Social Network Communication: Emojis and EFL learners’ Writing Issues

TESOL International Journal Volume 16 Issue 3.1 2021

18 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2021

Date Written: March 8, 2021


This study aims to find out the impacts of using emojis by EFL learners on their writing skills and highlight the learners’ attitudes towards this new communication phenomenon. It discusses the different uses of emojis in social media apps, investigates the reasons for the rise of using emojis in everyday social interaction, and to which extent the occurrence of this pictographic script can substitute the written language. A qualitative and quantitative analysis has been applied in this investigation where a survey-based questionnaire was distributed among 143 EFL learners in Taibah University in Saudi Arabia. Descriptive statistics and ANOVA (analysis of variables) are used to analyze the obtained data. The results show that the p-value of the study variables is equal to one which is much bigger than alpha and there is no big difference between the variables’ estimation in the participants’ responses, i.e. the emojis’ use in texting affects the use of the language. Moreover, the findings display that the use of emojis and short forms (contractions and acronyms) in text messages form a real threat to the standard and non-standard languages. The outcomes of this study make it clear this new sort of communication may replace mainly languages where social media users found that emojis best represent their feelings and thoughts. This research concluded that the use of emojis has an important role in interpersonal communications, however, standard writing skills would be negatively affected using these newly emerged communication tools. The consequences of these impacts are aptly evidenced in the form of spelling, structural errors, and weakness of expressions in EFL learners’ language learning.

Keywords: EFL Learners, Emojis, Social Media Communication, Writing Issues

Suggested Citation

Al-Garaady, Jeehaan and Mahyoob, Mohammad, Social Network Communication: Emojis and EFL learners’ Writing Issues (March 8, 2021). TESOL International Journal Volume 16 Issue 3.1 2021, Available at SSRN:

Jeehaan Al-Garaady

Taiz University ( email )


Mohammad Mahyoob (Contact Author)

Taibah University ( email )

Prince Naif Ibn Abdulaziz, Tayba, Medina Saudi Ara
Mediana, Madinah
Saudi Arabia

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