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The consequences of task-supported language teaching via social media on academic engagement, emotion regulation, willingness to communicate, and academic well-being from the lens of positive psychology


Although TBLT has been the subject of many prior studies, no research has addressed the impact of TBLT through social media (SM), specifically the Telegram app, on academic engagement, emotion regulation, willingness to communicate (WTC), and academic well-being. To reach this goal, a convenience sampling method was used to select 58 Iranian intermediate EFL learners out of 83 based on their Oxford Quick Placement Test performance. The selected learners were randomly assigned to the control group (CG) and experimental group (EG). Pretests were conducted to measure both groups’ academic engagement, emotion regulation, WTC, and academic well-being. During the treatment, the EG received treatment using the Telegram app and the LMS, while the CG only utilized the LMS without any social media assistance. After the treatment, posttests were administered to evaluate the performance of both groups. The results of the data analysis revealed a significant difference in the posttest scores of the EG and CG. The EG demonstrated superior outcomes (p < 0.05) regarding academic engagement, emotion regulation, WTC, and academic well-being, indicating the effectiveness of incorporating Telegram alongside the LMS. Thus, this study demonstrated that utilizing the Telegram app with an LMS can significantly enhance EFL learners’ WTC, academic engagement, well-being, and emotion regulation. The findings suggest that EFL students can utilize the Telegram app to improve their English language skills outside of traditional classroom settings. Furthermore, using social media platforms like Telegram can facilitate self-study and transform the role of students. It provides EFL students with easy and rapid access to global information. The study concludes with implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research.


Positive Psychology (PP) is a discipline that studies what makes lives worthwhile. It has been founded on the notion that individuals are motivated to reach their full potential and become their best selves. It centers on positive situations and attributes that lead to happier experiences, positive association, mindfulness, emotional resilience, envisaging achievement, and variables that help individuals achieve fulfillment and effectively manage stress. It also concentrates on what makes people happy, emotionally healthy, and strong, as well as individuals’ behaviors, feeling, and thought, and the powers that allow them to grow, set life goals, and expand their way of living to the utmost levels (Al-Jarf, 2022).

On the other hand, collaborative learning (CL) theory indorses students’ learning achievement. The central mechanism that facilitates learning is that in collaborative learning, students construct and maintain a shared understanding of their problem through social interaction. This presumes awareness not only of students’ thinking but also of other group members’ thinking and verbalizing these views to each other. In other words, students need to engage in metacognitive interaction. Social interaction relates to metacognition and contributes to successful learning. It increases students’ awareness of their own and others’ learning processes, supports knowledge construction, and enables efficient use of strategies (Haataja et al., 2022).

Language acquisition (LA) is a highly emotional process (Richards, 2022). However, most of the prior research on the importance of emotions has concentrated on the negative side of them (MacIntyre, 2021). Similarly, LA theories primarily aim to transmit linguistic information to pupils (Mitchell et al., 2019). It becomes clear when we analyze the critical efforts to investigate the nature of second language (L2) acquisition nature, particularly the outputs, inputs, and interaction hypotheses that L2 specialists have accepted. All these ideas are nearly entirely focused on the flow of data. Since SLA theories set up the basis of most investigations on language learning, this concern with the cognitive dimension of learning may entail a lack of focus on feelings and their essential role in language learning. PP, known as a prominent vision since the beginning of this century, centers on the beneficial impacts of constructive feelings (e.g., joy, gratitude, zest, compassion, and optimism) on students’ well-being and ideal performance (Oladrostam et al., 2022).

Emotion regulation is a PP sub-factor that can be considered as an influential element. With the advent of PP in foreign language instruction, researchers have moved their focus from identifying harmful components like tension and stress to evaluating positive factors like happy emotions (Greenier et al., 2021). Studies have found positive feelings to influence students’ professional practices and involvement. Furthermore, the importance of happy feelings in language teaching has been thoroughly demonstrated (Mercer, 2020). Positive emotions can help language learners’ psychological development and professional performance (Gregersen & MacIntyre, 2021).

Emotion regulation is the use of tactics to modify, regulate, or manage one’s emotions to achieve one’s objectives. Language learners who work on their feelings have greater engagement and well-being (Bielak & Mystkowska-Wiertelak, 2022). Gross (1998) described emotion regulation as synthesizing many systems to express or control sentiments. Accordingly, two major groups of emotional regulation mechanisms exist expressive suppression strategies and cognitive reappraisal strategies (Gross & John, 2003). Although the first one refers to incorporating exterior stimuli into an individual’s interior emotional states, the second one entails taking possibly emotion-eliciting situations in a way that alters the emotional impacts (Azari Noughabil et al., 2021).

On the other hand, engagement is regarded as a crucial aspect to actively learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL), meaning that meaningful learning is improbable in the absence of engagement (Hiver et al., 2021). Learners must be thoroughly involved and attentive in various classroom activities to maximize their learning efficiency. Student engagement is extremely needed since it guarantees pupils remain alert to activities and have fun while teaching (Oga-Baldwin & Nakata, 2017). The current literature on student engagement reveals it as a positive result since it is connected to many other major educational outcomes, such as self-efficacy, the quest for mastery objectives, motivation, academic performance, and accomplishment (Reschly & Christenson, 2022).

Learner engagement in EFL instruction is as vital as or more significant than in other subjects like math, as it is critical for EFL students to get intensely interested in continuous periods of study and practice to automatize language abilities. Furthermore, as two current and extensively utilized techniques in EFL education, task-based and communicative language teaching emphasize learners’ active involvement is necessary to promote their contribution to meaningful interactions (Mercer & Dornyei, 2020).

Meanwhile, in the past, EFL teaching aimed to grasp the language’s structures. However, in the communication era, English appears to have many essential roles, and the goals of English teaching have switched from structural mastery to the capacity to utilize the language for communicative reasons. As a result, the communication part of English instruction has grown in significance. Furthermore, meaningful communication among people of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds is now considered the ultimate objective of language acquisition (Raja et al., 2022).

It is not unusual for some English learners to be eager to converse in English in their classrooms, while some others are hesitant. Also, it is evident that less-skilled students probably speak in English outside of school whenever they want to, but more adept students can be less inclined to talk (Allahyar, 2021). WTC, a concept devised to represent specific variations in first-language conversation, has steadily developed as an essential element in understanding SL learning and discussions. There is a rising demand for persons to improve English language communicative competency in non-English speaking nations. Students’ socialization tendencies and desire to speak are not universal despite the uniform obstacles in communicative proficiency (Lee & Drajati, 2019).

As a result, WTC in EFL is described as the inclination to participate in dialog at specific times with particular individuals or people by using a particular language, motivating some students to seek occasions for speaking. In contrast, others evade conversation and stay out of communication in their class (MacIntyre, 2007). Some pupils are eager to participate in various actions that necessitate discussion, while others get apprehensive, uncertain, or unwilling to speak even when chances are easily offered (Khajavy et al., 2018).

Furthermore, there has been an increasing emphasis recently on student well-being as an essential educational result. Because of the financial, academic, and health challenges during the pandemic, well-being has become an even more significant issue since COVID-19. Well-being is defined as a condition that comprises the ability to attain one’s societal and personal goals, and it has been linked to academic achievement in students across nations (Govorova et al., 2020). This notion of academic well-being also includes elements that lead to academic success, such as educational accomplishment and academic happiness. Both general and academic well-being have been linked to improved student results, and both may have been negatively impacted by the changes and obstacles that occurred during COVID-19 (Shek & Chai, 2020).

A verified degree is now required to practice professionally in many disciplines like medicine or law. Compared to persons without degrees, a degree holder is connected with several exemplary achievements, like better health care, more job stability, and higher income (Ma et al., 2016). So, pupils must continue their education to graduation. Academic well-being, which comprises behaviors and thoughts that help in doing well in school, such as accomplishment and happiness, is one predictor of students’ degree perseverance (Shek & Chai, 2020). Higher academic well-being is related to decreased dropout rates in varied populations (Korhonen et al., 2014) and self-efficacy, optimism, and hope (Robinson & Snipes, 2009).

Furthermore, TBLT is focused on using tasks- instructional activities that simulate an everyday environment and involve students in handling and utilizing the target language in various contexts (Ellis, 2003). Though tasks are designed to focus mainly on meanings, the importance of linguistic forms has also been emphasized in different ways. Long (2016) stresses the necessity of correcting language forms when students are performing communicative tasks, not before. Based on this viewpoint, pre-task education is not an option, and concentration on form, if necessary, must come in response to faults made by learners in their products. Traditionally, the pedagogical cycle in this approach started with explicit instruction (EI) on linguistic features, then controlled practices to let the learners have more control over the structures, and finally, free production practice activities in which the learners apply the learned knowledge in real-life conditions (Boers, 2021). Basically, TBLT is based on a dual memory model that posits distinct brain explicit and implicit systems and hence considers precise information limited in gaining tacit knowledge (Reber & Squire, 1998).

According to Robinson (2003), task-based teaching strategies might improve cognitive processes in L2 composition (expressiveness) and acquisition (development), as well as the relationship between them, which is consistent with the conceptual approach to language learning. Similarly, Prabhu (1987) considered language development as a natural process rather than a focus on language form, which he argued would impede language learning. Well-designed tasks may assist students in paying attention to grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, which may be neglected or forgotten in an unsupervised conversation situation due to a lack of perceptual and mental relevance (Schmidt, 1990).

As the current generation of students is growing up in the digital world, using digital social devices is a big part of their daily experience outside educational settings. A large part of our social communication takes place online. Because the Internet language significantly affects the user’s language, it is crucial to research the issues and their role in language learning. Technology can help facilitate the achievement of learning objectives. One of them is Telegram’s technological tools, which have achieved a dominant role in society. Telegram has various attributes that affect suitability for learning objectives.

Also, given the scarcity of research in the applied linguistics literature on the roles of online TBLT in learner academic engagement, emotion regulation, WTC, and academic well-being through the lens of PP, the principal mechanism through which improvement can be predicted, we assume that this study will encourage pupils to exert more determination in their learning endeavor and will help them preserve their concentration on learning the language in the future. In simple words, given that learning is closely connected to numerous situational and individual factors, the current research can assist in growing empirical shreds of evidence and providing implications on the importance of focusing on learners’ psychological aspects to promote their engagement in language instruction.

Review of literature

Theoretical background

Teaching has been seen as a challenging and demanding task due to the prevalence of psychological issues (Montgomery et al., 2005). PP emerged as a distinct psychology form in 1998 when Martin Seligman picked it as the topic for his presidency of the American Psychological Association. It responded to previous practices emphasizing maladaptive behavior, mental disease, and negative thinking (Muoz & Martn, 2015).

PP investigates the impact of positive feelings such as appreciation, hopefulness, enthusiasm, and happiness on the performance of competent persons. Those positive individuals are believed to be more imaginative and possess more creative ideas than others (Oladrostam et al., 2022). According to this hypothesis, happier individuals and those who feel well-being are more active, imaginative, and strategically prepared and hence likely to be broad-minded. That is to say, they are apt to devise more alternatives during conflict and difficulty, and as a result, they are likely to be more productive through the sources they develop utilizing the choices they currently have. According to Martin Seligman (2011), a key figure in PP, the PERMA, the acronym for positive feelings, engagement, relationship, meaning, and achievement/accomplishment, and a list of qualities was used to characterize features of exultant and productive individuals. Simply put, individuals who demonstrate PERMA are pleased and hence more positive.

According to Dewaele et al. (2019), academics advanced a blossoming concentration on the emotion function in L2 acquisition and instruction around the turn of the millennium, beyond the already recognized categories such as motivation, attitudes, and anxiety. Therefore, a thorough comprehension of the roles of happy and negative emotions in the lives of students and instructors has evolved. This knowledge has increased in empirical studies employing various epistemological and methodological techniques.

