The Benefits of Social Media Comments to L2 Listening Comprehension

SAGE Open, Volume 13, Issue 2, April-June 2023.
The purpose of this study is to determine whether a rich repertoire of meaningful, relevant comments posted on social media sites can facilitate or increase L2 listeners’ comprehension of videos. The study utilized a quasi-experimental design with an experimental group (n = 29) that watched two YouTube videos and read comments, as well as a control group (n = 31) that watched the same videos without comments. After watching each video, students in both groups wrote summaries of the video content, and only the experimental students responded to brief questionnaires assessing their perceptions of the video’s comments. T-tests revealed that summaries written by the experimental group had significantly more, and also more informed and accurate, unit ideas. Results of the questionnaires revealed that there is a generally positive attitude toward comments as an L2 listening help option. These findings suggest that social media comments may be a useful tool to assist or enrich listening comprehension of videos. Pedagogically, when social media videos are selected for teaching or learning L2 listening, the richness, relevance, and meaningfulness of comments should be among the video’s selection criteria.

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