Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Vol.6. No.4 December  2015                                       Pp. 113-127             

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Utilizing Facebook in Language Classrooms: Social Constructivist and Affective Filter Approaches 

Ahdab A. Saaty
Department of English Language King Abdulaziz University
Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Composition and TESOL Program
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA


Interaction is a fundamental process in any learning environment for knowledge construction. However, not every interaction leads to increased or meaningful learning. When interaction influences learners’ meaning-making, we can say that interaction is meaningful. Facebook, as an emerging social network educational tool, has been increasingly implemented in second/foreign language classrooms. This article aims to answer the following question: How can social constructivist theory and affective filter hypothesis re-conceptualize meaningful, collaborative online interaction through Facebook in second/foreign language settings? To explore the current state of research and inform future studies, this article reviews previous research on the use of Facebook in second/foreign language classes. All articles were accessed using Google Scholar, ERIC, and ProQuest databases. The researcher examines empirical studies published in peer-reviewed journals from 2007 to 2014. This article argues that social constructivist theory and affective filter hypothesis can help to illustrate the ways that Facebook as an educational tool, can enhance collaborative learning and meaningful interactions in second/foreign language settings. The researcher provides pedagogical implications of Facebook, as a useful and meaningful learning environment for language learners that could support, enhance, and strengthen their learning process. The researcher also addresses potential research directions for Facebook use in second/foreign language settings.
Keywords: collaborative learning, Facebook, language learning, meaningful literacy, online interaction