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Sempozyum: 6th Internatıonal Computer and Instructıonal Technologies Symposium
An Integrative Teaching Model for Vocabulary and Reading Through Facebook
Ufuk BALAMAN
Kırıkkale University

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arif SARIÇOBAN
Hacettepe University
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Sempozyum: 6th Internatıonal Computer and Instructıonal Technologies Symposium
An Integrative Teaching Model for Vocabulary and Reading Through Facebook
Ufuk BALAMAN
Kırıkkale University

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arif SARIÇOBAN
Hacettepe University
Abstract : This study evaluates the feasibility of using Facebook as a medium to teach English vocabulary and reading skills in an integrative way to second language learners. The research aims to propose some solutions to the problem that Facebook is still considered a supplementary website to conduct writing activities, avail of discussion boards, and class announcements and neglected as the sole medium for foreign language learning and teaching processes. The study employs a teaching model which incorporates only the simplest and most basic features of Facebook, such as writing posts and sharing photos and videos. The model and the study is considered important because it proposes an example of how to use Facebook for teaching purposes; saves time through teaching vocabulary on the website, and some expenses by means of teaching materials; and explains the importance and place of social networking in the field of foreign language education. Theoretically relevant literature in the areas of vocabulary teaching techniques and strategies, reading comprehension and strategies, web-based foreign language learning and teaching, Web 2.0 technologies, and the use of Facebook for foreign language education are both reviewed and applied. Data was collected from the first-year students of the departments of civil engineering (N=50) and electrical and electronics engineering (N=50) who attended English language classes in the 2011–2012 academic year at Kırıkkale University in Kırıkkale, Turkey. The participant groups joined Facebook ‘groups’ specifically created for the study with the goal of teaching words and reading texts excerpted from the course book New Headway, Elementary, 3rd Edition (L. Soars & J. Soars, 2004). Target material was 72 vocabulary items excerpted from four diff erent reading passages. Quantitative data was amassed from weekly Vocabulary Knowledge Scale (Wesche & Paribakht, 1996) scores, weekly reading comprehension tests, and the delayed post-test instrument. Supplementary qualitative data was gathered from written participant commentary on the use of Facebook for teaching vocabulary and teaching. Ten research questions were designed to evaluate the applicability and usefulness of the Facebook model for teaching vocabulary and reading in an integrative way. To answer the research questions, quantitative and qualitative data was collected in a four-week instruction period, which for each group included a two-week instruction period on Facebook and a two-week in-class instruction period, and from the delayed post-test instrument and comments on Facebook gathered at the end of the process. Results indicate the usefulness and applicability of the integrative teaching model for vocabulary and reading through Facebook and some interesting points which might take the idea of using Facebook as the medium of foreign language education processes further.
Keywords : vocabulary teaching, reading comprehension, Web 2.0, facebook.
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