distributed (Siemens,
2005).
Social networks have a lot of people who are interconnected and can share their
knowledge and enable the flow information to concerned parties. These individuals connected in
the social networks depend on each other with the aim of acquiring knowledge. This means that
one person can make a comment or write a journal about a topic and others can learn from this,
or make corrections on the same topic using their own research. In this digital era, information is
mostly acquired from the internet and shared through the social networks. According Siemens
(2005), this method of doing research and sharing it should be cultivated and ways of improving
the information flow should be increased. New techniques in the work place and educations
system can be learned and improved, hence forming a mutually beneficial friendship globally.
Siemens (2005) says that information originates from an individual and this personal
knowledge flows through to other people in a social network. This information can then be
analyzed, criticized, and more information added to it, then it will eventually return to the
original person. When one has knowledge about a specific topic, there is someone else
somewhere who has different knowledge about the same topic. These two individuals or many
people in the same network can interact and make significant strides in the development of their
work.
Therefore, in this digital era, the little knowledge that scattered individuals have can be
pooled and used to form constructive conclusions about a topic (Siemens, 2005). Connectivism
is exhibited where there is an extension and magnification of knowledge, understanding and
learning. According to Siemens (2005), these brilliant ideas that are now seen today were once
only in the mind of one person. However, through information sharing different approaches were
made in analyzing the situation, and different critical viewpoints were used hence improved the
idea. Connectivism speeds up the system of learning while helping in the swift implementation
of ideas at the same time. Connectivism creates positive learning environments consequently
improving personal knowledge. Flow of information is extremely beneficial, and in turn,
mainstream media are being encouraged to open two way communication avenues that will
encourage information sharing (Siemens, 2005).
Connections are vital in the learning of new ideas and solutions for the future, hence
connecting knowledge and its application. One can easily plug in to the required networks and
acquire knowledge needed in the application of certain work. A learner constantly needs to
improve his or her knowledge and update it since there is a continuous growth and evolution of
knowledge. Siemens (2005) says that knowledge is not an internal individual activity nowadays
since connectivity helps in the development and application of information with the society. The
education field has not recognized the benefits of connectivism, and it has been slow in the
implementation of new learning tools (Siemens, 2005). In the digital era, students can use
connectivism to flourish with its diverse learning skills and problem solutions.

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND THE USE OF THE SOCIAL NETWORK LANG8.COM IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM TO IMPROVE THE WRITING SKILL IN
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Constructivism, cognitivism, and behaviorism make up the three wide-ranging theories of


learning most frequently used in the formation of instructional surroundings. However, the
development of these theories was during a period when there was no influencing of learning
through technology. Over the past two decades, there has been a reorganization of how humans
live, their mode of communication, as well as, learning approaches owing to technological
advancements. Learning requirements and theories, which define principles of learning and
procedures ought to be reflective of the underlying social surroundings. A multimedia means to
learning disciplines such as English, is possibly an unsurpassed technique for acquiring fluency.
Learning a different language is an intricate process since an individual has to center on reading,
speaking, listening, and writing.
However, when learning English through multimedia, one has the capacity of choosing
media, which consents to centering on the diverse language aspects. As such, one can justly
formulate a multimedia program for learning English, which suits ones requirements.
Behaviorism, which is the oldest theory of learning, perceives learning as a rejoinder to stimulus.
Conversely, the cognitive theory centers on the long and short spans of memory, metacognition,
which involves knowing and utilizing various strategies of learning, and reflection. The wellknown constructivist theory endeavors to engage students enthusiastically as they generate
knowledge. Connectivism, a recent theory, acknowledges the significance of globalization, the
significance of innovative learning, and the ever transforming digital surrounding.
Advancements in information technologies alongside developments in comprehending
the cognitive functions entailed in the process of learning have motivated innovative theories of
learning. Even though, not a comprehensive list, instances of innovative theories of learning
include connectivism, democratic learning, multimedia learning, competence learning, and
collaborative learning. Connectivism deals with learning through continuous connection with
pertinent information corresponding to additional sources of information. For instance,
connectivism entails learning by concepts of connection, information, and ideas seemingly
different and frequently producing novel connections. Connectivism progresses with information
through adaption when information accuracy modifies, consequently updating accordingly.
Eventually, connectivism is effective within environments of information technology, which
involve archiving of information, updates, and progresses, as the inquisition of the learner
becomes increasingly penetrative.
The hypothesis of whatever collaborative learning is, involves dynamism in interaction
with additional participants that are collectively functioning towards an end objective or solution.
As such, collaborative learning deals with concerns of where and how to access the information
along with how utilizing opposing concepts can facilitate involvement of optional experiences of
learning. For instance, it involves assigning distinct responsibilities to groups alongside
collaborative exertion in harnessing and handling diverse talents to attain the main objective.

