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Twitter Town - LARC's Digital Safari
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Twitter Town - LARC's Digital Safari


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Let your students journey into the foreign language and its culture 140 characters at a time! Twitter provides the platform for authentic language and, when applied in and/or outside of the classroom, …

Let your students journey into the foreign language and its culture 140 characters at a time! Twitter provides the platform for authentic language and, when applied in and/or outside of the classroom, target language use becomes self-perpetuating and generative. Introduce Twitter to your classroom so students can interpret input, produce output and engage in conversations. Microblogging on Twitter helps motivate language learners to communicate more frequently in the language because this social networking tool is always on, always connected—accessible via web, text, mobile applications, and more. Join the microblogging expedition (create your own account on and explore the creation of a language learning community with your students and native speakers.

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  • 1.
  • 2. Getting to Twitter Town
  • 3. Twitter Town’s Sheriff
    Professor of Italian at Montclair State
    iVenus – Apr 2007
    profeac – Jan 2008
    profenza – Jan 2009
    Students have used Twitter in
    ITAL103 (Intermediate)
    Grammar & Composition (Advanced)
    Cultural Studies (in English)
  • 4. The Laws of the Land
    Text-based posts only
    140 character message size constraint
    Community members include “friends” (people you choose to follow) and “followers” (people who follow you)
    Public or private participation allowed
  • 5. The Lay of the Land
    The last thing you
    a.k.a. a tweet
    Where you update/ tweet
    The Town Square = the Timeline
    Town water cooler =
  • 6. Twitter Town Passports
  • 7. Digital Natives in Twitter Town
    What benefits will students and/or teachers perceive with this type of social network?
    What disadvantages?
    Raise your hand
    Or chat
  • 8. Twitter Town & You
    Tweets are a source of information; people in certain places, at certain events, sharing at a global level
    How is this applicable to the foreign language classroom?
    What would you communicate to your students in 140 characters or less?
    Use the hashtag - #larc09
  • 9. #Hashtag
    Create groupings by adding context and metadata
  • 10. @Replies a.k.a. Mentions
    The @Replies feature was introduced because we noticed lots of folks putting the @ symbol in front of Twitter usernames as a way of addressing one another.
    For example: @biz what are you drinking in your avatar? (It's a soy latte.)
    @username also now in the middle of tweets as a way to simply reference another account
  • 11. The Retweet (RT / via …)
    Sharing and crediting sources
  • 12. The Power of the Retweet
  • 13. Benefits to Twitterers
    They can:
    be engaged in either synchronous or asynchronous modes of communication (always on, always connected)
    interact with individuals or community members in the L2
    participate in the virtual classroom and in the L2 culture
  • 14. Not just a place to visit
    Twitterers can:
    micro-blog about what they are doing (learner written output)
    read what others are doing (learner’s comprehensible input)
    communicate directly with someone they are following (negotiation of meaning)
  • 15. Twitter Town Tips
    Create a Twitter handle for academic use only
    Use class time to have students create their handle, follow classmates and tweet for the first time
    Prompt them initially to have them feel comfortable with tweeting
    Develop your best practices for course objectives
  • 16. Educational Things To Do
    Follow a Professional
    Follow a Famous Person
    Rule Based Writing
    Maximizing the Teaching Moment
    Public Note Pad
    Writing Assignment
    Class chatter
    Classroom community
    Get a Sense of the World
    Track a Word
    Track a Conference
    Instant Feedback
    Source: AcademHack
  • 17. Tweeting in Italian
    Twitter is self-perpetuating and generative
    School 22.3 %
    Entertainment 13.6 %
    Feelings 13.6 %
    Food 12.1 %
    Hobby 8.0 %
    Family 4.9 %
    Home 4.4 %
    Friends 4.1 %
    American life 3.9 %
    Events 3.6 %
    Unexpected uses of Twitter:
    bulletin board, requesting information and help
    • in an academic context (e.g., looking for misplaced textbooks and handouts, asking about deadlines for assignments)
    • 18. technology-related matters, (e.g., how do I tweet from my cell? how do I personalize my Twitter homepage like you did?)
    Studentstweeted rather than e-mailed the instructor with questions
  • 19. Students’ Reflections
    Twitter can transform social networking to educational networking.
    Twitter helped reduce affective filters.
    Learners stated that twittering had them asking for more information and allowed them to clarify using the L2.
  • 20. Twitter Town & You
    What would you communicate to your students in 140 characters or less?
    What prompts would you use?
    Use the hashtag - #larc09
  • 21. Tourist Attractions
    There are many different applications that can enhance your visit to Twitter Town
  • 22. Thanks For Visiting.
    Y’All Come Back Now Soon