How is SOCIAL MEDIA impacting ESL?


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If you don’t have a Facebook page today – anywhere in the world, you are missing the boat. Yeah yeah, I hear some of you say ‘I hate Facebook’, and fair enough, if you don’t want to get engaged with the world, that’s up to you, but one of the most phenomenal things about Facebook is that it has continued to change and grow now in the world to the point where no other social media can seriously catch up.

Why is it still relevant? Two reasons:

  1. People just love to connect with people
  2. Facebook is now a key player on the internet for both personal and business people

So how has this all impacted the ESL world?

I know in some countries Facebook is definitely not so big, e.g. Russia and China, but is that because they have completely turned their back on social media? No way – they wanted to do it their way. Fair enough – now they both have their own ‘mega-social media sites’ all specific to their world and their language and culture.

But there is still one thing that is going to be hard for these other social media platforms to maintain, and that is the connections they will be able to create …in the only international language – English.

We tend to think that people want more unique platforms now that suit their needs, and this is true, but if your usual platform predominantly uses only Mandarin or Japanese to communicate, you  are going to look elsewhere to get the greater picture. Also though there are plenty of Facebook platforms in other languages, at the end of the day, it will be difficult for any other social media outlet to compete with Facebook once they decide to jump on the bandwagon with their own English/Russian equivalent.

In reality, the speed in which the western social media platforms are gaining traction in the world of English and ESL learning is going to be difficult match purely by the fact that they have been in the system now a long time and have continued to develop and grow at an unthinkable rate.

This then means that ultimately, if someone wants to learn or improve their English they will be less likely to go to their own local media and more likely to go to the international language media.

The days of globalization were considered in some ways over in terms of business, but in terms of social media, it is just the beginning.

English is about communication after all, so if you are learning English, Social Media is most likely to be your first and only buddy that will keep you on track for life.

What do you think?


6 thoughts on “How is SOCIAL MEDIA impacting ESL?

  1. My students use it social media to form “groups” so that they can share class pictures, homework assignments, “notes” they took (photographs of my smartboard presentations actually) and occasionally test each other.
    Also, one of my colleagues found a good resource to let everyone use their smart phones to make games that test each person’s knowledge in real time against other people on their smartphones.

  2. I think that Social media is a great tool. I am studying to be a TEFL teacher and when thinking about material I thought about back when I was in year 8 learning Spanish and the best thing that helped me was my pen-pal. It was so exciting and inspiring for me to build a

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