If you’re anything like us, you love social media. Whether you’re live-tweeting the World Series or snapchatting your world travels to your loyal followers, social media is a powerful tool for connectivity and knowledge-sharing in real-time. But if you’re really like us, you also love language learning. At any given moment, you could be found quizzing yourself on conjugation, typing up your mock itinerary for your next trip overseas, or looking for meaningful ways to integrate your new language into your daily life.
We’ve got good news: your two greatest loves in life are going to get along great. In fact, social media and language learning are the perfect pair. They’re the new peanut butter and jelly. They go together better than mac & cheese. Now more than ever, the power of social media can actually inform and uplift your language-learning endeavors on a daily basis. Some call it synergy, others call it smart learning. Here are five social media hacks for language learners that you can (and should!) start using right now.
Join these online communities.
Let’s start with the OG social media outlet, Facebook. You might think of Facebook as a channel dominated by political memes and vacation photos, but there’s an entire ecosystem of thriving communities just below the surface. From writers’ groups to professional networks, there’s a community for nearly everyone on Facebook.
For language learners, Facebook presents the unique opportunity to connect with native speakers and learners alike in another language - and for free. Whether you’re looking for a one-to-one conversation partner or a daily chat with an engaged community, there’s a home for you on Facebook. Can’t find the community that’s right for you? Create one of your own and start a conversation.
Follow these inspiring accounts.
What better way to motivate your learning than by daydreaming about where your new language could take you? Fill your Instagram feed with beautiful images from world travelers and inside perspectives from accounts local to your dream destination. For example, following brands like Lonely Planet and National Geographic are a great way to ensure your feed delivers a daily dose of wanderlust. For a more intimate viewpoint, keep up with travel photographers like Matthew Karsten, AKA expertvagabond, or Kirsten Alana, an NYC-based photographer who delivers beautiful photos and captions packed with information about her many destinations. Are you a fan of Humans of New York? Multilinguals of Melbourne takes a similar approach by sharing stories from a community spanning more than 22 nationalities and 38 languages. Follow this account for regular language-learning motivation, inspiring stories, and a chance to share your own journey with the community.
Looking to get more acquainted with an area you love? Enlist the help of Google in searching for some of the most popular accounts in certain locales. Got your sights set on visiting España? Here are 10 beautiful Spanish Instagram accounts you need to follow. Learning Japanese? Get cultured and inspired all at once with immersive, picture-perfect accounts from some of Japan’s most popular Instagram accounts. And don’t forget to follow Mango Languages on Instagram - we’re putting out bite-sized learning videos, culture lessons, and fun facts on the regular.
Join these #conversations.
We know you’re on your way to fluency in your new language, but do you speak social media hashtags? This strange and powerful little symbol is your passport to a world of curated conversations specifically tailored to your interests and passions. Take to Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram to search for photos, tweets, and content all about your new language and its culture. To get started, #langchat is a great hashtag to follow on Twitter for regular conversations and Twitter chats around language learning and teaching.
Hashtags are a simple way to categorize the internet by topics of interest: simply search the destination that’s caught your eye or the language you’re studying, and discover a world of conversation around the topic. Not quite sure where you’re headed next? Get inspired by searching popular travel hashtags on Instagram like #Travelgram, #TravelDiary, and #instatravel.
Take advantage of this easy tech setting.
If you want to talk the talk, then walk the walk. For most social media addicts, it’s likely you could navigate your favorite sites and apps in your sleep. Subconsciously, you’ve probably memorized each swipe, click, and tap - that’s why it’s such a great idea to switch your social media’s navigation language from English to the language you’re learning. By switching your tech settings, you’ll learn useful command vocabulary with minimal effort as you engage with your usual social sites. Using social media in English is for monolinguals - flex your language-learning muscles and infuse your daily habits with some fresh new vocab.
Love learning online, on-the-go, and on your own schedule? Sounds like you’d love Mango! With always-on mobile apps and social sharing to celebrate your language-learning milestones with friends, Mango is the simple, fun, and effective language and culture learning system that keeps up with you. With over 70 world languages to choose from, why not get started today? Click below to get started.