Our students from the iGeneration see social media as a way to access interesting content and as a form of entertainment. And, it is easy to access social media posts from individuals from target language countries. As you can imagine, our students would find posts from real people in real life contexts very engaging.
Tweets for Content: Searching Twitter using your content theme can generate lots of publicly available tweets on a topic of interest to your students that will demonstrate vocabulary in context. For example, the tweets below were generated by putting “mis pasatiempos” (my pastimes) into the search bar on Twitter (curated by the teacher):
Here’s a series of tweets that were collected on the topic of vacations (in Spanish):
For tweets about current events, you may want to follow news and information Twitter accounts:
Tweets for grammar in context: Social media posts can also serve as examples of language structures in context. Imagine that during a previous class, while interpreting a text, a question came up about a particular language structure in the text. As you plan the lesson for the next class, you decide to gather some posts from Twitter that demonstrate that language structure in context. You type in key words into the search bar in Twitter and glean through the results for examples that best fit your purpose.
Some examples of phrases that might be typed into the search bar to generate tweets in context:
Here are some examples of tweets generated in French when “si j’étais riche…” (If I was rich…) was inputted into the search bar that show sentences with the imperfect and conditional tenses in context:
Here are some tweets that came up when I typed in “dudo que” (I doubt that…) to find tweets in context using the subjunctive:
This set of tweets for Spanish came from searching for the phrase “Cuando era niño, creía que…” (When I was a child, I thought that…) which provided lots of examples of the imperfect tense in context.
For those Spanish teachers who follow Zachary Jones, you know that he creates activities using tweets called “Twiccionario.” You can check them out on his website: Zambombazo.
And, as with all authentic resources: