Ali Fuad SELVİ
(Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Eğitim ve Beşeri Bilimler, İngilizce Öğretmenliği Programı, Ankara, Türkiye)
Yıl: 2021Cilt: 21Sayı: 1ISSN: 1303-0876 / 2667-8683Sayfa Aralığı: 251 - 272İngilizce

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Blurring Boundaries: Facebook Groups as Digital Teachers’ Lounges for ELT Professionals
Recent years have witnessed a rapid and widespread proliferation of information technologies and internet-based applications and platforms, commonly referred to as social media, which powerfully infused into almost every aspect of our lives, including teaching, teacher education and professional development. Departing from this premise, the current study provided a systematic analysis of Facebook groups serving as networks of professional development for ELT professionals in Turkey. The two-level analysis adopted lurking as a data collection strategy and thematic content analysis as an analytical lens. The macro analysis generated a corpus of these groups (n=55) and investigated how they positioned themselves by analyzing their group size, titles, descriptions and group cover photos. The micro analysis focused on two of the most influential groups and shed light on the actual activities in the form of posts occurring in these groups in June 2020 (n=189, n=1,063, respectively, and a total of n=1,252). The two-level analysis indicated that these groups could be defined as utilitarian (predominantly requesting information and/or providing supplementary docs, instructional videos, revision tests) and socially-oriented (social exchanges with like-minded colleagues). Thus, it could be argued that these groups serve primarily as professionally-focused spaces of socialization, like a digital teachers’ lounge where teachers (coming from the same area of specialty) interact with each other, socialize but also discuss work, give or ask for help on a range of professional, administrative, logistical and administrative matters.
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