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Ghana faculty college students speak about their social media habit, and the way it impacts their use of English

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Social media networks similar to Fb, WhatsApp, Telegram, YouTube and Instagram have been shown to have considerably remodeled pupil behaviour. However the focus has been on college students’ social behaviour. And on how the English language is being spoken due to social media use.

The connection between social media and college students’ English language writing has been largely ignored.

Our group of 4 researchers who specialize in language research got down to study the connection between social media use and English language efficiency. We studied one English as a Second Language class at Fiaseman Senior Excessive College in Tarkwa, western Ghana.

English is Ghana’s official language and is the medium of instruction for all ranges of schooling.

We learnt from the scholars that they spend considerably lengthy durations of time on varied social media platforms. Some even described their use as an “habit”. We additionally discovered that their social media use had resulted of their adoption of shortened types of English phrases of their writing, together with of their English examinations.

We concluded from our findings that the considerably lengthy durations of time spent on social media platforms was worrying, contemplating that a lot of the websites they visited will not be pro-learning. Because of this they’re websites the place most actions will not be academically oriented.

In our view as language and communication specialists, this case may culminate in poor performances within the English language, as the dear time college students want to check to enhance their proficiency is channelled into unproductive exploits on social media.

Our findings are vital as a result of within the West African Senior College Certificates Examination, English language is a core topic that college students must go earlier than gaining entry into establishments of upper studying like universities and coaching faculties.

What the scholars instructed us

In Ghana, the West African Senior College Certificates Examination is taken by college students after finishing their highschool coursework. It’s primarily a written examination.

Our research focused a Type 2 class (college students who’re a 12 months away from writing their ultimate highschool exams), made up of 47 college students aged 17 and 18 on common. They had been one of many largest courses within the faculty, which provides English as a normal topic and Literature-in-English as an elective topic.

All the scholars within the class volunteered to participate in our research.

We divided the scholars into seven teams. Our rationale was to acquire various in-depth information from them.

The research discovered that the scholars had been uncovered to most social media platforms, particularly WhatsApp and Fb. We additionally discovered that contributors paid common visits to social networking websites and spent considerably lengthy durations of time there. One respondent mentioned:

I go to social media twice in a day. Sir, I go to there day-after-day. I can’t depend. I’m all the time there.

As well as, contributors had been lively on social media platforms for vital durations, even earlier than their enrolment into the varsity. Most contributors admitted that they had been hooked on social media.

Please, sure. That could be very true. I’m hundred p.c addicted. I can see that I’m very addicted as a result of it is vitally tough to manage my presence there.


Primarily based on this expertise we argue that there are two vital penalties right here: the contributors are probably to not give their research the wanted time and a spotlight, and their English language performances shall be negatively affected, culminating in poor educational development.

Exacerbating that is the discovering that the scholars often use quick kinds of their educational writings.

Quick kinds are the unacceptable written types of English – similar to “4” rather than “for”, “u” rather than “you” and “d” rather than “the” – that college students switch from their casual social media interactions into their formal English language examination writing.

Our analysis signifies that it’s a frequent pupil apply. Apparently, we discovered that the contributors know that such deviant practices have an effect on their English language performances.

For my facet, I exploit quick palms doing chats on social media, and I overlook myself and use them in my compositions. I generally discover myself utilizing quick palms in my notes and likewise in exams.

We concluded that the best way by which English is being utilized in examinations by college students is being undermined by their use of the English language on social media. It is a rising pattern that may see college students battle to get forward within the topic, as extra formal English language writing is required for examinations and for additional research.

What ought to be performed

We suggest that these concerned in schooling ought to think about integrating educating practices that benefit from social media to interact college students. This might enable college students to be taught throughout their time on social media platforms. On-line dictionaries with pronunciation buttons and web sites that provide free instructional supplies to college students, for example, may turn out to be useful.

Additionally, academics ought to help college students in choosing applicable social media websites. The tutorial counselling models of excessive faculties ought to have interaction college students to sensitise them on social media websites, their significance, risks and the way finest to make use of social media, particularly for educational functions.

All these concerned in schooling ought to be taking college students’ use of social media critically. Till progressive approaches are carried out, Ghana dangers recording mass failures within the English language part of the West African Senior College Certificates Examination.