Co-authored article published in TechTrends.
Social media has become a daily activity in today’s technological age, and with this development, educators are met with another possible tool to facilitate language learning. This study was conducted to examine the use of social media, in particular Facebook and Twitter, as a pedagogical instrument in beginning level Spanish courses. Two university-level, beginning Spanish courses were analyzed for student preference and academic impact of the incorporation of social media as a course component – one using Facebook while another using Twitter. Equivalent semester-long assignments were implemented into both the Facebook and Twitter classes. Results show that students exhibited an overall positive perception of skill increase and an awareness of Spanish-speaking countries and current events. Results further indicate that students viewed social media as a valuable learning tool for cultural awareness and target language usage. These findings support the use of social media as a pedagogical resource for the twenty-first century language classroom.