We are always on the lookout for great resources, tips and tricks for language learners. This list of how to use social media as a language learning tool was found in the Teacher Network Blog section of The Guardian UK’s Teacher Network. Described as “free online resources for ages 4-18 and a customisable secondary Test Centre” this is a great place for teachers and students to find free materials to aid in the language learning process.
If you’re reading this blog, chances are you are over the target age of much of the material, but if you are a beginning or intermediate level French, English, Spanish, or German student, you may just find some helpful tools.
Five ways you can start to engage with your pupils on social media
- Create a Facebook page that your class can ‘like’. Start posting updates to your timeline, but not in English. Ask your pupils to translate the text using Facebook’s in-line Bing translation tool and ask them to gauge its accuracy.
- Create a Twitter account. Start tweeting in a foreign language, keeping in mind that you have a 140 character limit, and see if your pupils can strike up a conversation with you. Impose a non-English only reply and retweet rule.
- Create a YouTube account. Ask each of your pupils to record a video blog, or ‘vlog’, of their hobbies, thoughts or opinions on topical news stories, but speaking only in a foreign language. Those who want to have their video uploaded should send it to you first.
- Create a Pinterest account. Take some pictures of prompt cards, post-it notes or even objects with their description in another language and ‘pin’ them on your boards. You could even look for photos of the country, or infographics about languages in general, to help your pupils understand more about why they should learn it.
- Create a blog or Tumblr. Dedicate it entirely to publishing content in the language you teach. Show your pupils why you love the language and inspire them to do the same. Ask them to write something, however small, and post it for the whole world to admire.
Speaking of using social media as a tool for language learning – did you know that Livemocha has free English lessons each weekday at LiveEnglish with Livemocha? Every weekday @18:00 GMT and @21:00 GMT, for a half hour, your teacher will explain new concepts through ongoing status updates. You’ll use the comments section to practice, and your teacher will give you feedback! Click here for more info and join us!
So, how do you use social media for your language learning? Have you found a great Facebook page to follow? Do you have your own language blog that you’d like to share with the Livemocha community? Share in the comments so others can follow along, too.