Moreover, due to the COVID-19 epidemic disrupting education in many nations, several governments concentrated on establishing remote learning modes as an emergent reaction. During the COVID-19 epidemic, meaningful two-way connections between pupils and instructors were achieved through online programs and SM (Lei et al., 2022). Social media-based L2 learning is a technique of acquisition in which social platforms are used to promote target language learning. As web or computer-based devices, SM tools facilitate collaborations, communications, and data exchanges. SM via mobile-aided language learning (MALL) provides new avenues for language acquisition (Woods, 2020). MALL combines digital technologies and L2 learning (Kamasak et al., 2021). MALL has advanced to aid pupils’ L2 learning through tasks conducted on mobile tools anywhere and anytime (Zain & Bowles, 2021).

SM platforms transformed language learning and teaching by creating a socially attractive environment (Ahmadi & Tabatabaei, 2021). Basically, these platforms are adaptable, which means they are used in various instructional contexts, including informal or formal situations (Barrot, 2022). Educationalists are divided on distinguishing between these features of informality and formality in SM. Some claimed these two exist on a scale (Sefton-Green, 2004), while some believed they are twofold (Eshach, 2007).

Acceptance of SMs in instructional settings was theoretically reinforced by the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), which asserted that exterior factors could hasten the application of technologies (SMs), influencing learners’ attitudes toward learning (Namaziandost et al., 2022). Keeping all of this in mind, mobile device technology has advanced rapidly in recent years. Aside from spoken communication, which is the primary objective of creating mobile phones, the latest advancements in mobile technology delineate various uses for them. Users may search the net for data, send emails, read books, and purchase anytime and anywhere (Pachler et al., 2010). MALL was coined as a subdivision of mobile learning (m-Learning) and a subcategory of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) (Namaziandost et al., 2020). Mobile technology has several user-friendly benefits, including cheap costs, flexibility, and compact size (Huang et al., 2012).

Telegram is one of the SMs that provides various options for online learning. Telegram offers several outstanding features, such as an address book for consumers (Ghorbani & Ebadi, 2020), stickers designed to express talks (Banafshi et al., 2020), and various channels to exchange data (Alizadeh, 2018). Telegram helps to create a joyful and tension-free learning environment, which increases students’ engagement, curiosity, and motivation while minimizing their concerns (Vahdat & Mazareian, 2020). Furthermore, the Telegram app provides interactive learning exercises and substantial content presentations (Namaziandost et al., 2022).

On the other hand, TBLT is now widely accepted by EFL instructors in most nations. There is widespread agreement that TBLT, which includes dialogue, helps language acquisition in various ways. Unlike actions that only center on forms, tasks promote improved output–input processes similar to those seen in real-life settings (Richards & Rogers, 2014). Tasks also encourage negotiation, change, and experimentation while emulating realistic practices necessary for language development (Nakahama et al., 2021).

In terms of language learning in general, empirical research has shown that involving students in conversational activities enhances their oral performances and helps the understanding of specific components like grammar as linguistic data. The linguistic settings offered by TBLT are thus beneficial for EFL learners who spend most of their learning time in classrooms (Fang et al., 2020).

Furthermore, TBLT-informed activities may be constructed and understood along a scale that ranges from broad classroom activities or pedagogical language work to the most complicated real-life tasks (González-Lloret & Ortega, 2014). Willis (2021) described classroom tasks as goal-oriented communication engagement focusing on exchanging meanings and achieving a specific objective. On the other hand, real-world tasks are described as more general activities in which pupils participate more comprehensively to accomplish a purpose using the target L2 (Van den Branden, 2006). These activities are parts of a well-planned TBLT program, including task choice and sequencing, requirements analysis, subjects and instruction creation, instruction, and assessment (Norris, 2009).

Furthermore, engagement is characterized as dynamic, flexible, constructive, goal-directed, focused, and persistent interactions with the physical and social environments (Sadoughi & Hejazi, 2023). Reeve and Tseng (2011) defined this meta-construct as having four primary aspects: emotional, behavioral, agentic, and cognitive. Skinner et al. (2008) link the emotional element to pupils’ positive and negative emotions like tedium, pleasure, and curiosity. The behavioral component is concerned with students’ devotion to academic work, class engagement, and body language, and it is considerably associated with and a fine forecaster of the three aspects (Oga-Baldwin, 2019).

Moreover, the cognitive aspect relates to pupils’ mental exertions and activities during the learning course, primarily connected to the processing profundity, learning investments, and employment of self-regulatory mechanisms (Hiver et al., 2021). Finally, the agentic dimension is characterized as students’ constructive participation in the training by purposefully personalizing educational subjects over ideas, questions, and requests for clarification (Reeve & Tseng, 2011). The joint influence of these highly interconnected qualities of engagement can efficaciously forecast and boost students’ accomplishment in L2 (Oga-Baldwin, 2019).

Furthermore, any educational system is, by definition, an emotional system (Akbari et al., 2017). According to Hargreaves (1998), emotions lie at the center of teaching and learning. Learners encounter many emotions that have beneficial or undesirable repercussions (Bullough & Hall-Kenyon, 2011). Emotional experiences have an impact on all learners’ efficacy beliefs, goals, instructional adoptions (Chen, 2021), learning styles, self-regulation (Heydarnejad et al., 2022), meaningful relationships with other people (Richards, 2022), individuality (Jones & Kessler, 2020), and accomplishment (Frenzel et al., 2021).

However, no agreement between researchers and experts has been reached on how to define emotion regulation. As a result, there have been various definitions of this notion. According to Cole et al. (1994), emotion regulation is the ability to reply to the continual demand of experiences with a spectrum of feelings in a publicly palatable and adequately flexible way to allow impulsive responding and the capability to defer unprompted responses as required. Thompson (2008) defined this idea as the individual’s interior and exterior processes to analyze, adapt, and control their emotions.

Likewise, Asberg (2013) defined pupils’ emotion regulation as the psycho-emotional process students endure to identify and direct their academic feelings. According to Teng and Zhang (2016), students often adopt various tactics to up-regulate their pleasure experiences, leading to higher academic accomplishment (Lv, 2021). They also use a variety of ways to suppress their negative emotions (Fan & Wang, 2022). They mitigate the harmful impact of negative emotions on their classroom performance using these approaches (Fathi et al., 2021). Thus, emotion regulation tactics assist learners in doing better in the learning setting (Wang et al., 2021).

