LEARNING JAPANESE LANGUAGE IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN MALAYSIA: IS FACEBOOK AS AN ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE HELPFUL?

Yeoh Lee Su, Manjet Kaur Mehar Singh, Malini Ganapathy, Fatin Najwa Amelia

Abstract


Facebook (henceforth FB) is currently considered as the most popular platform for online social networking among university students and it is confirmed that Malaysia has the highest FB usage in South East Asia (Toh, 2011). With this in mind, a study was conducted to investigate the benefits of the usage of FB in learning Japanese language in institutions of higher education. This study investigated if FB as a useful and meaningful learning tool was able to support and enhance the students’ learning of Japanese language. The project involved 32 undergraduates enrolled in an intermediate language course of Japanese Language Minor Program in a local institution of higher education in Malaysia. This project explored how the students used FB for academic purpose to enhance their learning. The role of teacher was coordinating activities, monitoring group progress and encouraging reflection on language and content. All major components of the Japanese language class-based lesson remained the same as in the previous semesters. The FB group functioned as an alternative space for student discussion outside of class, not a replacement for Japanese language lesson or any other course components. The teacher, as the monitor of the FB group, found all 32 students to be active participants in every activity initiated in the FB group. It was found that FB facilitated the learning of Japanese language. Data collected from interviews suggested that students will use FB as an alternate mode of communication and the enjoyment level of learning Japanese language enhanced further.

 

 


Keywords


JAPANESE LANGUAGE, ONLINE LEARNING, FACEBOOK, INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION, MEDIA

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.24200/mjll.vol4iss2pp1-15

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