Download our Free App, Leopp!

Leopp for Google Chrome

Friday, October 14, 2011

Use Social Media to Improve your Language Skills

To really understand another language, you need to get to grips with the way it is used by its native speakers. Learning a language using a textbook is a good way to get to know the basics. What textbooks don’t do is help you to understand how people use language in real settings.

Social media is a fantastic resource for language learners who want to get to know a language from the inside out.

Social Media Buzz

What is social media?

Social media includes any kind of website that people use to connect with each other. That includes sites such as Facebook and Twitter, forums, blogs and anywhere else people talk to each other online. There’s also an increasing number of sites designed specifically for language learning. They allow language learners to talk to each other, and with native speakers, and often include language learning exercises to try. What all social media platforms have in common is that they allow people to create informal networks that are not bound by geography. That is what makes them so useful to language learners: they are informal, fun, easy to use, and allow access to a far broader range of experience than would be possible without them.

Things to do with social media

1. Find like-minded native speakers

Use Twitter and Facebook to talk to native speakers on their own terms. Think about your interests and activities, and try to find native speakers who share them. So, if you’re into mountain biking, find a page in French on Facebook aimed at French mountain-biking enthusiasts. If you’re learning a language with a view to move abroad, find pages related to jobs you’d like to do, or towns you’d like to live in. It’s a great way to increase your knowledge of specialist terms that are relevant to you, as well as to improve generally.

2. Find new tools

Use specialist social media sites for language learning. Many offer you the opportunity to try exercises and then chat to fellow language learners. They are like a virtual international classroom. While many people still want to learn English and other languages in a real classroom, many others are unable to do so because of time and cost restraints. So, if you want to improve your job prospects by taking business English lessons but you can’t travel to the UK or the US for whatever reason, free social media sites could make this possible.

chinese is hard

3. Find solutions with fellow learners

Learning a language online rather than in a classroom could be a lonely experience. If you’re not careful, you can miss out on what is usually a social experience. Aside from the classroom-based learning, when you study abroad, your new city inspires you to immerse yourself in the culture. For example, for international students at somewhere like St Georges English school London can provide a vibrant social setting in which to learn a language. But when you are learning on your own, all those long evenings spent memorising vocabulary could keep you from interacting with others. Social media allows language learners to chat informally in their own language or the one they’re learning, picking up hints and tips on how to progress.

This is a guest post by Alice Cuninghame on behalf of Content Lobby. Content Lobby specialises in creating free, quality content for websites and blogs. If you’re interested, feel free to contact them at info@contentlobby.com.

Related Posts

2 comments:

CharlesKelsey@Learn English said...

Social media like facebook or twitter is a helpful tool to really enhace your english skills. I prefer facebook though since I have been accustomed with it and I know the ins and out of it. I suggest you start with something that you are familiar with.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you Charles. Although, there are some social networks or online communities for language learning that are really user friendly and funny, such as www.12speak.com. This portal helps you find native speakers to practice the language you are learning. It also offers games to train your own vocabulary, which is convenient as you know which are the areas where you need to work more. Moreover, you can log in easily with your Facebook account. :) I hope this helps.

 

| MMXII - learnenglishfromhome.blogspot.com

| This blog is under license Creative Commons

| You can see our Privacy Policy

contact