Another element is the idea of WTC, which developed from research on communications in a mother tongue in North America in the 1960s, where interpersonal contact is highly prized. Although those who adequately communicate are highly regarded, others are uncertain about sharing frequently. Different communication behaviors were conceptualized as happening regularly across settings, as dictated by particular personality qualities. This idea is known as WTC and relates to a consistent proclivity to communicate when given the opportunity (MacIntyre & Wang, 2021).

Furthermore, MacIntyre et al. (1998) characterized WTC as pupils’ inclination to partake in certain interaction circumstances and to participate in communicative and instructive activities. According to Kruk (2021), WTC is pupils’ cognitive scheduling to use the L2 in their communication. From a psychological standpoint, McCroskey and Baer (1985) also defined WTC. They stated that the desire to speak is a personality trait that clarifies why an individual will converse while another would not under similar or nearly equivalent limitations. According to MacIntyre and Vincze (2017), the critical goal of L2 acquisition is WTC because the aim to converse can lead to genuine communication behaviors, which improve L2 competency.

Finally, Oz et al. (2015) thought that WTC is a multidimensional idea that incorporates linguistic, emotional, communicative, and social-psychological features and may describe, clarify, and envisage pupils’ communicative behaviors in L2. All the pupils are not the same in their WTC in L2 when given the chance to do so, and some students do not have sufficient dispositions to engage in L2 courses. As a result, one of the individual differences factors is the desire to communicate (Khajavy et al., 2016).

The topic of academic well-being will be explored next. COVID-19 has had a detrimental influence on kids’ academic performance. Many pupils could not go to class in person, were forced to leave dorms, lost employment, and faced fear about their own and their loved ones’ health due to the worldwide epidemic and accompanying social distance. Accompanied by the financial and social losses, pupils have suffered academic harm due to the quick variations in the courses when online learning became an obligation, not a choice. Pupils who wished to continue their education were forced to do it online (Aristovnik et al., 2020).

Academic well-being is a novel term derived from PP used to evaluate educational institutions. Furthermore, this broad concept influences academic life quality (Long et al., 2021). A student’s academic success may motivate them to seek new ideas and widen their perspectives and opinions, increasing their desire to study and grow (Dodd et al., 2021). On the other hand, lack of well-being in educational environments can result in dropout, disciplinary issues, and academic underachievement (Shirmohammadi et al., 2021).

In general, well-being is balancing social, mental, and physical challenges and difficulties, as well as mental, physical, and social resources (Mahmoodimehr et al., 2022). Given the importance of academic accomplishment to kids’ socioemotional functioning and the crucial role of schools in their lives, their well-being is tied to the school educational settings (Medlicott et al., 2021). School values, academic satisfaction, burnout, and task participation are the four factors influencing students’ well-being (Govorova et al., 2020). Their well-being includes completing tasks, good academic achievement, and academic passion (Shirmohammadi et al., 2021). Academic well-being, in other words, is pupils’ outlook on education, represented in four aspects of the overall approach to the instructors, classmates, educational organization, and academic life (Kaya & Erdem, 2021; Xu et al., 2022).

Academic well-being is linked to a variety of positive outcomes, including gratification, a sense of efficacy, academic progress, and success; thus, research into metacognitive features and engagement influencing it, as well as awareness of the indirect and direct effects of these issues, can lead to the establishing of academic well-being in educational contexts (Pekrun et al., 2007).

To wrap up, various emotions are experienced in learning situations, such as anxiety, boredom, sadness, enjoyment, pride, and relief. These emotions are positive or negative and would result in pleasant or unpleasant experiences. Moreover, they perform qualitatively different functions, translating into other impacts on learning. While positive emotions broaden understanding and build emotional and cognitive resources for future conditions, negative ones restrict experience and limit one’s focus. With the prevalence of negative emotional experiences among L2 learners, which make them less confident and reluctant to participate in activities, there is a need to find ways to help learners increase their engagement in meaningful discussions provoked by positive psychology interventions, which lead to the intended effort, engagement, and eventually achievement in language learning.

Grounded in the sociocultural theory, collaborative learning, and PP framework, which perceived language learning to be an interactive process that involves motivation, cognition, and affection, the present study aims to investigate the effect of applying positive psychology intervention as a way to both boost EFL learners’ emotions and to improve their language learning. Overall, the main goal of the present study was to find and apply those instructional practices to the language learning context. In particular, integrating positive psychology through TBLT and by SM (Telegram) pursued in the present study seeks to expose learners to active emotional learning, assuming that learners’ WTC, emotion regulation, academic engagement, and academic well-being would improve.

Empirical background

Some empirical research is presented here. Namaziandost et al. (2017) assessed the effect of TBLT on 100 EFL high school pupils’ motivation and grammatical success in Ahvaz, Iran. They showed that the EG outperformed the CG substantially. Furthermore, the motivation questionnaire findings demonstrated substantial differences in motivation between the CG and EG in the questionnaire’s posttest, implying that the EG’s inspiration grew meaningfully. The results also showed that TBLT might be utilized in English lessons to assist Iranian EFL students in expanding their grammatical skills.

Xodabande (2017) divided 30 Iranian EFL students into two groups to assess the efficiency of utilizing Telegram in teaching L2 pronunciation. The EG got vocabulary training via a Telegram English pronunciation channel in mobile tools, whereas the CG got vocabulary teaching via a channel for English vocabulary. The evaluations of the pretests and posttests indicated that the pronunciation of EG improved significantly.

Jia and Hew (2022) investigated the WeChat influence of WeChat on EFL learners’ listening performance by including WeChat in dictation practice. All 70 EFL students enrolled in a mandatory EFL course were separated into CG and EG. In contrast to the CG, the EG participated in a dictation activity on WeChat daily. The examination of listening test data revealed that the EG had outdone the CG and improved their listening skills more. The research emphasized the benefits of applying SM to language instruction.

