The Effects of Informal Use of Computer-Mediated Communication on EFL Learner Interaction

Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Muhi Eddin Mohammed El-Naim


The study adopted an experimental approach to investigate the impact of informal use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) on English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learner’s interaction. CMC is an umbrella term which refers to human communication via computer either synchronously or asynchronously. It can be implemented in two ways either formally or informally. Informal use of CMC in this study means unevaluated and unplanned activities which can occur outside the classroom, and can be initiated by the students. This study sought to examine: (a) if the learners participate actively in informal CMC; (b) the factors that help informal CMC to be a successful experience; and (c) the impact of CMC on comprehensible written output. The participants were fifty adult EFL Saudi learners at Najran University, Saudi Arabia. The study utilized a homepage on Facebook as a research tool. Data collection was done through a questionnaire and an interview. The participants’ exchanges in the Facebook group and their replies to the questionnaire were analyzed. The results of the study revealed that informal use of CMC can be affected by many factors. The voluntary nature of learner participation, busy schedules, and the teacher interference were some of these factors. The results showed that the participants had positive attitudes towards using CMC to improve their language.

Key words: English as a Foreign Language (EFL); Informal; (CMC) Computer mediated communication; Interaction; Facebook; Output


English as a Foreign Language (EFL); Informal; (CMC) Computer mediated communication; Interaction; Facebook; Output


Alahmadi, B. (2007). The Viability of Computer-Assisted Classroom Discussion (CACD) as a Facilitator of Communicative Interaction. The JALT CALL Journal, 3(3), 3-32.

Beauvois, M. H. (1996). Personality Types and Megabytes: Student Attitudes Toward Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) in the Language Classroom. CALICO Journal, 13(2-3), 27-45.

Bodomo, A. B. (2010). Computer-Mediated Communication for Linguistics and Literacy: Technology and Natural Language Education. Hong Kong University.

Brandl, K. (2012). Effects of Required and Optional Exchange Tasks in Online Language Learning Environments. Re CALL, 24(1), 85-107. doi:10.1017/S095834401100030

Chapelle, C. A. (2003). English Language Learning and Technology: Lectures on Teaching and Research in the Age of Information and Communication. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.

Chun, D. M. (1994). Using Computer Networking to Facilitate the Acquisition of Interactive Competence. System, 22(1), 17-31.

Cosmire, D., Morrison, M., & Osde, J. V. (2009). Perceptions of Interactions in Online Courses. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 5(4), 609-617.

Crystal, D. (2001). Language and the Internet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

December, J. (1996). Units of Analysis for Internet Communication. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 1(4). Retrieved from

Ellis, R. (2003). Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

González-Lloret, M. (2003). Designing Task-Based Call to Promote Interaction: En Busca De Esmeraldas. Language Learning & Technology, 7(1), 86-104. Retrieved from

Hegelheimer, V., & Chapelle, C. (2000). Methodological Issues in Research on Learner-Computer Interactions in CALL. Language Learning & Technology, 4(1), 41-59. Retrieved from

Hegelheimer, V., & Tower, D. (2004). Using CALL in the Classroom: Analyzing Student Interactions in an Authentic Classroom. System, 32, 185-205.

Hrastinski, S. (2010). The Informal and Formal Dimensions of Computer-Mediated Communication: A Model. Int. J. Networking and Virtual Organizations, 7(1).

Jeon-Ellis, G., Debski, R., & Wigglesworth, G. (2005). Oral Interaction Around Computers in the Project-Oriented Call Classroom. Language Learning & Technology, 9(3), 121-145. Retrieved from

Kelm, O. R. (1996). The Use of Electronic Mail in Foreign Language Classes. In J. Swaffar, S. Romano, P. Markley, & K. Arens (Eds.), Language Learning Online: Theory and Practice in the ESL and L2 Computer Classroom (pp. 141-153). Austin, TX: Labyrinth Publications.

Kern, R., Ware, P., & Warschauer, M. (2008). Network-Based Language Teaching. In N. V. Deusen-Scholl & N. H. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Language and Education: Second and Foreign Language Education (2nd Ed., Vol. 4, pp. 281-292). New York: Springer.

Krashen, S. D. (1988). Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. Prentice Hall International (UK) Ltd..

Lee, L. (2004). Learners’ Perspectives on Networked Collaborative Interaction with Native Speakers of Spanish in the US. Language Learning & Technology, 8(1), 83-100. Retrieved from

Levy, M. (1997). Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Context and Conceptualization. Oxford University Press.

Long, M. (1989). Task, Group and Task-Group Interactions. University of Hawaii Working Papers in ESL, 8, 1-26.

Melanie, C., Rosner, G., & Augier, M. (2009). Engaging Students with Mobile Technologies to Support Their Formal and Informal Learning. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 1(4), 84-98.

Moore, M. G. (1993). Three Types of Interaction. In K. Harry, M. John, & D. Keegan (Eds.), Distance Education: New Perspectives (pp. 19-24). New York: Routledge.

Pellettieri, J. (2000). Negotiation in Cyberspace: The Role of Chatting in the Development of Grammatical Competence. In M. Warschauer, & R. Kern (Eds.), Network-Based Language Teaching: Concepts and Practice (pp. 59-86). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Romiszowski, A., & Mason, R. (1996). Computer-Mediated Communication. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology: A Project of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.

Simpson, J. (2002). Computer-Mediated Communication. ELT Journal, 56(4), 414-415.

Sullivan, N., & Pratt, E. (1996). A Comparative Study of Two ESL Writing Environments: A Computer-Assisted Classroom and a Traditional Oral Classroom. System, 29(4), 491-501.

Swaffar, J. (1998). Networking Language Learning: Introduction. In J. Swaffar, S. Romano, P. Markley, & K. Arens (Eds.), Language Learning Online: Theory and Practice in the ESL and L2 Computer Classroom (pp. 1-15). Austin, TX: Labyrinth Publications.

Sykes, J. M. (2005). Synchronous CMC and Pragmatic Development: Effects of Oral and Written Chat. CALICO Journal, 22(3), 399-431.

WANG, Y. (2004). Supporting Synchronous Distance Language Learning with Desktop Videoconferencing. Language Learning & Technology, 8(3), 90-121. Retrieved from

Warschauer, M. (1996). Comparing Face-to-Face and Electronic Discussion in the Second Language Classroom. CALICO Journal, 13(2), 7-26.

Warschauer, M. (1997). Computer-Mediated Collaborative Learning. Modern Language Journal, 81(4), 470-481.

Warschauer, M. (2001). Online Communication. In R. Carter, & D. Nunan (Eds.), The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (pp. 207-212). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Yanguas, I. (2010). Oral Computer-Mediated Interaction Between L2 Learners: It’s About Time! Language Learning & Technology, 14(3), 72-93. Retrieved from

ZENG, G. & Takatsuka, S. (2009). Text-Based Peer-Peer Collaborative Dialogue in a Computer-Mediated Learning Environment in the EFL Context. System, 37, 434-446.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

Share us to:   


Online Submission


How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;

 Articles published in Studies in Literature and Language are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1055 Rue Lucien-L'Allier, Unit #772, Montreal, QC H3G 3C4, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://; Http://;;

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture