Twitter and Language Learning

In a thread about ebook readers Steve asked how could twitter be used for language learning. In my opinion using twitter for language learning is like trying to speak too soon. I think most lingq users would agree that after the beginning stage it’s the best to get into the meat of a language by finding content that is longer than the average twitter message and that is also recorded so we can listen to it and read what we’ve listened to.

The limit on a ‘tweet’ is only about 150 characters I think, so it would be pretty easy to list why it isn’t a good tool (or at least a good primary tool) for language learning. Tweets are short, they’re often very colloquial, meaning the 18 year old French kid will forgo using those characters that are specific to French, then there’s the fact that since there’s little room to write in English people write cntr or other twitter only abbreviations, and of course most of all there’s no meat to any statements them being only characters.

If there’s a good thing for language learning, it’s that you’re more likely to get that colloquial language and it won’t be in such a large selection that the entire meaning will be lost because of some of these words that aren’t used newspapers or books. There’s also the advantage of making new friends and being a part of a community (which lingq does just fine I think).

Anyway I can’t really think of anything else good about Twitter as far as learning languages go. Anyone else have something to add?

One reason to link LingQ to one’s tweets may be to disseminate the LingQ message / web presence, but not as a learning tool as such, I think.

Thanks for raising this question. I am curious because on the language teachers listserv that I follow , the teachers are all " a twitter" about how great it is to use twitter to get their students to express themselves and improve their language skills. Some are even saying that text to speech technology will make it unnecessary to even bother with writing. All kinds of stuff that makes no sense to me. i feel that langauge learning requires some concentration, and that Twitter and Facebook etc. are in fact quite distracting.

I would love to do that, Sanne, but I cannot just keep tweeting about LingQ. I have been following people who say they follow me, but I must admit that I never read their tweets. I do not really follow them. The worst is when they include a a link to something. I mean you cannot spend your day following people and then following whatever link they think is interesting. I do not know. I do not understand it.

I must say that I like this Forum. I wish more people spoke up here.

I’m more of a forum guy too. The truth is I do twitter, but it’s mostly cause athletes twitter, and let me in on what they’re thinking and often say dumb stuff that gets them in trouble. I probably check twitter once every couple weeks, not a huge fan but I find everything interesting, I can’t help myself…

I haven’t hopped on the twitter bandwagon yet. However, I do find facebook a fun tool to supplement my language learning. I like writing to my spanish friends on facebook and seeing what they write to me, it’s exciting. i also like trying to read stuff in portuguese on friend’s walls and understand it, and i agree that it is more colloquial language that you might not find even in the content here on lingQ, but that you will hear all the time when surrounded by native speakers in an informal setting. it’s a good way of seeing how people actually talk, because most people write on facebook in the same tone, vocabulary, etc. that they would use when speaking (i.e. in a more informal, colloquial manner). so it can be fun, but it can’t be your only language learning tool because it’s not enough content!

Back in 2006 when Twitter started I joined and that was my first thought, to use it for language learning.

I subscribed to two french and two british. They were not teenagers, but people who wrote all the letters and didn’t use slang.

I looked up the words I didn’t know and it was nice because the twitts are short and not many throughout the day.

Nobody is saying you can learn a language that way, it’s just an aid, a good one if the people you subscribe to are interesting.

Is this the first thread where Twitter was mentioned on the forums at LingQ?

I don’t even remember starting this thread. I was definitely probably inebriated, I try to make it a point not to say anything meaningful here and just be the resident smart-alec, I guess we all of days.

(ps I wouldn’t doubt this is the first thread about twitter on lingq, I am a trend setter after all.) :slight_smile:

“I try to make it a point not to say anything meaningful here and . . . .”
I hope you will set a trend here again.

Twitter can be a decent tool for finding example sentences for words…but then so is Google. I don’t use Facebook and only use Twitter to keep up with certain topics and people that I find interesting. I think they have limited application in language learning and can only really serve as additional tools in creating your own immersion environment for your L2, if you do that.

“If there’s a good thing for language learning, it’s that you’re more likely to get that colloquial language . . . .”
I agree with you on that.

Could you tell me what “L2” means?


Sazae here, not Chris, but I’m pretty sure L2 means “second language”.

Thank you for your quick reply.

You’re welcome.

@ ytk031 Our trendsetter was the first to create a thread on Twitter, but the first mention came via a thread of Steve’s, I believe: “In a thread about ebook readers Steve asked how could twitter be used for language learning.”

I’ve been using Twitter to follow, so far, people who twitter in Dutch, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Curiously enough, the cyclists of the Tour de France are really useful for that. I haven’t found much for Italian, nothing for Swedish or Russian. Suggestions welcome!

Yes, the following thread was the first one where the usefulness of Twitter as a language-learning tool was mentioned.
Helen’s blog and new toy: her e-reader

I give Twitter a try but I’m not sure if I like it. 140 characters are very short. Also I found a lot of twitterers using abreviations and don’t write in a correct manner. How could this help us learning a language?

i c what u want 2 say.