Fouz-González (2020) explored the potential of English File Pronunciation (EFP), a mobile application, to help Spanish EFL students develop their perception and production of some English sounds, i.e., /: /as well as the distinction between /z/ and /s/ sounds, which were expected to be fossilized in their inter-language. The EFL applicants were trained for 14 days and used the program for roughly 20 min daily. The findings revealed that using the program significantly improved applicants’ perception and production of the desired qualities.

Fang et al. (2020) employed a mobile-based TBLT application. They separated the participants into control and experimental groups to investigate the impact of TBLT on the English linguistic accomplishment of 66 university students. The EG received scaffolding-assisted TBLT via the mobile application, while the CG got traditional paper-based TBLT without scaffolding. Following the teaching time, both groups were given an accomplishment test of grammar, conversation comprehension, and vocabulary to evaluate the efficiency of the scaffolding offered by the program. The results revealed that the mobile-based TBLT group outdid the standard TBLT group on conversation comprehension and vocabulary assessments.

Alodwan (2021) also explored the benefits of using the Telegram program to improve EFL students’ writing skills. Two groups, namely EG and CG, were trained via Telegram and traditional methods. The study showed significant changes in EG participants’ writing ability due to using Telegram.

Rasiban (2021) evaluated the impact of the Telegram application on beginner learners in Japan. The results revealed a strikingly substantial association between increasing interest and desire in learning and learning results. Following the training, the students were increasingly engaged in language acquisition and more driven to study the new language.

Aloraini and Cardoso (2022) investigated EFL students’ views on using four SM platforms to study English in Saudi Arabia (Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Instagram). In all, 99 EFL students participated in interviews and individual surveys. The findings revealed that the learners had favorable opinions about SM applications. However, there were some disparities in perceptions of the utility of various social networking programs between advanced and beginner EFL students. Advanced students were more hesitant to utilize social networking apps for instructional objectives.

Therefore, the advent of social media has brought about tremendous innovation in the delivery of teaching. Mobile devices have been recently used overtly because of their accessibility, ease of use, and popularity. On the other hand, the modern use of networks and online applications has contributed significantly to online learning. Several previous studies have confirmed that learners can decide on the proper use of mobile technology for language learning with various language learning technology options (Rasiban, 2021).

As a media, Telegram is a relatively new application, but its users are increasing with exciting features to support learning. Telegram’s unique feature with several advantages is that the message sent will not be lost even if the application is uninstalled. There is a bot feature to support learning by providing quizzes, student attendance, and voting. Using applications as learning media is exciting and new in education. It gives a new color to learning media development, making it more exciting and diverse.

Concerning the application of PP principles in L2 instruction and learning in Iran and the incorporation of TBLT on PP, a review of the literature showed a lack of investigation that integrates those principles of PP in EFL courses for pupils in Iran to help them overcome their L2 learning challenges and achieve academic engagement, emotion regulation, WTC, academic well-being, and constructive attitudes towards language learning. So, this study aims to identify how social media, specifically Telegram application, can effectively help improve students’ skills. Therefore, this study is essential to provide evidence of the effectiveness of Telegram in improving basic language skills.

At the end, the following questions were developed for this research based on the objectives:

  • RQ1. Does TBLT via SM affect students’ academic engagement significantly?

  • RQ2. Does TBLT via SM affect students’ emotion regulation significantly?

  • RQ3. Does TBLT via SM affect students’ WTC significantly?

  • RQ4. Does TBLT via SM affect students’ academic well-being significantly?

Also, the following null hypotheses were proposed in this study:

  • H01: TBLT via social media does not significantly affect EFL learners’ Academic Engagement.

  • H02: TBLT via social media does not significantly affect EFL learners’ emotional regulation.

  • H03: TBLT via social media does not significantly affect EFL learners’ WTC.

  • H04: TBLT via social media does not significantly affect EFL learners’ academic well-being.


Research design

Using the convenience sampling approach, two identical groups—CG and EG —were selected randomly. Both groups had a total of twenty-nine members. Data was collected using pretests, treatments, and posttests.


This study included 58 Iranian EFL male students studying English since 2020. The EFL students were administered the Preliminary English Test (PET), after which they were chosen using the convenience sample approach. Their level of general English competence was intermediate. From the participants, two groups were formed: a CG for LMS and an EG for LMS plus Telegram.


Oxford quick placement test (OQPT)

The OQPT was applied to measure the students’ level of English competence. The OQPT had a score range of 0.1–0.9, with results between 0.4 and 0.6, indicating an intermediate level of English competency. In this study, the reliability of the OQPT was 0.91.

Emotion regulation scale

The Emotion Regulation Scale measured respondents’ emotion regulation (Gross & John, 2003). This measure consists of ten items ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) on a 7-point Likert scale. This scale included two sub-factors: Cognitive Reappraisal (by altering my thinking about the situation, I control my feelings) and Expressive Suppression (I control my feelings by not conveying them). Research has shown that the scale is a valid and viable tool to test emotion regulation (Greenier et al., 2021). This scale has a reliability of (0.90) in this study.

Academic engagement scale

Students’ academic engagement was assessed using a modified version of the Academic Engagement Scale of Reeve and Tseng (2011). This scale was a five-point Likert one and included four subdivisions: behavioral (5 items), agentic (5 items), cognitive (8 items), and emotional (4 items). For several subscales, the first version demonstrated strong validity and internal consistency coefficients (0.78–0.94) (Reeve & Tseng, 2011). Based on confirmatory factor analysis, the scale demonstrated strong construct validity in the current study (2/df = 1.24, CFI = 0.981, RMSEA = 0.029, SRMR = 0.039). Furthermore, the Cronbach’s reliability values were 0.84, 0.88, 0.83, and 0.83 for the four subdivisions.

Academic well-being scale

The first five questions on the Perceptions of Academic Stress Scale (PASS) were employed to assess academic well-being (Bedewy and Gabriel, 2015). This PASS included an 18-item questionnaire on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (= strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). The first five items on this scale are positive, asking questions such as "I will be an efficient pupil" or "I can make academic decisions certainly." The estimated reliability was 0.76.

