For many around the globe, young and old alike, social media is proving to be a new gateway to information discovery and sharing. Today, Facebook isn’t just for catching up with former classmates and Twitter isn’t just for reading the latest breaking news or celebrity gossip. These social media outlets (along with many others) are serving as resources from which to gain small doses of concrete and useful information, as well as forums in which to ask questions, interact with others, find answers, and learn fresh and hip, but at the same time very useful, pieces of language.
Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter may not be the best teaching and learning tools for those located in more remote parts of the world, or in areas with limited or restricted Internet access. But, for teachers and students living in more developed countries, working at schools with libraries and internet access, exploring social media language learning tools can be a worthwhile experience.
With a bit of searching, one can find that complementary resources, such as the English Bubble Facebook page and English Bubble Twitter page, are readily accessible. There is also a website, of course. The positive aspect of these social media pages is that English Bubble, in this example, does a good job of sharing specific, actionable, current and useful grammar lessons via its outlets. It engages with its audience by asking for input via polls, and replies to questions publicly. All of this together allows for all visitors to benefit from the intrigue and questioning of others in order to gain an answer to a question that is yet been considered.
Social networking has even made its way into the language learning tools of the BBC’s Learning English page, and social media, into mainstream learning outlets. It behooves the student to stay atop this developing space in order to keep pace with today’s rapidly changing and expanding learning environment.
Additionally, many of us remember using thick, heavy, musty dictionaries in our studies; but today, students can benefit from using online foreign language dictionary sites.
Encourage your students to use the growing digital revolution to supplement their learning.