EXPLORING FACEBOOK AND WHATSAPP AS SUPPORTING SOCIAL NETWORK APPLICATIONS FOR ENGLISH LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION
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Facebook (FB) and Whatsapp (WA) have become the “communication portal” for social networking, which has rapidly transformed the way people communicate. It attempts to shed light on an information-sharing activity conducted via online discussion using FB and WA groups. This study investigated students’ participation in the online discussion and their feedback on the use of FB’sand WA’s groups as the platform for the activity.It explores ten domestic workers’ use of FB and WA as students in their English course at the Open University of Indonesia (UT). Drawing on virtual ethnography this article relies on qualitative data that shows there are potential positive benefits to using FB and WA for teaching and learning, particularly for the development of educational portable-communities. It is concluded that a FB’sand WA’s group has the potential to be used as online tutorial complements. They have pedagogical, social and technological affordances, which allow putting up announcements, sharing ideas and resources, and implementing online discussions. Using a FB’sand WA’s group as an online tutorial complement, however, has certain constraints. Participation of tutors and the role of admin of FB’s and WA’s group are crucial to realize its potential.