Keywords: EFL students, impact, learning online, social media, strategies
The purpose of this study was to study the impact and strategies engaged by EFL students‘ in the learning process through social media during the Covid-19 pandemic at two public universities in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. This research used a mixed method of qualitative and quantitative approach. The instruments used for data collection were the questionnaire and interview. A number of 100 students answered the questionnaire, and from this number, ten students were selected to be interviewed. Basic statistical analysis was used to analyze the data from the questionnaire, while the data from the interviews were analyzed using the stages of data condensation, data display, and conclusion/verification. Based on the results from the questionnaire, it revealed that Zoom was the most used platform during online learning due to its convenience. The students also spent more time online to study or completed assignments compared to before the pandemic, with 4-6 hours a day. They also believed that while learning online, their vocabulary, pronunciation, and listening skills improved. Even though learning through social media poses a number of benefits to the students, obstacles also emerged in its application. The students posed some strategies they used to overcome the difficulties, they were to always inform lecturers if there were technical problems during their online meeting, to maintain a connection with classmates, to always ensure that the Internet quota was enough before classes or exams started, to develop good time management and discipline, and to effectively schedule the use of shared gadgets (at home) proportionally.