Engaging Turkish Learners in Digital Participatory Culture Through Social Media?Enhanced Language Instruction


  • Osman Solmaz Dicle University
  • Jonathon Reinhardt University of Arizona




social media-enhanced language learning, CALL, Turkish as a foreign language, digital participatory culture


Research has shown that social media can provide valuable tools for L2 teaching and learning, particularly for developing learners’ informal learning of non-academic interactional registers, socio-pragmatics, culture, and multiliteracies. However, the fact that their benefits are more pronounced in informal contexts due to their quotidian nature poses a challenge for incorporating them into formal language instruction settings. In response, we designed social media-enhanced instruction for 12 intermediate-level learners of Turkish as a foreign language at a large public American university. Learners were required to post tweets in Turkish and engage with both their colleagues and native speakers of Turkish on Twitter each week, writing biweekly journal entries about their experiences. A mixture of quantitative and qualitative data, consisting of learners’ journal entries, tweets, and the projects they developed as part of the instruction, were collected before, during, and after instruction and then analyzed using grounded qualitative techniques. The findings provide insight into how Turkish learners can engage in various social media literacy practices, developing awareness of everyday Turkish cultural discourses and language uses. The findings highlight the potential of social media-enhanced language learning as a means to engage in digital participatory culture.

Author Biographies

  • Osman Solmaz, Dicle University

    Osman Solmaz is an associate professor of English Language Teaching at Dicle University, Türkiye. He received his PhD degree from the interdisciplinary Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) doctoral program at the University of Arizona. His research interests include teacher education, linguistic landscapes, digital literacies, and the implementation of technology in second language teaching and learning.

  • Jonathon Reinhardt, University of Arizona

    Dr. Jonathon Reinhardt (PhD, Penn State) is Professor of English Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at the University of Arizona, USA. His scholarship focuses on the relationship between technological change and the theory and practice of technology-enhanced second and foreign language pedagogy, especially with emergent technologies like social media and digital gaming.


Blattner, G., & Fiori, M. (2009). Facebook in the language classroom: Promises and possibilities. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 6(1), 17–28.

Blommaert, J. (2010). The sociolinguistics of globalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511845307

Blyth, C. (2014). Exploring the affordances of digital social reading for L2 literacy: The case of eComma. In J. Pettes Guikema & L. Williams (Eds.), Digital literacies in foreign and second language education (pp. 201–226). San Marcos: CALICO.

Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Ducate, L., & L. Lomicka (2008). Adventures in the blogosphere: From blog readers to blog writers. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 21(1), 9–28. https://doi.org/10.1080/09588220701865474

Espejel, O., Concheiro, P., & Pujolà, J.-T. (2022). Socialization in telecollaboration: The smart use of WhatsApp to develop social presence in the HI-UB project. In J. Colpaert, & G. Stockwell (Eds.), Smart CALL: Personalization, contextualization, & socialization (pp. 126–150). London: Castledown Publishers. https://doi.org/10.29140/9781914291012-7

Fornara, F., & Lomicka, L. (2019). Using visual social media in language learning to investigate the role of social presence. CALICO Journal, 36(3), 184–203. https://doi.org/10.1558/cj.37205

Garrett, N. (2009). Computer-assisted language learning trends and issues revisited: Integrating innovation. Modern Language Journal, 93, 719–740. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2009.00969.x

Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture. New York University Press.

Jin, L. (2018). Digital affordances on WeChat: Learning Chinese as a second language. Computer-Assisted Language Learning, 31(1–2), 27–52. https://doi.org/10.1080/09588221.2017.1376687

Jin, S. (2015). Using Facebook to promote Korean EFL learners’ intercultural competence. Language, Learning & Technology, 19(3), 38–51. http://dx.doi.org/10125/44429

Kalantzis, M., & Cope, B. (2008). Language education and multiliteracies. Encyclopedia of language and education (vol. 1, pp. 195–211). New York: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30424-3_15

Lee, Y. J. (2022). Language learning affordances of Instagram and TikTok. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 17(2), 408–423. https://doi.org/10.1080/17501229.2022.2051517

Lyu, B., & Lai, C. (2022). Learners’ engagement on a social networking platform: An ecological analysis. Language Learning & Technology, 26(1), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/09588221.2022.2030364

McBride, K. (2009). Social networking sites in foreign language classes: Opportunities for re-creation. In L. Lomicka & G. Lord (Eds.), The next generation: Social networking and online collaboration in foreign language learning (pp. 35–58). San Marcos: CALICO.

New London Group (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60–93. https://doi.org/10.17763/haer.66.1.17370n67v22j160u

Ngai, P. B., Yoshimura, S. M., & Doi, F. (2020) Intercultural competence development via online social networking: the Japanese students’ experience with internationalisation in U.S. higher education. Intercultural Education, 31(2), 228–243. https://doi.org/10.1080/14675986.2019.1702289

Özdemir, E. (2017). Promoting EFL learners’ intercultural communication effectiveness: A focus on Facebook. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 30(6), 510–528. https://doi.org/10.1080/09588221.2017.1325907

Reinhardt, J. (2017). Social network sites and L2 education. In S. May (Ed.), The encyclopedia of language and education (vol. 9, Language, education and technology, ed. S. L. Thorne). Berlin: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02237-6_30

Reinhardt, J. (2019). Social media in second and foreign language teaching and learning: Blogs, wikis, and social networking. Language Teaching, 52(1), 1–39. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444818000356

Reinhardt, J. (2020). Metaphors for social media-enhanced foreign language teaching and learning. Foreign Language Annals, 53(2), 234–242. https://doi.org/10.1111/flan.12462

Reinhardt, J. (2022). Everyday technology-mediatized language learning: New opportunities and challenges. In Lütge, C. (Ed.), Foreign language learning in the digital age: Theory and pedagogy for developing literacies (pp. 67–68). London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003032083-6

Reinhardt, J. (in press). Social media, cultural competences, and critical literacies. In R. Hampel & U. Stickler (Eds.), The Bloomsbury handbook of language learning and technology. London: Bloomsbury.

Reinhardt, J., & Thorne, S. (2011). Beyond comparisons: Frameworks for developing digital L2 literacies. In N. Arnold and L. Ducate (Eds.), Present and future promises of CALL: From theory and research to new directions in language teaching (pp. 257–280). San Marcos, TX: CALICO.

Reinhardt, J., & Thorne, S. L. (2019). Digital literacies as emergent multifarious literacies. In N. Arnold & L. Ducate (Eds.), Engaging language learners through CALL (pp. 208–239). London: Equinox.

Saldaña, J. (2015). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (3rd ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.

Solmaz, O. (2017a). Adapting new media literacies to participatory spaces: Social media literacy practices of multilingual students. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 9(1), 36–63. https://doi.org/10.23860/JMLE-2017-9-1-4

Solmaz, O. (2017b). Autonomous language learning on Twitter: Performing affiliation with target language users through #hashtags. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 13(2), 204–220.

Solmaz, O. (2018). A critical review of research on social networking sites in language teaching and learning. Contemporary Educational Technology, 9(3), 315–330. https://doi.org/10.30935/cet.444120

Thorne, S. (2003). Artifacts and cultures-of-use in intercultural communication. Language Learning and Technology, 7(2), 38–67. http://dx.doi.org/10125/25200

Thorne, S., & Reinhardt, J. (2008). “Bridging activities,” new media literacies and advanced foreign language proficiency. CALICO Journal, 25(3), 558–572. https://doi.org/10.1558/cj.v25i3.558-572

Warner, C., & Dupuy, B. (2018). Moving toward multiliteracies in foreign language teaching: Past and present perspectives … and beyond. Foreign Language Annals, 51(1), 116–128. https://doi.org/10.1111/flan.12316

Xue, S., & Churchill, D. (2019). A review of empirical studies of affordances and development of a framework for educational application of mobile social media. Educational Technology Research and Development, 67(5), 1231–1257. https://doi.org/10.1111/flan.12316

Yeh, E., & Swinehart, N. (2022). Social media literacy in second language environments: Navigating anonymous user-generated content. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 35(8), 1731–1753. https://doi.org/10.1080/09588221.2020.1830805

Zappavigna, M. (2012). Discourse of Twitter and social media: How we use language to create affiliation on the web. London: A&C Black.

Zheng, Y., & Barrot, J. S. (2022). Social media as an e-portfolio platform: Effects on L2 learners’ speaking performance. Language Learning & Technology, 26(1), 1–19. https://hdl.handle.net/10125/73487



How to Cite

Solmaz, O., & Reinhardt, J. (2024). Engaging Turkish Learners in Digital Participatory Culture Through Social Media?Enhanced Language Instruction. CALICO Journal, 41(1), 48-70. https://doi.org/10.1558/cj.25514