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Teachers’ beliefs play a key role in their selection of language teaching methodologies; they affect teachers’ pedagogical practices and behaviours and are consequently integral in shaping the language learning classroom environment. This study investigated the beliefs of teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) in relation to the concept of ‘language socialisation’ (LS) and its pedagogical application through the use of social networking technologies (SNTs) in a Saudi university language learning context. Data comprised a survey, which was administered to a total of 28 EFL teachers, of whom five male instructors were interviewed. Findings showed that the majority of teachers reported positive associations with LS as a teaching method, as well as positive responses towards the use of SNTs in the EFL classroom despite the fact that most participants had never used SNTs in their teaching. It can be concluded that, while the EFL teachers in this study acknowledged the potentially important role that SNTs could play in enhancing students’ language learning and socialisation, their lack of first-hand classroom experience with SNTs reflected the fact that there was little access to and training in the use of these technologies. This lack of provision needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency to ensure that Saudi EFL teachers and their students are given an opportunity to engage critically with innovative technologies that may enhance the quality of their pedagogical experiences.
Keywords: English as foreign language teachers in higher education in Saudi Arabia, English as a foreign language, language socialisation, social networking technologies
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