Using Facebook for ESOL/EFL

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Facebook is so big and popular that it doesn’t care if you don’t like it. Like a clever and over funded football team it’s risen to the top the social networking scene and nearly levelled all the competition. So, this year I’m going to use it with my ESOL class.

How?

I’ve created a Facebook profile with a general title, another email address and a pictrure of my classroom door as a profile picture. I also uploaded some pictures of the institution where I work. I posted my status as ‘starting teaching soon.’

What I hope my students and I will get out of using Facebook

1. I’ll have their email addresses in one handy place and will be able to contact them if I need to.

2. I’ll be able to post links to webpages, links to videos in youtube, links to files and homework that students can do at home.

3. Students will hopefully talk to each other. They might even link to other people on Facebook. This is okay though, any contact in English is ‘work’

4. Students might be ‘engaged’. As soon as they start using English to write to a friend, comment on a picture or update their status – they will be doing so because they want to and therefore really using the target language.

 

Problems

1. I don’t really want my students to be my friends on my  Facebook page, so I made another. I want to maintain a healthy and professional distance – I’ll have to ignore their friend requests if they search and find me.

2. Students might not find Facebook engaging. They might find that reading other people’s status updates is boring, ‘Ana is making a cup of tea’ for example.

Other Ideas

Of course, using Facebook is nothing new. Check out Web’s Random Ideas and Using Facebook as a teaching tool . Even Facebook themselves have some great ideas

 

I’ll update you on how I get on.