The paper "The Impact of Facebook on Saudi Arabia Students" is a marvelous example of an education research proposal.
Based on the literature review in the previous chapter, this mini research investigation will explore how facebook, as a social network, may influence the learning of English in a higher education context for Saudi Arabia students. In particular, this study uses Vygotsky’s theoretical tenets as bases for a conceptualization. Furthermore, the study will also explore how facebook and its implementation may strengthen students’ self-efficacy beliefs. This is informed by the argument that social interaction is important in language acquisition.
The theory of community of practice contends that people with common interests learn by participating in these interests and they develop informal groups for accomplishing their interests (Wenger, 1999). For instance, people interested in learning the English language are able to learn by participating in activities geared toward learning the English language and developing informal groups that enhance their language acquisition capabilities. Through these interactions, the social groups learn new things, in the case of English language participants may learn reading, writing, pronunciation, comprehension, spelling, and use various vocabularies, and together they get ideas on how to handle situations better. Facebook, as an example, provides a platform for such interaction. Since Facebook allows people with a common interest to form groups and interact, it is possible that such a platform may be used to enhance learning. This is because learning is an active process and facebook will provide a platform for sharing ideas, social interaction, posting information and video and voice conversation. Moreover, the interaction enabled via facebook will allow group members to receive feedback on their learning and hence make improvements.
Based on the theory of community practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991), facebook might provide group members with an identity that is defined by their shared domain of interests. In the context of this research investigation, the shared domain pertains to the learning of English. Thus a group of individuals interested in learning English forms a domain on facebook for their interaction aimed at improving their learning of English. In pursuing their interest to learn English, members will be expected to engage in joint activities and discussions, help one another, and share information that aimed at enhancing learning the English language. Thus, members will be able to build relationships that will enable them to learn from each other. It is based on this that this study seeks to establish whether a Facebook-based community can enhance students’ learning.
Facebook as a medium offers a number of activities and services, notably: social interaction, posting information, voice calls, and video calling, and sharing ideas. Social interaction on facebook involves the exchange of messages through text messaging, instant messaging, emails and regular messages. When the English language is used as a medium of communication between the interacting individuals, their language proficiency is likely to be enhanced. For instance, text messaging may enhance the participant’s capability to construct sentences and comprehension. Thus, this study will explore the impact of message exchange on English language learning. Facebook allows users to post information in the form of videos and articles. When members of a group watch and listen to posted videos, they are able to enhance their listening, pronunciation and comprehension skills. Moreover, by reading the uploaded articles, members are able to improve their comprehension and vocabulary wealth. Facebook also allows users to make video and voice calls. When such calls are made in the English language, the individuals interacting are likely to improve their pronunciation skills and enhance their language proficiency. Thus facebook can be used as a platform for verbal communication practice. In addition, individuals using facebook are able to share ideas on different issues using facebook as a platform. This may be accomplished via the use of either voice or text messaging. When the English language is used to share ideas people are likely to enhance their language proficiency. Thus, this study seeks to establish whether a Facebook-based community can enhance students’ learning of the English language.
Self-efficacy refers to the belief that an individual is capable of performing in a certain way to achieve a certain set of goals (Bandura, 1995). Self-efficacy according to Bandura is contextualized where it is more specific towards different domains and specificity. In the case of the English language, strong self-efficacy beliefs in English can enhance an individual’s capability of learning English. Facebook provides a basis for students to acquire mastery experience, social comparison, verbal persuasion, and emotional and physical states information that enhance self-efficacy believes. Bandura (1994) argues that self-efficacy can be enhanced through mastery experiences. Mastery experiences involve four major components: acquisition of the needed knowledge and sub-skills to perform the behavior, progressive goal setting, feedback on performance accomplishment, and practicing skills in diverse settings or situations. It is anticipated that facebook will enable users to acquire the needed knowledge and sub-skills to learn the English language. The messaging, video and voice calls and posting of articles and videos enabled by facebook are expected to enable facebook users to acquire writing, reading, listening, pronunciation and comprehension skills that are fundamental for English language learning. Interaction on facebook mainly involves people with common interests or who know each other. In this case, study participants will entail individuals interested in learning the English language. Thus, it is expected that these individuals will engage in progressive goal setting that will enable them to improve on the language acquisition capability. Users of facebook in this context are also expected to provide feedback on the performance of their peers in relation to English language learning. Finally, Facebook is expected to provide a platform for users to practice writing, reading, listening, pronunciation and comprehension skills through messaging, video and voice calls and positing articles and videos. Thus, Facebook is expected to enhance mastery experiences of users in relation to English language learning.
Self-efficacy is also enhanced through social comparison. Social comparison is a process through which individuals come to perceive and evaluate themselves by measuring their own attitudes, abilities, and beliefs in comparison with others. Opportunities for social comparison are ubiquitous since everyday social interactions and the media inundate people with information about other people’s accomplishments, actions, and lifestyles. Thus, Facebook is expected to provide a platform for individuals to compare themselves with others on their proficiency in the English language through social interaction. Since social comparison seems to be relatively automatic, individuals utilizing facebook to learn the English language will automatically be engaged in self-comparison as they socially interact with their peers.
Self-efficacy can also be enhanced through verbal persuasion. Verbal persuasion is the ability to influence others with carefully crafted words. It is expected that Facebook will be used by individuals in the group to give very specific feedback that is related to the previous performance by use of voice and video calls. This is expected to greatly increase self-efficacy to learn the English language among group members.
Self-efficacy is further enhanced by the physical and emotional states of individuals. Bandura (1997) argued that people rely on their physical and emotional states to judge their capabilities. Persons expect to be more successful when they are not stressed than when they are. It is expected that as peers interact on facebook they will be able to note the physical efficacy of others and hence enhance their efficacy.
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