An Investigation of Social Networking Sites for Language Learning and the User Experience

Saona-Vallejos, Miguel Angel and Thomas, Michael orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-6451-4439 (2020) An Investigation of Social Networking Sites for Language Learning and the User Experience. In: Recent Developments in Technology-Enhanced and Computer-Assisted Language Learning. IGI Global, pp. 72-98. ISBN 9781799812821

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This chapter investigates the user experience of the language learning platform Busuu as a tool for learning Spanish as a Foreign Language (SFL). Social constructionism has been highlighted by previous research as the theory on which Busuu is based, however, Álvarez concluded that Busuu constitutes an ecological system of nested semiotic spaces where pedagogical elements and principles from different theories of language learning interweave in complementary ways. Following a review of existing research, the chapter analyses data arising from a study involving a mixed group of university students who used the premium version of Busuu for four weeks. Data were collected via pre- and post-tests, a user experience questionnaire, and individual interviews, and were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. Findings suggest that Busuu did not fully satisfy the requirements of a social network in terms of ease of participation, communication, and collaboration. Further research is required to explore the implications of usability testing for the design of effective SNSLL.

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