Learning English From Online Memes

Many people lose hours a day scrolling through our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. Most of us don’t gain too much from this, except a few laughs from silly dog videos or a chuckle at the latest memes. But those hours of endless scrolling don’t have to be a complete waste of time, because even your favorite memes offer you the chance to practice English!

They’re Relevant

A girl looking at her smartphone
While some memes are created to reach a very specific group of people—such as teachers—most memes are created to reach as many people as possible. For this reason, the subject is usually something most people can relate to, such as cute animals, current events, or recent news. Since the subjects of memes are usually relatable, you’ll likely be able to get a basic idea of what the meme is about, even if you don’t know the exact meaning of the vocabulary words you see.

They Teach Context

One of the reasons English is difficult to learn is because many words have multiple meanings, and you can only understand the correct meaning based on how they are used. Words and phrases on memes are used in one specific way. Understanding what the meme says helps you understand how to use specific words in their correct context, so this can help you with phrases or vocabulary words that might otherwise be confusing or have multiple meanings.

They Contain Current Lingo

Memes sometimes contain the latest slang, lingo, or internet terminology, which can help you keep up with trendy new vocabulary. It often takes years for new words to be “officially” recognized as part of the English language, but words that unofficially become part of our regular vocabulary often get their start on the internet. You’ll know what they mean long before Mr. Webster does.

There are ways to practice English online hiding in every corner of the internet, so the next time you’re scrolling through Facebook, use those funny cat memes for more than just a good laugh! When you’re ready to enroll in courses, call ALCC American Language at (212) 736-2373 or register for classes today.

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