What is FB group useful for when comes to using it with Ss?

131203-201650 Good question!

Back in August 2012, I suggested to my 15-year-old intermediate group (now 16!) to start a FB group for our class to keep the line of communication open 24/7 and hoping that it could be used as a mean to practice English. It has served both purposes well especially during this semester. Class is over, but we continue to interact in the group.

What had I used it for so far?

It had been used to post homework, remind or review stuff. It has also been used to have discussions about class stuff or share/comment fun stuff. The idea was never to post assignments or make it function as an LMS with online graded assignments. But we have used it to remind each other of class assignments and ask questions about them. I wonder though if I should move this group to Edmodo next semester. FB is too informal and I avoid at all cost playing the grammar cop with them.

Through FB group I have learned a number of things about most of them, but not everyone. As it has been kept informal, couple of the girls don’t participate much and I’m afraid they need the push to do so. Even in class they are don’t talk much or respond much. The other five on the otherhand are all very active.

It might be interesting at this point (3 semesters using it) to discuss about it with them,

  • if FB group has been useful for practice English;
  • if it has provided them any opportunity to improve language knowledge and writing skills;
  • if it our interactions can be improved and how;
  • and, what kind of feedback they think I could give through it and how.
I also use FB messages to give personal feedback on tests, but never used it to give them feedback about how they write on their posts. I extended FB to 3 other groups this semester (Intermediate, elementary and beginner groups). I post pictures of the board to help them review the language used in class or anything that come up in the lesson. The lower levels are free to use L1 and I use L2 most of the time. Just as with my upper-intermediate I feel it is the time to get used to keep using/interacting with English and classmates outside the class. The difference though is that with my Elementary group I used it more didactically.

They’d had their first conversation (free practice – giving opinion which was really awesome and they felt really good about it). Were there mistakes? yeah. Did they ask me questions like How do I say ??? in English? Yep! I used the board to keep a record of the new words/expressions/etc. Then I told them we could use the picture of the board + plus the same topic to express the opinion in written form this time to practise the new words. We discussed error correction and how useful FB would be to send pvt messages to discuss the errors and then they could go back and edit it. It worked nicely. Problem is some Ss don’t like social media.

Have you ever used FB group with your student? If you have, how have you used it? If not, why not? Do you use Edmodo? In this case if you do, do you think that it would be much more beneficial to move to Edmodo instead of continuing working with them on FB? A sample of how I use our FB group with the girls 😀 Can you guess what Brazzz Brazzz refers to?

fly swatters fb4fly swatches fb 3It doesn’t take 10 minutes for them to respond to anything the group if they are online. They are in the picture on the top of the page. Picture they kindly agreed to pose for my blog. I’m so happy I’ll get to work with them next semester again.

*Ps. The fly swatters were bought to be used in a vocabulary game. 😀 Certainly not to hit my Ss, however they will be taken to their class as a reminder not to Brazzzzz. We have a joke. Everytime someone uses L1, I mention that there is a bug in the class buzzing around. Someone was suppose to get me some fly swatters but no one volunteered to buy them. 😉 I wonder why!


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