viernes, 22 de abril de 2011

Social Networking

Social networking has become a very common activity in the last few years. It allows people from all walks of life to stay in touch with their friends, relatives, etc. Perhaps the most popular network at the present time is Facebook, which was launched in 2004 and has more than 600 million active users nowadays.

But beyond the fact of simply keeping connected to our special ones, Facebook and other social networks like MySpace and Hi5, for example, offer a new world of possibilities for language learning. Thanks to the different apps that these social networks offer, like chatting, multimedia up/download, messaging, posting, etc., now teachers may find new ways not only to get closer to learners, but also to make them practice with the language.

When it comes to teaching English, we teachers may rely on such apps in order to design a wide variety of activities which are very educative, motivating, and fun for learners. imagine for example having learners upload a summary of the latest English lesson on Facebook each week and have the other students in the class make comments on it, using the English language. What if we have learners to create a story by posting notes on Facebook and add a new paragraph or chapter every week? What if we have our students chat with or send messages in English to their e-pals in a class in another school in or outside the country? How about having our pupils create photo albums on Facebook where they can talk about their interests, school, culture, etc., including picture descriptions in English?

The possibilities are endless and all you need as a teacher is your willingness to use technology in the class plus a little bit of creativity. This will help you create task-based activities that are engaging and fun for learners, promoting their independence and developing their learning strategies and language and computer skills.

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