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  • 2020hoggardphd

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An investigation into the attitudes and intentions of university students in Japan regarding second-language learning on social networking sites

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2020
Number of pages297
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Using a second language (L2) on social media could provide opportunities for incidental learning and contribute to increased L2 competence. Furthermore, online interactions could offer valuable opportunities for intercultural contact and exchanges, especially in non- English-dominant contexts.
This was a mixed-methods empirical study. A group of over 200 students at a Japanese university completed a questionnaire developed using Ajzen’s (2015) theory of planned behaviour and the international posture construct (Yashima, 2009). International posture has previously been shown to be positively related to L2 willingness to communicate, a representation of behavioural intention frequently used in L2 research. The questionnaire assessed the participants’ social media use and their intentions and attitudes concerning the use of English on social media sites. The students were then given several opportunities to use English outside the classroom in a variety of tasks on several social network platforms. The tasks attempted to mimic typical interactions that the participants experience during their use of social media.
At the end of the series of online tasks a number of participants were interviewed. The interviewees were selected so as to represent different profiles in terms of their answers to the questionnaire and participation in the tasks. These interviews provided a deeper insight into the reasons behind the formation of the attitudes and beliefs expressed in the questionnaire.
The quantitative dataset resulting from the questionnaire was analysed using structural equation modelling and the proposed model linking the theory of planned behaviour with international posture was supported. However, low levels of participation in the tasks and privacy concerns expressed during the interviews indicate some of the potential difficulties that may arise when attempting to utilise social media use for language learning purposes in this context.