3 Oct 2007

The Language of Facebook

The language geek that I am sees teaching possibilities in almost everything I see or do (Like how CSI would make a great context for modal perfects), so it makes sense that my new Facebook addiction has me wondering about its classroom application. Now, I’m a newbie and what I don’t yet know about Face or FB or Crackbook (as my son calls it; due to its addictive properties I assume!) and all its associated applications is extensive but what I do see is a great opportunity for language learning. Because I’m not currently in the classroom, I can only imagine how FB can be utilized but I see it something like this:

Step 1: At the beginning of each term, create a “group” for each new class. Students can decide how much personal information they want to share or they can even make stuff up for the purpose of the group! Hey, they can even be mystery identities and by the end of the term, everyone can guess who is who based on their postings/profile/etc…
You can dissolve the group at the end of the term or leave it and see what happens.

Step 2: Have students use FB and add applications and exchange posts and pokes and generally do what everybody else does!

Step 3: If they “facebook” every night (or a couple times a week), they can orally report happenings the next day. Teachers can expand from there with related topics, be it grammar, functions, reading, writing…anything!

Check out the wealth of mixed verb practice and other grammar!
Where I’ve travelled/Cities I’ve visited/Superpoke
: present perfect
Status Updates: present continuous, adjectives
News Feed: simple past, present perfect, passive
Horoscopes: simple present, future
My questions: any tense!
Moods: adjectives
and so many more…

Well, really, there are all the language elements of conversation and reading and writing here (with idioms galore!) and in a context most students can relate to…because it’s about them!

I know that some of my colleagues are already using Facebook in the classroom to great success. I would love to hear about some effective activities or anything that others have done with it. Leave comments here, so others can benefit from your experiences!

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