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The use of social networking sites for foreign language learning: An autoethnographic study of Livemocha

by Cameron Clark, Paul Gruba
Curriculum technology transformation for an unknown future ()


Despite their spectacular growth in both daily life and mainstream education, little research to date has been conducted concerning the use of social networking sites in foreign language learning. The aim of this study, therefore, is to examine the use of such sites to learn a foreign language. Using an auto-ethnographic approach that included self-aware participation, learner diaries and peer debriefing, we investigated the social networking site Livemocha to study Korean from our perspectives as native speakers and experienced teachers of English. Specifically, we focused our questions on aspects of socio-collaborative principles and practice. Results of a grounded, thematic analysis indicate that the site had number of counter-productive pedagogical impediments to language learning that included, for example, flaws in site design. We conclude our paper with suggestions for improved foreign language learning through social networking sites.

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