If you’re like us, you probably spend a slightly unhealthy amount of time on social media. That could mean checking your Insta DMs and your Twitter mentions, laughing at ridiculous TikTok videos, watching competitive marble racing on YouTube. But what if we told you there was a way to use social media for more than just mindless entertainment? Using social media for language learning can be a great way to supplement your studies and to test out your skills in the “real world.”
Social media, when approached the right way, can be just as valuable for practicing a new language as TV shows, podcasts, books or any other form of media. In this article, you’ll find a few tips to keep in mind if you want to use social media for language learning, as well as some lists we’ve curated for specific accounts to follow based on the language you’re learning.
Tips For Using Social Media For Language Learning
Be A Follower
The best way to get started in your language learning via social media adventure is by following a number of accounts that post in your target language. It would be helpful to have a goal in mind first. For example, if you know you want to learn food vocabulary, you might want to follow a cooking account. Whether you’re interested in sports, travel, memes, general language basics or just about any other topic, there’s an account for that. And if you follow these accounts, they’ll start to show up in your feed, so you can incorporate a little language practice into your everyday scrolling.
Here are some lists we’ve put together of accounts to follow on various social media platforms to give you a place to start.
Once you’ve chosen some accounts to follow, you can’t just call it a day. Engaging with the content regularly is the best way to help you learn (and retain) the language. This means commenting on posts using the language you’re learning, watching videos, participating in polls or Instagram questions. Give yourself challenges, like commenting on five posts each week. It’s important to make this a consistent habit if you really want to effectively use social media for language learning.
Another way to engage: reach out to creators or followers of a specific account, who may be willing to let you practice the language with them. Especially if you get the sense that they speak English too. You can chat in the DMs or send each other videos in the language you’re learning. Obviously, be safe and smart about connecting with strangers, but this can be a valuable way to communicate.
Create Your Own Content
When you’ve followed the accounts you want to follow and have made a habit of engaging with them, you can consider taking your use of social media for language learning to the next level: make your own language account. It sounds intimidating, but making a “finsta” specifically for practicing another language is a great way to curate what you see and not clutter your primary account. On your language alter ego account, you may choose to only follow accounts in that language (and maybe a friend who’s learning it with you), and you can also force yourself to only post in that language. We know, the last thing you need is another social account to check, but this one has the potential to be a really useful part of your language-learning toolbox.