Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 10. Number 4 December 2019 Pp.356-373
Task-based Meaningful Literacy for Language Learners
Ahdab A. Saaty
English Language Institute
University of Jeddah
Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
This article reflects on the concept of meaningful literacy. It offers a classroom methodology, posting on a closed Facebook Group, that manifests this approach to English as a second language (ESL) or English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom meaningful literacy instruction. This study aims to produce empirically informed teaching materials by providing a meaningful literacy writing task for ESL/EFL educational environments. This aim is guided by the main research question: What are the genre characteristics of posting a photo and writing a caption about it in a closed Facebook Group writing task? To answer the question, multiple instruments are employed including observation of task completion, Facebook Group posts, and post-task completion face-to-face interviews. These instruments help in understanding the participants’ contribution to the closed Facebook Group task. This article focuses on utilizing Facebook as a language learning tool to create meaningful experiences. It starts with a summary of empirical evidence that supports implementing the use of Facebook in ESL/EFL classes. Then, this article provides some descriptions of the practical aspects of applying it. This approach is presented as a way of focusing on the individual language learner as a center of the language learning process and as a way of facilitating the development of language learning. The findings revealed that the participants are able to create meaning easily and to express themselves better. Therefore, Facebook Groups can be extended spaces for writing tasks in educational contexts where students learn the language through bridging life experiences with school subjects.
Keywords: English as a foreign language, English as a second language, Facebook groups, meaningful literacy, personal experiences
Cite as: Saaty, A. A. (2019). Task-based Meaningful Literacy for Language Learners. Arab World English Journal, 10 (4) 356- 373.