Saturday, July 11
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How to Combine Social Media and Language Learning

Learning languages has never been easier than it is now. Years ago, you’d just have some old textbooks, tape recordings, or a few videos. You could go to a language teacher if there were one near you, and your success would depend on your motivation and how well you got on with the teacher. With the advent of the internet and social media, a plethora of information and resources have become available. It comes through a host of different channels too, which makes it all the more exciting. Before we take a deeper dive into combining social media and language learning, let’s ask the question ‘why’? Why should we consider taking that route? 

You’re Already Using Social Media

Most people will agree with the above statement. The average person is said to spend five years of their life using social media. That means some channels are already familiar to you. You don’t need to worry that you won’t understand Twitter or Snapchat – just think about what you’re already using. Do you regularly go to Youtube? There are channels devoted to language learning. Do you use Facebook? There are groups you can join for everything, right? That includes this! My point is that it’s just one small step deeper into social media to learn languages. You can now become a social media language learner!

Professionals Can Help You Online

Besides communicating with ordinary people who speak your new language, a further option exists. You can pay for professional assistance tailored to suit you, which could be language teachers at any level or translation work. One site said, ‘our expert translators’ only translate into their mother tongue and can provide a quick turnaround. It’s great to have extra professional help on hand when you need it. You don’t want to learn incorrectly.

It’s a Community Experience

You may be on a diet at the moment or know someone who has joined a Weight Watchers’ group, or something similar. The value of joining such a group with others is that you can encourage each other and hold each other accountable for your progress or sustained self-control. You no longer feel alone as if this is your battle, and no one else has the same struggle. Now convert this into joining, for instance, a Facebook group devoted to learning another language. You can be free to ask silly questions and interact and encourage other people. In return, they will do the same. Imagine looking forward to a new message from someone who has now become your friend. Imagine they are writing in a foreign language so that every conversation you have is helping your progress. 

Social Media Interacts With People

If you read a book about learning French, you may not have anyone to ask about it. You may not fully understand the point they are getting across. If you move abroad and live in a new country, it’s not just the language you’ll be learning, but the culture also. What do people really mean, and how do they say it? What type of humor do they have, and how do they communicate happiness or displeasure? By interacting on social media with people who are speaking their mother tongue and living in their native country, you get a fuller picture. It’s not just robotic learning – it’s relational. Social media stimulates conversation. That makes learning more engaging and fun.

Blogs

Lots of us read blogs about our favorite subjects. There are several blogs you can read in other languages. They are often written within the context of learning and education. That means you can gain student tips to help you as you go along. 

Twitter

Many people enjoy reading the daily tweets of their favorite celebrity. The value of reading tweets from a foreign language speaker is they will be conversational and current. Textbooks and audio can get out of date, remember, and words can become obsolete. If you are daily exposed to the words people are saying, you will always stay up to date. 

Snapchat

This platform may surprise you. After all – it’s short videos, and they vanish after 24 hours, don’t they? If you befriend a foreign speaker, you can send a quick video saying, ‘I think I pronounce the word -, but I could be wrong. Please can you send me a video of the correct pronunciation?’ Years ago, we were limited with photography and video recording, but these days you can just use your phone. 

Facebook Groups

I mentioned these earlier. Why not join one now. It’ll be free and if you don’t enjoy it, just leave and join another one. Many people know how to create their own Facebook page for a chosen subject or business. It’s only a step further to create your own Facebook group. That’s lots of fun, and you can increase contacts, friends, and interactions on a daily basis.

Youtube

Why not use hashtags and search for something perfect for you? Watching and hearing someone speak in a foreign language is a perfect way to learn. It’s good practice for being surrounded by people and learning how to pick up the conversation. 

Social media is great because it involves text, image, and video – and it’s free. Videos help you hear the words as well as read them on a screen. You can use the channel you are already familiar with, and you can pay for services available there if you want to up your game. That includes additional access to professional teachers and translators. There is a land of opportunity for you to explore, and who said learning wasn’t fun? Good luck!   

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