Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran


Background and Objectives:  The use of information and communication technology in schools is one of the symbols of classroom intelligence which has become more prominent with the advent of virtual social networks and has become widespread with the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. One of the major results of this pandemic  is that the application of information and communication technology in schools can  lead to the promotion of students' academic engagement. The purpose of this study is to explain the effects of language learners' use of social networks on their academic engagement in learning the English language.
Methods: This research is applied in terms of purpose and descriptive and correctional in nature. The statistical population in this study includes all of the 1874 language learners in Iran Language Center - Tabriz Branches, who were studying English in the spring semester of 2016. From this number of students, based on Krejcie and Morgan table, 204 people including 90 girls and 114 boys were selected, first using the stratified random sampling method equally according to the branches of the Center and in the next stage, using the relative stratified random sampling method according to gender. The criteria for inclusion in the study were regular class attendance and taking the mid-term and  final exams as well as the interest  in continuing  participating in the research and providing the required information. Moreover, the criteria for exclusion from the study were lack of class attendance or lack of interest in providing the required information. The instruments used in this study were the Academic Engagement Questionnaire (α₌0.96) and the Educational Use of Social Networks Questionnaire (α₌0.96). Both questionnaires are based on the Likert scale and 5 degrees. In order to analyze the data, the test of structural relationships and prediction with PLS software at the significance level of 0.05 was used.
Findings: Descriptive statistics showed that the average academic engagement was 93.82 ±14.2, the average behavioral engagement was 30.27 ± 4.41, the average emotional engagement was 33.8 ± 5.8, the average cognitive engagement was 29.57 ± 5.47, the average educational use of social network for classroom activities was 22.97 ± 9.7, the average educational use of the social network for extracurricular activities was 33.38 ± 8.95 respectively. The use of structural relationships test with PLS software showed that there was an increase in the students' academic engagement, behavioral engagement and emotional engagement with increasing their educational use of social network for classroom activities (p₌0.05). Moreover, there was an increase in academic engagement and emotional engagement of students with an increase in their educational use of social network for extracurricular activities (p₌0.05). The effects of learners’ educational use of social networks for classroom activities  on their cognitive engagement and the effect of the learners' educational use of social networks for extracurricular activities on their behavioral engagement and cognitive engagement were not significant (p >0.05). According to the corrected coefficient of determination (0.17), changes in academic engagement can be predicted based on the educational use of language learners of the social network.
Conclusion: By increasing the use of technologies based on virtual social networks  in the classroom, principled planning and appropriate content regulation can improve academic engagement in language learners. Launching various educational software applications during the Covid-19  pandemic is a good opportunity for appropriate use of information and communication technology in schools and foreign language classes in language teaching centers which will be a good investment to promote academic engagement in language classrooms.


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