Developing your English Skills Online using Social Media…
If you thought learning English was all about sitting in a classroom for hours on-end doing text book activities and tests – think again. While it’s important to receive top-quality tuition from professional teachers, there are many other things you can do to improve your language skills, such as making the most of social media. Believe it or not, you can indeed learn English online with sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube proving the perfect platform to learn in a fun, interactive way… So, let’s take a closer look at this concept.
Twitter is a micro-blogging service which allows you to express how you’re feeling or what you are doing in a limited number of words. In fact, each Tweet can only be 140 characters long, which means you must be as concise as possible, something which is, in fact, great practise for English language learners as it keeps small talk to a minimum. Want to write a Tweet? Then you’ll need to select words carefully.
This popular social media platform also allows you to follow people/businesses/subjects/charities that interest you, so as well as keeping a close eye on your favourite celebs, why not improve your English learning by following Twitter accounts such as @Dictionarycom, @engVid, @EnglishTips4U and @allearsenglish – all of which will provide extremely helpful facts, tips and advice.
@Dictionarycom, for instance, has a word of the day theme which will help expand your English vocabulary and get to grips with various meanings, whereas @engVid often focuses on correct pronunciation. You never know when this information will benefit your learning and, by making English a priority, you’ll quickly brush up on your skills.
Twitter is full of interesting ideas, theories, stories, life snippets and other must-read statements which will (hopefully) encourage you to practise your comprehension, after all, you don’t want to miss out on breaking news or the latest gossip!
Like Twitter, Facebook is an excellent place to message and communicate with friends. Not only can you create a personal profile which offers you the perfect chance to write about yourself including your likes, dislikes, goals, favourite quotes, ambitions etc., but you can also write long or short messages on your own “wall” or other people’s “wall” and read other notes which your friends have written – not forgetting news stories and other literature which people frequently post. In many language colleges, students are often required to read passages to test their comprehension, but if you become used to doing this everyday through social media sites, exams and general English reading practise will most likely become easier.
Be aware, however, that slang, idioms, and abbreviations are used frequently on social media sites, which may confuse those who are new to the English language. That said, so long as you have a solid background knowledge of English and understand the difference between formal conversation and casual chat, it is good to see how native English speakers communicate on a daily basis. In fact, immersing yourself fully into British culture and learning the complexities of language is often encouraged as it helps you to appreciate different forms of speech.
The great thing about Facebook is that there are also pages and groups set up, dedicated to learning English, such as ‘BBC Learning English’ and ‘English Language Practice’. Both of which, provide an interactive place for you to voice your ideas and gain useful information with sites like BBC Learning English continuously posting amusing facts too. To help with listening skills, you’ll also be able to hear audio material or watch/share YouTube videos regarding certain subjects, like the daily commute.
The UK College of English Facebook page is another site which also shares helpful information such as different ways to say common expressions including, “nice to meet you”, “let me know,” “keep up the good work” and “just kidding”. We also regularly promote a free English Conversation Club every Friday. ‘Like’ and interact with these pages, and this could improve your English skills significantly without the hard work. Again, it’s about putting English in the forefront of your mind and looking for alternative English study ideas.
If you want to improve your English learning, Instagram is also incredibly useful as it allows you to describe your daily or most-exciting adventures through pictures and text. This is a great learning tool as it is fun, interactive and anything written is accompanied by an image helping you to understand what’s being said. It also gives you the chance to put your experiences into words, so if you’ve been somewhere recently or are always doing random things – perhaps you’re learning English abroad and want to share what you’ve been up to with friends and family – this is the platform for you.
Want to Enrol on an English Course?
There are many wonderful colleges, such as the UKCE, who provide accredited English learning courses for all levels however, as well as choosing the right tuition, you should also practise by making the most of social media. Check out the UK College of English’s own social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and start improving your English today.