The Use of Social Media Platforms to Enhance Vocabulary Developing in Learning a New Language: A Review of The Literature

Author: Meshari Alharthi

Keywords: English language, learning, Saudi Arabia, social media, vocabulary.


Social media platforms (SMPs) are widely used by many users worldwide in different fields, including business, politics, education, and personal enjoyment (Kapoor et al., 2018). However, the use of SMPs for English language vocabulary learning is still under-researched, particularly in a Saudi Arabian context. Alzahrani (2016) and Alqunayeer (2016) have underscored the scarcity of research exploring the use and effect of SMPs on Saudi learners’ vocabulary development, andas these platforms are highly favored in Saudi Arabia, the paucity of research makes the current study timely and pertinent. Furthermore, recent studies in Vietnam and Indonesia have recommended that further research should be conducted regarding the use of SMPs for English language vocabulary learning and indeed for learning English as a second language (Indari & Putri, 2018; Tran, 2016). This paper aims to review the research concerning the use of SMPs for vocabulary learning from 2014 to 2018. Out of 50 peer-reviewed articles, only 15 studies were relevant to SMPs and vocabulary learning. It has been recognized that SMPs are effective in improving learner engagement, motivation, and vocabulary development, suggesting that SMPs can be valuable tools and resources to facilitate learning. The authors have also proposed a definition for the term social media, as one has not been agreed upon in the educational literature, this is not surprising given that the social media phenomenon is still a new and rapidly evolving field of practice and study.