Limitations of Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND THE USE OF THE SOCIAL NETWORK LANG8.COM IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM TO IMPROVE THE WRITING SKILL IN
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A fundamental tenet of the majority of learning concepts is that occurrence of learning is


within an individual. Even social perceptions of constructivism, which grasp that learning is an
informally implemented procedure, promote individual principality including physical presence
that have a brain basis in learning. These concepts fail to address learning happening outside of
individuals, which is learning stored and wrought through technology. In addition, they fail to
define how learning occurs within organizations.
As such, these theories of learning concern themselves with the concrete procedure of
learning, rather than the value of content learnt. In a universe filled with networks, the very
methodology of information, which humans acquire, is worth reconnoitering. The need to assess
the worthiness of something learnt is a meta-skill whose application is prior to the
commencement of learning. When knowledge becomes subject to dearth, assumptions on the
procedure of evaluation worthiness is inherent to learning. Additional concerns stem from the
rapid augmentation in information. In the contemporary surrounding, there is a necessity of
action devoid of personal learning, since humans ought to be acting through drawing information
exterior of their primary understanding. The capacity to synthesize and make out connections
alongside patterns remains a valuable proficiency.
Numerous significant concerns emanate when determined theories of learning become
perceivable through technology. The natural endeavor of theorists is carrying on with the
revision and advancing of theories as circumstances modify. However, at a certain point the
underlying circumstances have alterations extremely considerable, which make further
transformations not practical. As such, there occurs a necessity for an innovative approach.
Consequently, connectivism involves incorporation of guidelines explored through chaos,
complexity, and network of self-organization concepts. Learning is a procedure, which happens
within nebulous surroundings of ever-changing core components that are not wholly under the
regulation of a person. Learning, described as actionable understanding, can reside exterior of us
such as inside an organization or databases, with a focus on linking specialized sets of
information. The connections assist with the enabling of individuals to learn further, which is
significant compared to the present state of understanding.
Accordingly, the drive to understand that the bases of decisions are on rapid alterations of
foundations propels connectivism. There is a continuous acquisition of innovative information.
The capacity to draw differences between essential and unnecessary information is crucial. The
capacity to make out when innovative information transforms the landscape founded on
decisions undertaken previously is also crucial.

The principles of connectivism include:

Learning and understanding rests in the multiplicity of opinions.

Learning is a procedure of linking specialized nodes of sources of information.

Learning could reside in appliances not human.

Capability to understand further is more crucial compared to the present knowledge.

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND THE USE OF THE SOCIAL NETWORK LANG8.COM IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM TO IMPROVE THE WRITING SKILL IN
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Nurturing and preserving connections is necessary for the facilitation of continual


learning.

Capacity to distinguish connections between ideas, concepts, and fields is a fundamental


proficiency.

Currency that is accurate and latest is the resolve of every connectivist activities of
learning.