Willingness to communicate scale (WTC)

The Cao and Philp (2006) observation technique created a WTC questionnaire. Because this questionnaire was regularly employed in prior surveys, the researcher considered it a valid tool for this study. This instrument was translated into Persian to guarantee that all participants understood all survey items. It had 12 items on a 6-point Likert scale, with 1 being not at all willing and 6 being highly willing, and contained items where students may select whether to speak English or Persian. A panel of English specialists approved the Persian version of the questionnaire. Cronbach Alpha (r = 0.85) was used to calculate its reliability.


To conduct this study, 58 Iranian students who have studied English since 2020 participated. The EFL students were administered the OQPT, after which they were picked using the convenience sample approach. Following that, both groups were pretested regarding academic engagement, emotion regulation, WTC, and academic well-being. The experimental group then got treatment using the Telegram application and learning management system (LMS), whereas the CG students were instructed through the LMS without accessing any SM type. Six Top Notch 2 book lessons were taught to both the EG and CG. Each class was taught throughout two online sessions. The materials and content were distributed to the groups at a particular time, and the researcher described them to the participants. The EG had a shared group on the Telegram app, where they discussed work and got feedback. They got the opportunity to ask and receive answers to their questions right there. The applicants were advised to practice and acquire the contents collectively and question the instructor about any difficult areas they did not understand. When the pupils needed assistance, the teacher gave helpful criticism. It should be emphasized that each lesson’s discussion, vocabulary, and grammar were taught to the groups. Although the CG received identical information, they could not discuss or get comments. The entire procedure took 15 sessions. The members’ homogeneity was ensured during the first session; they were pretested in the second session, and the treatment was administered to the groups throughout the subsequent 12 sessions. Academic engagement, emotion regulation, academic well-being, and WTC posttests were distributed in the 15th session, respectively.

Data analysis

The data gathered by the aforementioned techniques was statistically analyzed depending on the study goal. Second, descriptive statistics such as standard deviation and mean score were calculated. Third, inferential statistics such as paired samples t-tests and independent samples t-tests were used to analyze the data. SPSS software version 255 was run to analyze the collected data.


Both inferential and descriptive data on academic engagement, emotion regulation, WTC, and academic well-being were presented in the results section. The outcomes and data are described in full below.

Table 1 presents the two groups’ descriptive data on the emotion regulation pretest. Their means were nearly identical. The EG’s mean score was 20.51, while the CG’s was 20.44. This indicates that the groups were virtually at the same degree of emotion regulation before delivering the treatment.

Table 1 Groups’ mean scores on emotion regulation pretest

The results of the emotion regulation pretest are presented in Table 2. Because Sig (0.93) is more than 0.05, the difference among the groups was not noteworthy. They really had the same amount of emotion regulation before the treatment.

Table 2 Independent samples T-test of emotion regulation

The two groups’ pertinent descriptive data on the emotion regulation posttest are shown in Table 3. These groups’ means are distinct. The EG’s mean score is 51.44, while the mean score of CG is 28.06. On the emotion regulation posttest, the EG outpaced the CG.

Table 3 Groups’ mean scores on the emotion regulation posttest

In Table 4, it was shown that the difference between the two groups is substantial at (p0.05). In fact, in the posttest of emotion regulation, the EG outdid the CG.

Table 4 Independent Samples T-test of Emotion Regulation Posttest

In Table 5, the paired samples t-test was run to contrast the emotion regulation pre and posttests of groups. Because Sig (0.00) is less than 0.05, it implies that the differences between the emotion regulation posttest and the pretest of the CG were not significant, but the difference between the emotion regulation posttest and the pretest of the EG was meaningful, indicating that applying treatment to the experimental group was adequate.

Table 5 Paired samples test (posttests of each group)

The descriptive data on the academic engagement pretest are shown in Table 6. Both EG’s and CG’s’ means were nearly alike. The EG’s mean score was 39.48, while the CG’s was 39.65. This suggests that before the treatment, both groups had the same academic engagement capacity.

Table 6 Groups’ mean scores on academic engagement pretest

Table 7 displays the outcomes of the academic engagement pretest for both groups. Because Sig (0.90) is more than 0.05, the difference among these groups is insignificant. They really had identical degrees of academic engagement prior to starting the treatment.

Table 7 Independent samples T-test of academic engagement pretest

The descriptive data on the academic engagement posttest are shown in Table 8. These groups’ means are different. The EG’s mean score was 75.20, and the CG’s mean score was 41.72. On the posttest, the EG outdid the CG.

Table 8 Groups’ mean scores on the academic engagement posttest

Table 9 showed that the difference among these two groups was statistically significant (p0.05). In fact, the EG outperformed the CG in the posttest of academic engagement.

Table 9 Independent samples T-test of academic engagement posttest

Table 10 used the paired samples t-test to compare group academic engagement pre and posttests. Because Sig (0.00) was less than 0.05, it implied that the variations between the CG academic engagement posttest and pretest were insignificant, whereas the difference between the EG’s academic engagement posttest and pretest was significant. This difference indicated that the treatment given to the EG was successful.

Table 10 Paired samples test (posttests of each group)

The descriptive data of the two groups on the academic well-being pretest is shown in Table 11. Both groups’ means were nearly identical. The EG’s mean score was 13.13, whereas the CG’ was 12.86. This meant that both groups were almost at the same level of academic well-being before applying the treatment.

Table 11 Groups’ mean scores on the academic well-being pretest

Table 12 displayed the academic well-being pretest for both groups. Because Sig (0.53) is more than 0.05, the difference among these groups was not noteworthy (p0.05). They really had the same degree of academic well-being before the treatment.

Table 12 Independent samples T-test of academic well-being pretest

The descriptive data on the academic well-being posttest are shown in Table 13. These groups’ means were distinct. The EG’s mean score was 20.68, while the CG’s mean score was 13.72. On the posttest, the EG had better performance than the CG.

Table 13 Groups’ mean scores on the academic well-being posttest

Table 14 indicated that the difference between the two groups was significant (p0.05). Simply put, the EG outpaced the CG on the posttest of academic well-being.

