Facebook, immersive environments, second language, motivation, attitudes towards culture and language, social media


This quasi-experimental study examined the impact of interactions with native French language Facebook posts on beginning French language learners’ willingness to communicate (WTC) and their attitudes towards the target language and culture in a university setting. In addition, the degree of interaction, by participants, with the French language Facebook posts was recorded and analyzed. This study was conducted during the Spring 2013 semester at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. Participants in this study were recruited from two sections of FRE 1120, Elementary French Language and Civilization I. Native French language Facebook posts were “pushed” to participants’ personal Facebook News Feeds over the course of four weeks, with posts pushed on weekdays only and Facebook polls asking for participant feedback on Fridays. Two instruments were used in this study to obtain participants’ demographic information and to measure willingness to communicate as well attitudes towards the target language and culture. In addition, the researcher gathered observational data directly from Facebook. Data were analyzed using a Split-plot ANOVA and descriptive statistics. A total of 26 participants completed the study, with 14 participants in the control group and 12 participants in the treatment group. Both sections of FRE 1120 were conducted in a traditional, face-to-face format and were taught by the same instructor. Results indicated that participants’ willingness to communicate in French and their attitudes towards the target language and culture were not iv significantly impacted by interaction with native French language Facebook posts. The level of Facebook-facilitated interactions in all areas, including “Liking,” Sharing,” and “Commenting” was low. Self-reported interactions, including reading, viewing and translating of French language Facebook posts; Reading and viewing posts (such as simply viewing a photo) was the most frequently reported interaction, with “Commenting” and “Sharing” was the least common interaction. Opportunities for future research are numerous and include increasing the size of the sample, increasing the length of the study, and selected participants’ who are more advanced in their mastery of the target language. The potential of social network sites to serve as digitally immersive environments for foreign language learners should be explored in more depth and across various languages.


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Graduation Date





Gunter, Glenda


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance


Dean's Office, Education

Degree Program

Education; Instructional Technology








Release Date

December 2014

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Education, Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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