Multilingual Composing on Facebook: Defining the “Social” in Social Constructivism and Social Media

  • Kathleen Hynes Indiana University of Pennsylvania


Social constructivist theories underpinned nearly all of the seven empirical studies conducted on post-secondary English Language Learners (ELLs) Facebook use. However, researchers have yet to explore the potentially complicated relationship between the term social as education theorists conceive it and the adjective social used to describe online activity on networking sites like Facebook. Does Facebooks rhetorical environment support or undermine the types of interactions that promote learning according to social constructivist models? Analysis shows that the term social in education theories emerges from a paradigm that sees peoples interactions as capable of integration, of uniting learners across cultural and linguistic bounds, while the social activity on social media can be at odds with these goals by encouraging fragmentation and disconnection.

Author Biography

Kathleen Hynes, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. candidate in Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Composition & TESOL program and Assistant Director of the Writing Center at IUP-Punxsutawney


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How to Cite
HYNES, Kathleen. Multilingual Composing on Facebook: Defining the Social in Social Constructivism and Social Media. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, p. 27-38, dec. 2014. ISSN 2166-2681. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 01 june 2020.


Multilingual writing; ELL; Facebook; Social Media; Social Constructivism