Table 14 Independent samples T-test of academic well-being posttest

Table 15 used the paired samples t-test to compare group academic well-being pre and posttests. Because Sig (0.00) was less than 0.05, it was concluded that the variations among the CG’s academic well-being posttest and pretest were insignificant, while the differences between the EG’s academic well-being posttest and pretest were noteworthy. This difference indicated that the treatment given to the EG was successful.

Table 15 Paired samples test (posttests of each group)

The descriptive data on the WTC pretest are shown in Table 16. Groups’ means were nearly equal. The EG’s mean score was 31.55, while the CG’s was 31.27. This implied that before the treatment, both groups had about the same degree of WTC.

Table 16 Groups’ Mean Scores on the WTC pretest

Table 17 displays the WTC pretest for both groups. Because Sig (0.70) was more than 0.05, the differences between these groups were not noteworthy at (p0.05). In fact, both groups had identical WTC levels before treatment.

Table 17 Independent Samples T-test of WTC Pretest

The two groups’ descriptive data on the WTC posttest are shown in Table 18. The two groups’ means were dissimilar. Although the EG’s mean score was 59.68, the CG’s mean score was 32.93. On the WTC posttest, the EG outperformed the CG.

Table 18 Groups’ Mean Scores on the WTC Posttest

Table 19 showed that these two groups’ differences were significant at (p0.05). In other words, the EG performed better than the CG in the WTC posttest.

Table 19 Independent Samples T-test of WTC Posttest

The paired samples t-test was applied in Table 20 to compare and contrast the WTC pre and posttests of the two groups. Because Sig (0.00) was less than 0.05, meaning that the differences among the CG’s WTC pre and posttest were insignificant, while the difference among the EG WTC pre and posttests was significant. This difference indicated that the treatment given to the EG was successful.

Table 20 Paired samples test (posttests of each group)

In short, the outcomes of the inferential statistics, which included paired samples t-tests and independent samples t-tests, showed a noteworthy difference among the EG and the CG posttests. The results showed that the EG significantly outdid the CG (p.05) in academic engagement, emotion regulation, WTC, and academic well-being, demonstrating the effectiveness of utilizing Telegram in conjunction with LMS in EG.


As previously stated, this study examined the impact of TBLT via SM on academic engagement, emotion regulation, WTC, and academic well-being via the perspective of PP. To that purpose, the performances of the two CG and EG and the findings of their pretests and posttests were compared. The outcomes of the inferential statistics, including independent samples t-tests and paired samples t-tests, showed substantial differences among the EG and CG posttest. The results showed that the EG significantly outdid the CG (p.05) in academic engagement, emotion regulation, WTC, and academic well-being, demonstrating the effectiveness of utilizing Telegram with LMS in the EG.

To put it another way, the SM training improved academic engagement, emotion regulation, WTC, and academic well-being. The accessibility of SM material across space and time must not be overlooked. The EFL students in the SM group could visit Telegram in their leisure time and check content lists. Due to this, it is possible to assume that its sound characteristics, such as sharing, communication, user-friendliness, and teamwork, boosted EFL learners’ interest and eagerness to study.

This discovery agrees with the results of numerous earlier studies in the field. Ghobadi and Taki (2018) evaluated the impact of Telegram stickers on EFL students’ vocabulary learning. Sixty EFL students from Iranian Islamic Azad University were randomly allocated to the EG and CG. The EG received their Telegram lectures, while the CG received traditional instruction methods. The findings suggested that Telegram as a social networking influenced vocabulary learning in Iranian EFL learners.

Furthermore, our findings are consistent with those of Alodwan (2021), who investigated the effects of the Telegram program in improving writing abilities and reported that utilizing Telegram media as a social network improved the writing skills of the pupils in the EG class. Furthermore, the study outcomes are consistent with those of Rasiban (2021), who investigated the impact of using the Telegram app on Japanese language acquisition. His study findings showed that the Telegram program helped pupils become more immersed in acquiring the Japanese language and more eager to study Japanese following the lesson.

Also, this study finding supports the findings of Zhao et al. (2022). They indicated that utilizing the Telegram program enhanced learners’ motivation and lowered their degree of foreign/second language anxiety. Moreover, their findings of one sample t-test revealed that the EG members had favorable outlooks toward utilizing the Telegram program in language acquisition.

Several theories can justify our findings. First, according to the collaborative learning theory, using SMs can enhance collaborative learning (CL) and motivate pupils to be more involved in their learning process (Raza et al., 2020). According to this hypothesis, social networking sites improve connections between pupils and instructors while allowing professors to offer more feedback to their pupils. Furthermore, the well-known sociocultural theory supports our results, which hold that learning is formed collaboratively within social environments. According to sociocultural theory, SM enables the amalgamation, transmission, and adjustment of data among pupils.

Another explanation for these outcomes might be the chance afforded by the Telegram app for learners and teachers to develop pleasant, private, friendly, simple, exciting, and complete interactions both within and outside of their classrooms. The fact that Telegram, by nature, is interactive and provides debates and helpful feedback for students to maximize English language acquisition is considered another factor. As a practical platform, Telegram offers several beneficial qualities, such as the simplicity of expressing personal thoughts, peer inputs, and instructor inputs to individual pupils. These elements can make learning English easier for EFL pupils (Alodwan, 2021).

Another reason for our findings is the widespread use of Telegram, which facilitates the exchange of personal thoughts, classmate comments, and instructor input to every pupil. Another thinkable explanation for our outcome is that the EX group members did not show up in the actual classes to face their instructor. This lack of face time with the instructors can lessen pupils’ nervousness while simultaneously increasing the motivation of introverted and shy learners.

Another rationale for the acquired results can be that utilizing Telegram allows students to study and practice the language whenever and wherever they wish. Because there are no time or location constraints when using SM for language learning, learners may absorb the contents whenever and wherever they choose (Ammade & Khatimah, 2021).

Furthermore, based on the findings, the experimental group’s success may be linked to Lederer (2012), who identified various advantages of adopting SMs in education. She added that SMs is an excellent method for the following reasons: first, SMs promotes pupils’ involvement and communication skill by permitting pupils to express themselves in a less stressful atmosphere. Second, SMs enhance contact between pupils and teachers (for example, by replying to inquiries from pupils and sharing multimedia information) (Vahdat & Mazareian, 2020).

More importantly, the present study’s TBLT seemed to create helpful learning settings for pupils to progress. These findings imply that including scaffolds within TBLT aided target language acquisition (Fang et al., 2020). Furthermore, task scaffolding, such as corrective feedback, allowed students to monitor their oral replies, encouraging students to pay attention to the output and input required to accomplish the tasks throughout the verbal interactions. Students would attempt to communicate their desired messages using assignment scaffolds.

This scaffolded interaction may have fostered interactional changes that resulted in understandable inputs and improved understandability, which are advantageous to language acquisition (Ortega, 2013). Furthermore, the incentive system made L2 activities more engaging, motivating students to complete the assignment in the target language. Students got real-like awards through the task cycle phases rather than waiting until all tasks were accomplished. This characteristic could have prompted active usage of the target L2 and improved language acquisition soon after completing successful tasks (Ripollés et al., 2014).

Conclusions, implications and limitations

In a nutshell, the current study’s findings showed the favorable effects of using SMs media (LMS + Telegram) on the WTC, academic engagement, academic well-being, and emotion regulation of Iranian EFL learners. These findings positively affect EFL students, teachers, and syllabus designers.

First, technological advancements have made it crucial for instructors to use mobile apps as an instrument to assist in the learning course. Expressly, given the enormous impact that the net and social networks have had on individuals’ lives, the importance of new mobile applications in education cannot be denied. These media, particularly mobile applications, can be said to be the most widespread connective instruments between language students not only at the higher levels of education but also in school contexts (Qarajeh & Abdolmanafi-Rokni, 2015) because this kind of learning is advantageous for foreign language students and considerably increases pupils’ interest in the subjects. As a result, the Telegram program may be utilized as an effective solution for time and location learning hurdles. This application appears to be affecting language education.

Second, these findings may have further positive consequences for EFL students and instructors. The results may motivate pupils to employ numerous SMs sites and tools when learning new languages. Pupils could learn independently and progress their self-study and self-sufficiency by using SMs. Additionally, EFL students use the Telegram app to improve their English language outside their classrooms. Using the Telegram app can develop self-study and modify the role of the students. By using SMs, EFL students may access the world’s data effortlessly and rapidly.

Consequently, they understand that the world is in their hands and that they access a massive amount of data that can increase their language learning enthusiasm. Besides, the Telegram programme lets students connect via audio and text. Voice messages are relatively new tools that assist the pupils in strengthening their pronunciation and speaking capabilities by recording responses during the conversations. As previously stated, the Telegram application uses cloud storage to allow students to view professors’ chats across many devices. EFL students can also use mobile apps to self-assess, expand language skills, and reduce anxiety associated with attending EFL classes.

Thirdly, the findings of this study may be helpful to instructors. Instructors may easily exchange resources and openly debate things with students using SM, notably Telegram. Furthermore, teachers and students may benefit from a novel learning and teaching process via Telegram. The findings may convince instructors to use SM classroom platforms to create beautiful, exciting instructional environments. Social networks help EFL teachers to do their best to integrate new technologies and identify barriers to technology integration. The growth of SM allows EFL instructors to extend social instruction outside of the classroom. SM platforms altered traditional teacher-focused techniques, necessitating greater creativity on the part of teachers in modifying and customizing their content. Students in teacher-centered classrooms play passive roles in their learning and cannot participate in class activities. The results of this research can aid teachers in involving students in the instruction process, abdicate entire responsibility for teaching, and raise independent and autonomous language learners. Using the Telegram program in their education, educators may also have more student-centered classrooms.

Furthermore, educational departments, policymakers, and syllabus designers are responsible for providing the required resources to develop an operative learning-teaching setting using media-centered technology and approaches. The study’s outcomes also suggest that EFL test and syllabus designers include specific tasks to be accomplished outside of the classroom since they are advantageous for students to self-assess outside of the class environments. These tasks can help the pupils practice independently and offer partners for their classmates and peers to work with.

In general, adding some Telegram channels into current learning practices can offer informal instruction settings while also creating new options for L2 learning. The application of Telegram, as a widespread social network instrument, is becoming one of the essential instruments for education and amusement. Pupils can communicate without words and solely using photos and stickers; hence, the Telegram app significantly impacts communications and L2 acquisition. We may argue that studying English can be facilitated further owing to the effectiveness of this application as a technical tool that has previously been proven to be embraced by EFL pupils worldwide since students can easily correlate learning with their mobile devices.

In addition, as formerly stated, the present study investigated the effects of online TBLT on students’ WTC, emotion regulation, academic well-being, and academic engagement. More mixed-methods study is required to examine the impact of online TBLT on different language competences (reading, listening, and writing) to acquire a more inclusive understanding of its efficacy. Although the research results were positive regarding the effectiveness of online TBLT, future research should investigate its advantages in more contexts like private language schools, primary schools, and on varieties of applicants like children, teens, and adults.

As every investigation has limitations that cannot be avoided, the current one, like all other investigation in language teaching, has certain limits that lead to more research and prospects. The findings might be less generalizable since the researcher can only access small numbers of people. In other words, the results might not be applied to all EFL students and degrees of language ability. Following that, researchers must conduct more experimental investigations with a broad population to boost the generalizability of their findings.

The outcomes of the current study were gathered by running quantitative tools; to obtain more reliable results, future researchers will need to employ qualitative tools such as interviews and observations. Furthermore, the following research is proposed to explore the effects of various types of SM platforms and devices on different types of language capabilities and subskills. It is suggested that academics investigate instructors’ perceptions of the usefulness of the Telegram app in their instruction. Because this study was done on intermediate students, future studies on the same issue might be undertaken on beginner or advanced students.

Availability of data and materials

The authors declare that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article.


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Alazemi, A.F.T., Gheisari, A. & Patra, I. The consequences of task-supported language teaching via social media on academic engagement, emotion regulation, willingness to communicate, and academic well-being from the lens of positive psychology. Asian. J. Second. Foreign. Lang. Educ. 8, 47 (2023).

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