Social Media and K–12 Foreign Language Education

A Critical Review of the Literature


  • Jiahang Li Michigan State University
  • Ying Hu University of Vermont
  • Haixia Liu Grand Valley State University



social media, social networking sites, foreign language, foreign language teaching, foreign language learning


This systematic review aims to explore social media integration in K–12 foreign language (FL) classrooms in the past decade and discusses the unique challenges of adopting social media in K–12 FL teaching. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and selection criteria, 12 studies between 2010 and 2019 were selected. Adopting a grounded analytical method, this review provides a synthesis of the affordances and challenges of social media integration in K–12 FL education. Based on the data analysis, an effective approach to integrating social media in K–12 FL education is proposed, to connect formal and informal learning environments. This review concludes with suggestions and directions for future research on the integration of social media in K–12 FL classrooms.

Author Biographies

  • Jiahang Li, Michigan State University

    Jiahang Li is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education, College of Education, Michigan State University. His research interests include teaching and learning through social media, world language teaching and learning, and world language teacher education. (More information is available at

  • Ying Hu, University of Vermont

    Ying Hu is a Senior Lecturer of Chinese in the School of World Languages and Cultures at the University of Vermont. Her research interests center around technology-assisted knowledge acquisition and application in ill-structured domains, adaptivity and accelerated expertise development in complex and real-world contexts, as well as linguistically inclusive education.

  • Haixia Liu, Grand Valley State University

    Haixia Liu is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Brooks College, Grand Valley State University. Her research interests include second/foreign/heritage language acquisition, teachers’ professional development, the integration of educational technology in classrooms, and intercultural competence development.


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How to Cite

Li, J., Hu, Y., & Liu, H. (2024). Social Media and K–12 Foreign Language Education: A Critical Review of the Literature. CALICO Journal, 41(2), 165-187.