Decision-making is a learning procedure. Choosing what to learn along with the


implication of incoming information, have a perception in the lens of reality shift. Whereas, there
is a factual answer presently, it could be erroneous tomorrow owing to modifications in the
climate of information influencing the decision.
Additionally, connectivism addresses the encounters, which numerous corporations
encounter in the management of knowledge activities. Knowledge, which resides in the
databases require connections with the appropriate individuals in the appropriate context for
classification as learning. Unfortunately, cognitivism, constructivism, and behaviorism do not
endeavor to address challenges stemming from organizational transference and knowledge. The
flow of information within organizations is a significant element for organizational efficiency. In
an information economy, information flow is an equivalent of oil piping in an industrialized
economy. The likening of knowledge flow is to a river, which wanders through the
conservationism of an organization. In some areas, the river lochs and in other places it ebbs.
The wellbeing of a learning conservationism of an organization is subject to efficient
development of information flow.
Analysis of social networking is an extra component in understanding models of learning
in a digital period. The quantum trust theory elucidates not just the manner of recognizing the
capability of collective cognitivism of an organization, rather the manner in which to cultivate
and augment the same. Inside social networks, hubs are well connections of individuals who
encompass the capacity of fostering and maintaining the flow of knowledge. Their interdependence results in effective flow of information that enables individual understanding of
organizational state of actions. The beginning point of connectivism is the person. Personal
understanding comprises a network that feeds into institutions and organization that
consequently feed back to the network, and carry on providing learning to persons. The
knowledge cycle development consents to learners remaining up-to-date in their meadow
through the formed connections.
There is a phenomenon that individuals have exceedingly more acquaintance that is
beyond the material of exposure. There is a provision of connectivist focus in the unpretentious
notion that certain knowledge domains encompass immense numbers of scrawny interrelation
that supposedly properly subjugated, could inordinately boost learning through a procedure of
extrapolation. The worth of pattern identification and connection of individuals personal modest
worlds of understanding are ostensible in the exponential influence provided to individual
learning.

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND THE USE OF THE SOCIAL NETWORK LANG8.COM IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM TO IMPROVE THE WRITING SKILL IN
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As such, there is a presentation of a fascinating concept that there is a leveraging of the


small exertions of many with the outsized exertions of few. The dominant premise is that created
connections with uncommon nodes intensifies and supports existing enormous exertion
activities. There is a provision of Maricopa County Community College system project instance,
which connects senior residents with uncomplicated school learners in mentor programs. The
children pay attention to these grandparents better compared to their own parents. Indeed, the
mentoring assists the teachers, the modest exertions of the numerous seniors, which complement
the great exertions of the few teachers. The amplified learning, understanding, and knowledge
through the addition of an individual network mark the embodiment of connectivim.
Implications
The concept of connectivism encompasses implications in every aspect of life. This paper
also seeks to largely center on its effect on learning, even though the subsequent aspects also
have had influencing:

Leadership and Management

The marshaling and management of resources to realize the desired results is an


important challenge. Accomplishing that whole knowledge cannot happen in the thoughts of a
sole individual, as it requires a dissimilar methodology in the formulation of a situational
overview. Assorted teams of differing perceptions are crucial to structuring of a complete
exploration of ideas. Additionally, innovation is a challenge. The majority of the ideas of
revolution existent presently, existed in the past as fringe elements. The capacity of an
organization to nurture, foster, and synthesize the influences of varying perceptions of
information is crucial to the survival of knowledge economy. Speed enhancement of idea
implementations also occurs in a system learning view.

The trend of news, information, and media is well under schedule. Organizations dealing
in mainstream media encounter challenges stemming from the real-time, open, and collaborative
flow of blogging information.

Management of personal knowledge relative to management of organizational knowledge

Formulation of learning surroundings

The pipe is additionally significant compared to the content inside the pipe. The capacity
of individuals to learn the requirements of tomorrow is further significant compared to what we
understand presently. The challenge for all learning theories is on the activation of known
understanding at the application point. However, when knowledge is a necessity, even though
not known, the capacity to wade into sources to adhere to the requirements become a critical
expertise. As knowledge carries on growing and evolving, access to whatever is necessary
becomes more essential compared to whatever the learner presently encompasses.
Connectivism offers a learning model, which recognizes the tectonic shifts in a social
order where knowledge is no longer the center of individualistic activity. The manner in which
individuals function and work changes when there is a utilization of innovative tools. The
education field has been sluggish to making out both the influence of innovative tools of

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND THE USE OF THE SOCIAL NETWORK LANG8.COM IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM TO IMPROVE THE WRITING SKILL IN
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learning, as well as, the transformations in the environment regarding the implications of
learning. Connectivism offers insight into skills of learning along with the necessary tasks
required for learners to triumph in the digital period.
The importance of the written expression in the language classroom
Written communication encompasses inordinate significance in the contemporary
commercial venture world. It is a new action of the mind. Efficient written communication is
fundamental for the preparation of worthy materials of promotion for commercial venture
advancement. Prior to writing, there was speech. Nevertheless, writing is more exceptional and
formal compared to speech. Efficient writing involves cautious selection of wordings, correct
order organization of sentence formations, as well as, cohesive sentence composition.
Additionally, writing is further reliable and valid than speech. Whereas, speech remains
spontaneous, writing causes deferment and takes long since feedback is not instantaneous.
Advantages of Written Communication

Written communication assists with the underlining of apparent guidelines, policies, and
regulations for the management of an organization.

It is an enduring mode of communication. Consequently, it appropriate where record


preservation is necessary.

It helps with proper delegation of obligations. Whereas, in the instance of oral


communication, it is unimaginable fixing and delegating obligations on the terms of speech, as
the speaker can take it back or fail to acknowledge it.

Written communication is further explicit and precise.

Efficient written communication advances and improves the image of an organization.

It offers prepared references and records.

Legal defenses could rely upon written communication since it offers binding records.

Disadvantages of Written Communication

Written communication fails to save upon the overheads. It costs colossal concerning
stationery and hiring of labor to write or type and deliver the written materials.

Supposing the recipients of the written communication has a separation by distance and
they wish to clear their misgivings, the rejoinder is not spontaneous.

The exercise consumes time, since the response is not instantaneous. The indoctrination
and sending of message consumes time.

Efficient written communication needs inordinate expertise and competencies in


language alongside vocabulary utilization. Pitiable writing skills, as well as, quality encompass a
negative influence on the reputation of an organization.

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND THE USE OF THE SOCIAL NETWORK LANG8.COM IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM TO IMPROVE THE WRITING SKILL IN
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Additionally, there is an involvement of excess paper work alongside e-mail burdening.

The integration of social networking tools into the writing classroom


Tools of social networking are not vanishing any time in the future, as they seem to last
for the long end. However, the concern is whether the applications certainly fit in the classrooms.
I believe they do for the following reasons:

Engagement
Utilization of networking and social media instruments undoubtedly encompasses social
aspects to them. As such, they require proactive exertion on the users part. Utilization of these
tools in communication and interactions require active engagement of the students. Additionally,
socialization offers opportunities for engaging emotionally. Emotional engagement is a
significant aspect of the social learning practice.
Social Learning
Individuals learn from each other through imitation, modeling, and observation. Without
a doubt, the socialization type, which occurs through social computer instruments, certainly
contrasts the frontal social interaction, even though it still provides social learning opportunities.
Use time outside of class better, so you can use class time better
Tools of social learning also position teachers to convey content exterior of the
classrooms along with overturning the classroom in working on whatever would have become
homework in class.
It provides opportunities for writing and writing assessment
Whereas, tools such as Twitter advance themselves with abbreviated texting styles
utilization of language, there are no requirements for these in other forums. Teachers could select
to include rating of writing quality as an element of the rubrics they advance for rating social
media founded assignments, as well as, class works.
Encourage dialogue and reach more students
It is social, thus let us talk. Occasionally, anything, which can protract unenthusiastic
teenagers and kids not teenagers, is an outstanding thing when the objective is to converse. A
clear benefit of socializing crosswise the internet is the understanding of less intimidation, which
frontal contact puts nervous students, thus allows for their expressions more comfortably.
Help students get ahead of the professional curve

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One of the core objectives of education is positioning young persons for successful and
pleasurable careers. Social media is increasingly becoming essential to commercial ventures with
every passing year. Numerous organizations have shifted from merely discussing social media
consciousness along with social marketing to include social media commercial planning as an
element of strategic planning exertions. An augmenting number of qualified positions require or
desire social media consciousness, and it appears probably that further positions will appeal for
this proficiency in the future.
3.
Writing in a language classroom is crucial since it enables the student writing to think
deeply of the sentences he or she is constructing. The grammar and spelling are improved and
one can also think deeply about the meaning of the sentences constructed, and the concepts used
to acquire the literature (Farrall, 2013). Critical thinking skills are nurtured in schools when
students gather information from different sources and write them down in a conclusive manner.
Farrall (2003) emphasizes the importance of monitoring and making improvements on a childs
handwriting from an early age.
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a framework of
reference responsible for a clear, rational and broad understanding of language syllabuses and
curriculum guidelines (Little, 2010). This includes the way teaching is designed, the materials
used in learning and assessment for proficiency of foreign language. Information obtained from
the Council of Europe website states that this framework of reference is used in Europe, other
continents and is now available in thirty eight languages. The framework was set up to make sure
that countries have a common goal when it comes to the outcomes of learning, curricular,
syllabus, textbooks and examination (Little, 2010). CEFR does not obligate countries to follow
its goals but rather seeks to promote global collaboration where they can systematically come to
an understanding. Migration challenges within Europe and overseas are aimed to be addressed by
this framework (Little, 2010).
Building connections
Integrating the classroom with social networking tools is beneficial since students can meet their
peers from different parts of the world, and they can also be able to interact with educators and
professionals. Internet based applications have made it easy to communicate with these people
and also maintain their mutual relationship. However, school networks block these social sites
since many students are thought to use the sites inappropriately. Therefore, considering the many
benefits of social networking, the sites should not be blocked. Instead, guidance should be given
on how to appropriately use social networking systems maximize on the many benefits of these
sites.
Studies show that students grades drop due to the use of social networking sites, and this
justifies the concerns of teachers. This has brought about a debate, where one side says that
students benefit from networking, and the other side says that students spend a lot of time on the
internet going through unnecessary material. However, social networking sites are useful to

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students, and some sites have tools that can be used to create a study schedule. Teachers who
have formed groups with their students can organize online study discussions and occasionally
post quizzes. Social networking sites can hence have the capability of improving students
grades, improve on their communication skills, and form good relationships with their educators.
There have been recent debates questioning how students writing skills are improved by
the use of these high tech innovations. Certain social networking sites like Twitter use very few
characters; hence ones writing ability cannot be improved. However, there are studies that show
these social networking sites have positive impacts on the writing skills of students. Different
people find different high tech methods in the social sites that suit them. Students who are
connected to their teachers through the social sites can communicate freely, and the student can
make corrections and improvements in his or her work. There are networking sites that are set to
detect grammatical errors done by a user depending on the default language used. The
corrections are done by underlining the grammatical error with a red line. The user can then click
on this red line and given suggestions on the right spelling words to use. There are also other
social networking sites that are loaded with programs and software that are able to monitor
students work. Assignments provided can go through a certain system in the sites that analyses
whether or not the instructions have been followed. This system software can then detect
grammatical and format errors and provide alternative solutions.
There are many educational social sites available and it is important for one to utilize
them with the aim of improving his or her writing skills. Multimedia options in the social sites
also enhance communication among concerned parties in the sites. This can be done when a
teacher requires students to provide live or recorded poetry. Additionally, an educational class
can form a video conference in these social sites where they can have a class discussion. An
effective way to improve writing skills is by blogging, and the internet has many blogging sites.
The Web provides a variety of blogs that are educationally focused, where a student can work
individually or with others as a group project. One can write a blog about a certain topic or
students can do this together, and feedback can be given by the teacher. Parents usually have
worries about their children using the internet. The concerns can be addressed since the blogs are
built in a user friendly way, and the parents can also engage in the educational activities.
Students who blog usually exercise on their creativity and grammar; therefore, they are likely to
be more adept and take pleasure in writing.
Most students do not understand the importance of writing a few paragraphs in the classroom
since they see that this has no real life application. This has caused many students to take no
interest in writing since they see it does not have any benefit. However, using the internet to
communicate is interesting and it makes the students improve on their writing. The correct use of
social networks encourages students to improve on their creative and imaginative skills.
Predictions for the future are the reading of books and magazines will be replaced by the use of
text messaging, blogs, and social networks. New technology has already started to be assimilated
into the education system and students are now familiarized with technology and new
communication methods from an early age. Particular communication methods are emphasized
where students are discouraged from using abbreviated language when they are writing texts or
emails. People who chat or blog in the social sites usually have removed this information they

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are sharing from somewhere. Therefore, this means that social networking encourages people to
read and then they reflect their attained knowledge in their tweets or blogs. This means that not
only do social sites improve ones writing skills, but also their reading and interpretive skills.

4.
Yunus, Salehi, and Chenzi (2012) say that learning of the English language is beneficial
due to the fast rate world is currently developing. Social Networking Systems (SNS) are different
from other forms of computer based communication systems since comments are publicly
viewed and commented on by friends (Ahmad, 2001). Social networks are mostly used to
reconnect with old friends, and sometimes used to meet new people. It has been used by many
people around the world and currently, it is being integrated into the education system. This will
inspire many students to learn since they already spend a lot of their time in these social
networks. According to Zaidieh (2012), introducing entertainment into the education system is
beneficial and will cause a revolution in the education system by encouraging people to learn.
Facebook and Wikipedia can be used in the e-learning process (Yunus, Salehi, & Chenzi
2012). Facebook has an application where users can post their compositions, and this application
can be used as a blackboard between the students and teacher. Here, the teacher can save
students work and share blogs by other students to others. The teacher can encourage the student
to form a Facebook group where all students are encouraged to join. The teacher will then post
course material, videos, discussion topics and links in the Facebook group. The group can also
consist of experts who can offer their expert advice about the course (Yunus, Salehi, & Chenzi
2012). Each student should ensure that he or she posts in the group and is an active participant in
the group. According to Yunus, Salehi, & Chenzi (2012), the Facebook page should be a digital
representation of the course work and should only contain relevant material.
Wikipedia can also be used as a learning tool where students share experiences about
materials they have read independently (Grandzol and Grandzol 2010). The students can respond
to one anothers comments and form a student driven discussion group where they can have an
environment where they all have equal opportunities to question and challenge themselves
(Gaetano et al, 2011). Posts of reading materials and course content can also be put here by the
teacher. The teaching and learning experience can be enhanced since discussions and quizzes can
also be put here, which will encourage students to do research. The students writing skills and
creative thinking skills can also be enhanced when they interact with their peers in this learning
environment (Yunus, Salehi, & Chenzi 2012).
4.1.
One advantage of integrating SNS systems into education is that the communication
method is entirely through writing (Yunus, Salehi, & Chenzi 2012). This will improve a
students writing skills and encourage development in this type of communication. Students can
also form online communities where they can share skills, knowledge and experiences, which
according to Warnock (2009), is educations real value. Lifelong learning and collaborative

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learning can be made in these social networks. This means that the educational data is easily
saved and accessed on these social sites (Yunus, Salehi, & Chenzi 2012). Furthermore,
collaborative learning will occur since the scholars will engage in discussions and share
solutions, making course material more understandable.
The information the students get from learning in these SNSs is presented in a familiar way and
which they are happy to read. Data stored in these social networking sites are stored in
chronological order; therefore, lessons can be arranged in an order where the student can easily
follow. A students communication skills in terms of writing can also be improved by
interactions with counterparts and teachers in the learning environment. These social networks
have a large audience in which the student can learn and get different opinions. This means that
there will be global interaction, and students who would otherwise shy away from public speech
can participate and share their opinions. Multimedia interaction where students and teachers can
share videos, links, and pictures is possible in SNS, hence enhancing the learning experience.
Learner autonomy can be enhanced since the student is communicating to a larger audience
hence taking responsibility in what he or she writes about. Student-teacher interactions increase
when using SNS in the education system where they can make comments on class material and
get feedbacks (Yunus, Salehi, & Chenzi 2012).
4.2.
According to Yunus and Salehi (2012), social networks are able to help individuals
improve in their writing skills. Social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and many more are sites
where people share knowledge, current events and other stories through writing. There are social
sites that are carefully structured to help improve the writing skills of their users, which include
Mango, Livemocha, and Busuu.
Mango offers its subscribers three ESL courses and nine different languages, where there
are a hundred lessons based on phrases and dialogs (Jennie, 2010). There is a narrator who
provides instructions and guides in this website; however, one has the option of turning the
narrator off. The lessons consist of grammar and culture notes, and one has the option of
selecting which type of lesson he or she wants to understand. This learning website has quizzes
where the users are provided one word phrases and are required to translate those words verbally.
According to Jennie (2010), the course lasts for three months where one subscribes with $160.
Livemocha has features where a user can select language lessons he or she wants to
undertake. Quizzes are then provided, and the responses given are critically assessed by native
speakers, and adjustments made. Users who make corrections on posts from other users unlock
other features in the website and this assists them in learning more languages. There are many
people who use this service from different speaking languages; therefore, this helps in the
instantaneous feedback. There is a verbal assignment where one is required to read the written
assignment, and this improves ones pronunciation (Bobholz, 2013).
Busuu and Livemocha are similar since they both have the option of audio flashcards;
however, Busuu has more vocabulary (Jennie, 2010). One does not necessarily have to use the

