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Learning Languages with a SNS

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Kana Abe

on 1 December 2012

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Transcript of Learning Languages with a SNS

Kana Abe Learning Languages with a SNS Before you go to my account... Motivations for This Project I picked a SNS called Lang-8 for this project. Since it is based in Japan, I thought there would be many users who want to learn Japanese. Results (1) Results (2) Total number of journals in Chinese: 4 Analysis/Assumptions Once I became friends with another user, the user tended to check my older journal entries and give comments and corrections. Challenges It is difficult to write journal entries in Chinese because I have limited skills in writing Chinese. So Lang-8 may not be suitable for true beginners. My Motivational Changes So the question is, did my motivation change positively? Conclusion There are many Social Networking Sites that focus on language exchange.
As a language learner and teacher,
I wanted to experience a language-
learning SNS to see if these SNSs are actually effective in increasing learners' motivations. I was learning Chinese between 2010 and 2011 and had learned Korean for a while. So I decided to learn these languages on Lang-8. Since user registration is required at Lang-8 and since Chinese and Korean do not display in this presentation tool, I decided to provide what I posted along with English translations in a separate Google Doc. Please take a look at this document: https://docs.google.com/a/utexas.edu/document/d/1fFXsFrFdUfwBeW-aP5COmgbkaLbAcMy3qntH6Wdh0UE/edit

If you are still interested in Lang-8, you can also check out my Lang-8 page: http://lang-8.com/485800 What is a language-learning SNS? Language-learning SNS offers a space for users to teach and learn foreign languages. The normal pattern is for learners to write something in the language they learn and for native speakers of that language to correct the writings. However, each language-learning SNS offers some unique features. # of friends: 11 (4 of them are real friends); for the other 7 users, I did not send requests to become friends myself Total # of visitors to my profile: 167 Studied period: (Oct. 7 - Nov. 4) # Views Corrections Comments 1 14 1 1 2 59 5 4 3 74 1 16 4 54 4 1 Result (3) Total number of journals in Korean: 4 # Views Corrections Comments 1 20 1 2 2 23 3 2 3 47 3 6 4 35 1 0 Some of the journals got more comments because in these journals I asked questions to other users (e.g., what is the most popular Chinese food for Chinese people?). Newer journal entries are displayed to users who are native speakers of the language. So in order to get more comments and corrections, it is better to keep posting new journal entries. It is also difficult to respond other users' comments in Chinese due to the lack of my linguistic skills. I tried not to disclose my private information (last name, school, where I live, etc.), but this limits writing topics and discussions. When other users asked me such information, I was a little worried about my privacy exposure. It is yes and no. When I had positive comments, my motivation increased a lot. However, the increase of motivation was not enough to make me post more journals. If I had more time, I might have posted more, but it is difficult to manage both schoolwork and extra language study. However, if I want to incorporate Lang-8 or other language-learning SNSs into my Japanese class, I would have to make sure students have enough time to work on Lang-8 in addition to regular homework assignments. From my experience, language-learning SNSs can be useful for foreign language learners.
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