English Language Learners as Digital Content Creators: An  Exploration of Social Networking on the Perceived Development of Language Skills


Social networking sites
content creation
incidental learning
technology mediated language learning
language skills


Social Networking Sites (SNS) have revolutionized how we build and maintain connections with people all over the world. Transcending their usual purpose, SNS are now also shaping our interaction with language itself through online learning communities and new ways of meaning-making. Participating in online spaces has become an integral part of learners' everyday practices. Many language learners are enacting the role of 'content creators' on SNS, resulting in authentic language use. This study aims to explore the perceived effect of SNS on their English skills. An extensive review of the literature and identification of theoretical paradigms provide a basis for the study. Through a survey questionnaire administered to 79 digital content creators who are learning English as a second language, the study investigates their perceptions of the impact of content creation on incidental and conscious language learning. The findings reveal that creating content on SNS is perceived to assert a significant positive influence on the development of language skills through incidental language learning. Further, writing skills are perceived as having improved most from SNS use compared to other skills. The development of popular vocabulary was also found to be a positive outcome of SNS use. Implications for teaching practices are discussed. 


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