The purpose of this study was to identify some of the most effective and popular ways for using Facebook in EFL writing classes. A comprehensive review of the literature found that five basic pedagogical approaches are popular: 1) Teachers ask questions or pose weekly topics, and then students respond; 2) Students post essays and classmates respond; 3) Students read something, then answer questions; 4) Students post photos or videos, describing them; and 5) Students focus on grammar and vocabulary issues.
To assess the effectiveness of one of those approaches―the first one listed above―48 freshmen in Japan and 55 juniors in Spain engaged in a “cross-culture discussion” for about 10 weeks. Each week the teachers encouraged the students, as homework, to write about certain topics related to the two cultures. This paper focused on the activities of the non-English major Japanese students. It was found that some students in Japan were active in using Facebook, but other students rarely or never engaged in it. Thus, the Facebook activity seemed to improve the English skills for some Japanese students only. The reasons for lack of engagement are hypothesized.