#BackToSchool: 5 Uses for Social Media in Language Learning
Social media is:
BLOCKED at my school.
We’ve heard it all before!
It’s easier to bury our heads than challenge our understanding.
Social media isn’t going anywhere and we, as adults, need to be the best role models for our children and pupils. So jump aboard the good ship @intSchools and find out how to use this powerful tool for good and read our top 5 uses for social media in language learning! Did you know that yesterday was the #EuropeanDayOfLanguages?
1 - Groups
Facebook Groups have been growing a lot in popularity recently. Groups are a great way to connect people with similar interests or from a similar background. A great way that schools make use of groups is for connecting alumni and promoting events. This avoids the back-and-forth with the Marketing and Comms team on whether John Smith is attending the alumni ball.
There are many great Groups on Facebook that you can join to practise your languages. Simply search ‘Foreign Language Learning’ and you’ll find hundreds of groups to join and practise your languages. Access to these groups then allows you to be able to connect with individual users and find your language exchange partner. In addition, you can read status updates by speakers of other languages and see how ‘real’ native speakers communicate.
2 - YouTube Videos
There are many ways that you can use YouTube to learn a language and work with the pupils in the classroom.
Language learning courses: simply search ‘Spanish online courses’ and see the great recommendations.
Free TV shows and films in a number of languages.
YouTubers: the job that all kids want now! Have your pupils find a YouTuber from a different country and start following their channel.
Use the subtitles function to read as you listen.
Reduce the speed on videos so that they are easier to understand.
3 - Apps
Tandem - This free app allows language learners to connect with other language learners around the world. Users can search for others with their target language as their native language and vice-versa. This app does require rather a lot of confidence to use as users are encouraged to speak over microphones and on camera to other users. Not one for the beginners out there!
SoundCloud - This platform is brilliant for sharing out podcasts and tracks in the music departments - for free! How about creating a podcast in another language?!
We work with many boarding schools who have parents around the world. What better way to share your #SchoolStories with parents than to do it in their own language?
4 - Reply to Threads
Your students will undoubtedly be out there on social channels following their favourite superstars and your school’s language department should be no different.
Get your school’s MFL account to start following celebrities that speak the target language for the pupils. A great classroom activity would be to go through these Tweets and practise with real language. Not only is it a valuable experience, but also a very engaging one for the students. Get the class to finish off by constructing a reply to a Tweet that can be posted by the account or read out as a video clip.
5 - Change the Language of Your Social Channels
Did you know that there are over 100 languages available on Facebook?! (Though I’m not too sure if Pirate English counts…) Encourage your pupils to change their settings so that they are always around the target language in their everyday lives, doing something they enjoy! This will encourage them to pick up interesting pieces of vocabulary and you’ll be surprised in your next oral exams!
Found another way to use social media for language learning? Let us know in the comments section below or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org