The Role of Social Media in ESL

While social media is often banned in traditional educational settings, many ESL classes take advantage of this tool to help students improve fluency and comprehension. Instead of viewing it as a distraction, today’s teachers should embrace the cultural aspects of Facebook and Twitter that make them ideal resources for individuals who want to learn English as a second language. There are a number of different ways teachers can encourage the use of social media as language tools.

1) Use Facebook and Twitter for class updates. Encourage your students to expand their writing skills and reading comprehension by opening a class-specific Facebook page or tweeting about assignments.

2) Get online to chat. There are a number of different online chat tools that can help students communicate with informal language. Reading and comprehension will improve as well.

3) Let shy students shine. Encourage class-wide participation by bringing up topics that each person can write about online. Some individuals that may be reluctant to talk out loud in class can strengthen their skills by writing online.

In short, social media communication uses different language and prompts students to become more adept in their understanding and comprehension of the language when used casually. ESL classes across the country and around the world are taking advantage of popular social media resources such as Facebook and Twitter to expand terminology, vocabulary, cultural uses, and social etiquette among students who are learning English as a second language.