Digital Literacy in the Post-Truth Era: Employing Fact-Checking Applications in Adult EFL Reading Classes


The term ‘digital literacy’ encompasses many skills, which include the ability to evaluate information received through digital technologies, such as internet platforms, social media and mobile devices. Due to the fast spreading of hoax news through digital platforms in this post-truth era, it is urgently needed for this particular skill to be taught in educational settings, and English as a foreign language (EFL) classes are no exception. This study focused on exploring adult EFL students’ experiences in using two fact-checking applications (web-based apps) to help identify fake news in reading comprehension classes, and examining their efficacies from the students’ points of view. Employing a descriptive statistics approach, the researchers collected the data using an online survey administered to 130 students of a Science and Technology study programme at a university in Medan, Indonesia. The results indicated that in general students had positive attitudes toward the use of two fact-checking web-based apps. Specifically, they reported that the apps were very helpful in raising their awareness of digital literacy and fact-checking prior to reading and sharing digitally spread news. A closer look at the data reveals students’ preferences toward one of the two web-based apps. This study recommends the integration of anti-hoax education not only in EFL classes, but also in any other classes to prevent the threats of fake news, particularly to young generations.

Keywords: Digital literacy, fact-checking apps, fake news, hoax, post-truth era

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