Social networks are increasingly becoming an important and powerful mean of mass communication.

The use of social networks allows free circulation of ideas and information at all levels. A phenomenon whose potential and perspective are constantly expanding and updating, and whose characteristic feature is a structure based on participation and collaboration between users.

The presence of areas where is possible to exchange ideas and confront learning needs is emerging in a strong way in the various social networks, demonstrating how is spreading the need to link multiple areas of formal and informal education, as well as those with recreational purposes.

The learning process is now undocked from the typical characteristics of a formal context: the sharing of common interests and the comparison of goals and experiences are new forms of communication, transforming the teaching from frontal and linear to reticular and deeply connective.

In conjunction with the development and the powerful deployment of new available tools it is impossible to deny the radical change of paradigms of communication and education, so it becomes necessary and appropriate to accept these dynamics.

What might be an effective mode of use of social networks in teaching?

The purpose of my contribution is to analyse the role and usefulness of social networks in the teaching/learning of foreign languages ​​and how they can be seen as valuable tools to support classic teaching activities.

My comments are referred to my experience as a Social Media Editor for Happy Languages, which allowed me to test the effects, in terms of effectiveness and communicative language teaching and practice, of the use of different social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, blog, YouTube, LinkedIn) to support learning/acquisition outside the classroom setting, on different types of learners of Spanish and Italian.

Through the analysis of real examples I’ll try to highlight positive and negative aspects of these processes of interaction/integration between real and online teaching classical and multimedia, and the effects on learners and on the language itself, which in this context ends to find themselves in a state of suspension between the linguistic form of social adaptation and the resistance to it, in a perspective of preservation ofΒ  language and content.

Francesca Costante


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