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mouse since Busuu has features that provide keyboard shortcuts when perusing through the
flashcards. Each language has four levels and some categories focus on grammar; however, some
options are only available to premium users. Portuguese, German, French, Spanish, and Italian
are some of the languages offered in this website (Jennie, 2010). One can submit sample
flashcards in writing or verbally, and they can be viewed and corrected by native speakers.
People using the website can share messages and do corrections and revisions on each others
work. One has the option of downloading PDFs or MP3s from the website and listen to them
continuously wherever he or she goes.
4.3
Lang-8 is a website where people have a social network and exchange languages.
According Ongan (2010), Lang-8 is different from other social networking sites like Busuu,
Mango, and Livemocha. Unlike these other learning websites, Lang-8 is a combination of social
networking and learning which involves the collaboration of all its members (Ongan, 2010).
Lang-8 operates where one member can make post and then other members of the social network
make corrections on the post (Ongan, 2010). The corrections on the post can be made by many
members of the website, and this correction process can last for a very long time. Ongan (2010)
describes Lang-8 as of being simple and effective, but it might not look like that when one views
it at an instant. Journal entries and latest corrections on journals can be accessed from the
websites homepage presented in ones native language or another required language. Friends,
messages, profile and activities are default features of the website (Ongan, 2010).
A vital feature of Lang-8 is the possibility of members to make journals and corrections made to
the journals by different people who use the website. Making of these journals is easy and
simple, and one can choose the language in which the journal will be written. Members of the
website can be able to make sentence comments and corrections to the journal below after being
published. One can then wait for corrections to be made to the entry and then save the journal
where correct language has been used for future reference (Ongan, 2010).
Lang-8 website has free features as well as features where one has to pay in order to gain access.
According to Ongan, free features of this website are sufficient for an average user; however,
one has to switch to premium in order to access features like downloading PDF files of corrected
journals, and access more than two languages. Information obtained from the Lang-9 website
shows the differences between a free Lang-8 account and a premium Lang-8 account. Posting of
journals, corrections of the journals, and PDF downloads of corrected journals are features that
are common in both free and premium Lang-8 accounts. However, one who has a premium
account has unlimited languages to learn from while only two languages can be studied by a
person having a free Lang-8 account. Adverts are common in this website, but they can be
avoided when one acquires a premium account. Unlimited messages can be sent from a premium
account compared to only 20 messages daily that can be sent from a free account. One who has a
free account can only get one hit per page, and 500 sentences that can be added to a notebook.
These features are unlimited to a person who has a free account.

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One who has some knowledge about a language can benefit from the Lang-8 website. However,
an elementary learner will find it difficult to understand and gain from his or her experience
while using the website (Ongan, 2010). One who cannot be able to write his or her target
language, an elementary learner, will make numerous mistakes, making the other members
unable to assist appropriately. On the other hand, one who has some knowledge about the target
language can be assisted due to the few mistakes he or she can make on the journals. Therefore,
Lang-8 website is useful, not to those who want to learn a new language, but to individuals who
want to progress their writing skills on a particular language (Ongan, 2010).
5.
Integrating social network into education has its benefits as well as well as obstacles
(Zaidieh, 2012). There are issues of privacy, where one has the fear for his personal information
being read. Ones profile, blogs, and journals that he or she might want to circulate within a
selected number of individuals may go within the boundaries and affect the persons privacy.
Another obstacle in integrating social network into the education system is where people may
place false profiles in the websites. Such instances can cause one to go as far as giving wrong
feedback that another may think are corrections to journals. People engaging in these social sites
always take a lot of time chatting, and this is sometimes thought to wasting their time. When
people log into social sites, they rarely engage in educational materials but in getting to know
each other. However, social networks offer flexibility in the educational system, extending the
process of learning from traditional classrooms.

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