Not just a social media platform: Facebook use in a German tertiary learning environment. An ethnographic study. (2015)
Type of ContentOral Presentation
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury. Global, Cultural and Language Studies
University of Canterbury. School of Language, Social and Political Sciences
Looking for a way to step out of the conventional classroom and to make German language study more relevant, Facebook (FB) was used in a German intermediate language class at a tertiary institution. This provided a way for learners to engage in authentic communication in meaningful contexts (Blattner & Fiori, 2009; Mills, 2011; Reinhardt & Zander, 2011; Wang & Vasquez, 2014).
This discussion paper examines the ways German language students view the integration of a Facebook (FB) group in their language classroom. This work was part of a 24-weeks longitudinal study using FB in the German language classroom, including a 12- pilot study followed by the 12-weeks main study. The aim is to describe and understand the practices of the teacher and the students when Facebook is used as part of the curriculum. The students’ activity on the Facebook group was observed using ethnographic methods (Beaulieu, 2004; Hakken, 1999; Hine, 2005; Markham & Baym, 2009; Miller & Slater, 2000). Activity theory (AT) was the framework for the descriptive analysis of activities, following the ethnographic observation and narrative. In this paper I will first present SNSs and their affordances and then discuss more specifically SNSs, here Facebook in a learning environment. I will then show the theoretical framework, and will apply the activity theoretical triangle components to the language class under investigation. I then will present the prelimernary findings of the main study with the activity theory vocabulary, contradictions within the system will be listed and discussed in the final part.
CitationLeier, V. (2015) Not just a social media platform: Facebook use in a German tertiary learning environment. An ethnographic study.. University of Stockholm, Sweden: Colloquium, March 2015.
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ANZSRC Fields of Research47 - Language, communication and culture::4703 - Language studies::470309 - German language
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