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The Teachers' Room

Getting social with your students

Dan and Sian talk about how social media can be used in the classroom.

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Did you like that? Why not try these?

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Getting social with your students
These days social media is everywhere and, more than likely, your students already use it to communicate in their first language. However, it is a useful tool for language teaching and can easily be adapted for use inside a classroom.
Post-it posts
Since social media posts tend to be short, students need to be able to communicate the most important information as succinctly as possible. This activity will help with that, and it’s a good way to practice ways to shorten messages, such as elision, substation and contraction.
Hand out a few small sticky pieces of paper (eg: Post-it notes) to each student and have them write a short message about anything they like e.g. what they had for breakfast, or something that’s happening  in their home country. Remember to get them to include their ‘username’. Stick these messages around the walls of the class. Next, have students walk around and read the posts. When they wish to, get them to write a reply – remembering to use an ‘@’symbol plus the person’s username. You could even impose a character limit.

Social media media
These days, breaking news is often communicated via social media updates. This is a great language opportunity for language work. You can use this to ‘build up’ or ‘break down’.
When building up, get the students to find a media source on a social media platform. They are not allowed to visit that media source’s website directly and may not watch the news on ‘tv’. Instead they must read the social feed in order to construct an understanding of the story, which can then be either turned into a fuller news article or reported to the class.
Breaking down works the other way. Hand the students a full news article and inform them that they must explain the story in 10 social media posts or less (you can even impose a word / character limit). This is great for getting them to focus on what is important within an article and their choice of language to communicate.

Classroom management
Social media can easily be used to support class room management. All you need do is set up a group that only your class can access. It can be used to communicate school and class announcements such as absences, homework, special events, class changes and interesting video and articles online. And the students can contribute and share too!

To do

Try our quiz to see if you've picked up our tips.

The Teachers' Room Quiz

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Check what you've learned by selecting the correct answer to each question.

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Get involved

Well, those were just a few ideas that we here at BBC Learning English had, but we know that you teachers out there have lots of fantastic ideas too, and we’d like you to share them with us and everybody else.

If you have a great tip or technique about using social media, or anything else, please email us at learningenglish@bbc.co.uk. Your email could be posted here on this page, or may even be mentioned in our show.

We are also looking for video tips to include in the programme. You could be rewarded with a T-shirt for your efforts.

End of Session 4

Next up is Learners' Questions. What will this week's Learner Question be? Whatever it is, Dan's here with the answer! Join us in Session 5 to find out.

Сеанс работы над лексикой

  • Getting social with your students

    Things you can do...

    • Post-it posts
    • Social media media
    • Classroom management