Date of Graduation

Fall 12-18-2015

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

College/School

School of Education

Department/Program

International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Dr. Brad D. Washington

Abstract

The classroom material currently utilized in English as a second language (ESL) classrooms is often disconnected from the real world. Publishers of ESL instructional materials often attempt to bridge this gap by including topics on popular news, films, songs, and famous persons at the time of printing. However, these are often outdated as quickly as they can be printed. As such, many ESL teachers face the challenge of keeping ESL classroom material relevant to the real world while seeking to maintain students’ interests in what they are learning.

The purpose of the project is to make use of social networking sites, a readily available technology that students are already familiar with, and adapt classroom material to them as a way to increase students' motivation and learner autonomy. The project is intended to serve as a guide for teachers seeking to enhance their lessons and engage their students through the means of authentic and familiar mediums.The project focuses on four popular social networking sites, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, to demonstrate how social networking sites can be incorporated into the classroom. For each type of social networking site, five classroom activities are designed, targeting the key language areas of grammar, vocabulary, listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Each language area has two types of activities, an introduction activity and a review activity. The introduction activity familiarizes students with how the social networking site will be used to complete the target language activity. The review activity can take the form of a game or is an expansion of the introduction activity. There is a growing trend in education towards the use of technology in the classroom. This project highlights one way in which this can be done while using the same curriculum and minimizing the need to introduce students to any new technology. In this manner, students can become more motivated and enthusiastic about their lessons, have the tools to take charge of their own learning, are exposed to more authentic texts and situations, and are provided with more learning opportunities in which to expand their knowledge of English.

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