How to take advantage of social media to learn a second language

By Matthew King

Social media sites occupy our day-to-day social lives and consume a great deal of our free time, so why not use them to our advantage when learning a second or third language? There are several ways of expanding language learning to social media, but where to start?

3 tips to learn a foreign language:

The first thing you can do is to change your language settings into the language you are studying. You most likely can navigate your way around Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram with your eyes closed; yet, in a foreign language, you’ll be forced to read the icons carefully to verify that you are clicking on the right ones. It’s a good way to learn techspeak without really doing anything!

Next, get immersed into the culture of the language you’re studying – follow and like pages that align with your interests: movies, music, sports, cooking – whatever you’re passionate about, find it in the target language. You’ll enjoy learning through videos and following posts of celebrities. This is an excellent way to improve your listening and reading skills in the target language.

Finally, get involved in the conversation: don’t just be a spectator, be active in your language learning. The more you interact with others online, the more you will gain confidence and feel comfortable joining face-to-face conversations. Posting or sharing videos or articles will open the dialogue and will help you to develop your ideas in your language of study – an effective way to practice your communication skills.

 These simple tips will help you to use social media as a tool for your second language learning. It’s more productive than watching cat videos ! :-)