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As these modules involve attending just one 2-hour class per week, and tend to be taken by students who are new to language learning, the teachers have to emphasise even more the need for continuity in language learning, encouraging students to engage in extra contact with the language as much as possible in their own time between classes.With regard to reading, writing and listening, extensive skills practice is relatively easy to arrange, but practising the skill of speaking outside of the classroom has always been more problematic, as students need another person with whom to speak.

She alludes to the "addictive appeal" of SNSs, suggesting that they may "induce in some of their users a sense of 'flow'" (Mc Bride, 2009: 35), the mental state described by the psychologist Csíkszentmihályi (1990) in which a person feels strongly focussed motivation and may lose track of time as a result of being fully engaged in an activity (Egbert, 2005).The system then matches them up with speakers of those target languages, and they can interact with their new "language partners" – or "friends", to use SNS parlance – both synchronously and asynchronously, using speech or writing.The communication can be rewarding and beneficial if a rapport is struck up with a responsive and amenable language partner.A number of authors have argued that there need to be major changes in pedagogical approaches in order to accommodate the needs and expectations of today's students (language learners included); Mc Loughlin and Lee (2007), Fischer and Konomi (2005) and Owen (2006) underline this in the points they make regarding the impacts on education of the diffusion of information and communication technologies, with particular reference to the social media applications of web 2.0.Mc Loughlin and Lee (2007: 664) assert there is "increasing demand for new educational approaches and pedagogies", and overall it would seem that many see in social media applications opportunities for implementing pedagogies that could ultimately signify a move away from the linear, instructivist approaches to teaching and learning that are increasingly viewed as restrictive and outmoded (Sturm The hypertext (and now hypermedia) nature of the world wide web can be considered as conducive to the sort of non-linear learning that would be characteristic of the progression from instructivist to constructivist pedagogy that Felix (2005) calls for She too argues that "education has changed tremendously over the past few decades, not least as a result of easier access to networked information and communication technologies" (2005: 86).According to Goleman (1996: 91), such a state "may represent perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning"If language learners become similarly involved with SNS activities containing pedagogically useful FL experiences, they might become more motivated and spend more time on the FL tasks.

Also, if students gain skills in communicating and connecting with others through SNSs in the second language (L2) through a class, they will be well poised to establish relationships with other speakers of the L2 via SNSs in the future and to become autonomous, lifelong learners (Mc Bride, 2009: 35).

The objectives of this case study were to gather information with regard to the use a group of learners would make of a SNS devoted to language learning during a 10-week period, and to analyse this whilst taking into account the following variables: Data were gathered through two questionnaires designed to address the above variables and through a series of five 1-hour face-to-face focus-group sessions.

The participants were also asked to complete a "log sheet" recording details of the activities they engaged in each time they logged on to the website .

When conditions are propitious, the person will feel comfortable or "ready" to communicate and will actually make use of L2.

(Figure 1 below is a diagrammatic representation of the WTC construct.), and they indicate which language(s) they speak and which they would like to learn or practise.

have enabled users to participate more deeply in extensive networks based on communication – asynchronous and synchronous, written and spoken – with other people from quite literally all around the world.

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