The internet has inspired the development of numerous social media platforms. Language teachers can take advantage of social media and use it as an educational tool to further perfect the abilities of the students to communicate in the language.
Instagram is a mobile phone application that was introduced into the market in October 2010. It permits individuals to display photographs and short videos with a time span of fifteen seconds on their timelines. Instagram allows its users to add different filters to their videos and photographs. Furthermore, people can caption their media, this is included in apps like InstaPort. Instagram also has an innovative video recorder which allows the user to omit certain sections of the recording saving time. Finally, the user can easily share their content on other platforms including email, Twitter and Facebook.
Before a language teacher can effectively use Instagram as an implement for teaching, it is recommended that certain settings are first adjusted.
- The tutor and all members of the class should adjust their respective visibility settings to ensure that the videos and photos are not public. This implies that to view content that is relevant to the class, you have to first follow a class member. Further guidelines are outlined in the official policy of Instagram concerning privacy.
- It is important for the teacher to employ hashtags that describe a specific class project or assignment so that the students can promptly locate the work. For example, the hashtag #ESLmyfavethings for an English class.
- Since communication in Instagram is possible in 25 languages, the student should be urged to alter the language settings and pick the language being taught. This will provide them with further practice in the use of the language.
The following are five ways in which Instagram can be applied to teach a new language.
Instagram show and Tell
In this learning challenge, the tutor can ask the students to take a photo of an object or a number of items and share the pictures on Instagram. The photo should be followed by a brief description of the item in the new language. This challenge will encourage the learners to improve their vocabulary by practising how to use the words of the new language.
The sign challenge is effective if you reside in the country whose language you teach. This assignment involves encouraging students to photograph the various road signs they encounter and to subsequently translate their message in the new language. For instance, a student might explain the purpose of a “No Smoking” sign.
In this assignment, students post photographs of someone breaking a rule and they accompany the photo with a caption explaining the particular error that has been committed.
In this learning method, the teacher uploads a photo of an object and then encourages the students to caption the item in the comments section.
Photos as prompts
The tutor uploads a photograph of a particular object or a situation and asks the learners to write an essay beginning with the event in the photograph.
There are more creative ways teachers can maximize Instagram to nurture quality education. Although there are now a lot of issues in terms of hacking and Instagram security, Instagram and other social media networks are still great tools to promote just about anything positively.