Integrating Social Networking Tools into ESL Writing Classroom: Strengths and Weaknesses

  •  Melor Md Yunus    
  •  Hadi Salehi    
  •  Chen Chenzi    


With the rapid development of world and technology, English learning has become more important. Teachers frequently use teacher-centered pedagogy that leads to lack of interaction with students. This paper aims to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of integrating social networking tools into ESL writing classroom and discuss the ways to plan activities by integrating social networking services (SNSs) into the classroom. Data was collected through an online discussion board from TESL students in a state university in Malaysia. The findings revealed that integrating social networking services in ESL writing classroom could help to broaden students’ knowledge, increase their motivation and build confidence in learning ESL writing. The students’ difficulties for concentrating on the materials when they use computer, lack of enough equipment as well as access to internet, and teachers’ insufficient time to interact with the students were regarded as the main disadvantages of integrating social networking tools into ESL writing classes. Therefore, in this new technological era, it is essential for students and teachers to be equipped with technical skills to be competent for life-long learning and teaching. More studies are needed to explore the teachers’ and students’ attitudes towards using ICT in ESL/EFL contexts. Future quantitative and qualitative studies with more participants are needed to provide deeper insight.

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