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Tweet, tweet! Ideas for using Twitter in the Language Classroom


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SCFLTA 2010 Session by Lara Ducate and Lara Lomicka

SCFLTA 2010 Session by Lara Ducate and Lara Lomicka

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  • 1. Tweet, tweet! Ideas for using Twitter in the Language Classroom
    Lara Ducate
    Lara Lomicka Anderson
    The University of South Carolina
    SCFLTA 2010
  • 2. Experience with Twitter?
    Heard of Twitter?
    Have a Twitter account?
    Read a tweet from someone else?
  • 3. Twitter and tweets defined
    • Twitter - is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets
    • 4. Tweets - text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers
    Courtesy of
  • 5. Why twitter in the FL classroom?
    Twitter is gaining popularity in the language classroom (Antenos-Conforti, 2009; Dunlap & Lowenthal, 2009; Stevens, 2008)
    Community building
    Language practice outside the classroom
    Cultural information
    Avenues for language output and input
    Network with/learn from other teachers
  • 6. Possible Projects
    Vocabulary building, cultural information, reading:
    Follow newsfeeds in TL
    Follow government / news organizations (vocab, geographical names)
    Follow individuals (vocab, culture)
    Community Building
    Students tweet with their class
    Student tweet with NS partners
    Teachers tweet with/read tweets of other teachers
    Promote your class/language
  • 7. News tweets
  • 8. News tweets
  • 9. News tweets (Rue 89)
  • 10. News Tweet (Lemonde)
  • 11. Music
  • 12. Famous person from target culture
  • 13. Other tweets to subscribe to?
    Other news organizations
    Radio stations
    Movie stars
    People of a certain occupation
  • 14. Connecting students
  • 15. Convinced and ready to tweet?
  • 16. Getting Started
    Setting up an account
    Following and being followed
    Using hashtags
    Direct Messaging
    Linking to mobile phone, facebook, IM
  • 17. Setting up an Account
  • 18. Applying for an account
  • 19. Account Settings
  • 20. Posting your first tweet
  • 21. Following and being followed
  • 22. How to find people to follow?
    Search by name on Twitter
    Find existing users in your e-mail address book
    Look for common interests on
    Look at your friends’ friends
    Block, mention, unfollow, report
  • 24. Using Hashtags
    Words beginning with a # to help you track specific conversations
  • 25. @ Reply
    A comment aimed at one user, but visible to the public.
    Or, just mentioning a user’s name with an @ will help ensure that user sees your note.
  • 26. Retweeting
    Sharing someone else’s post. Often abbreviated “RT.”
  • 27. Direct Messaging (DM)
    A direct message sent in private to another user. Goes to your e-mail inbox
  • 28. Linking to mobile phone, facebook, desktop
    TwitterFon -A great way to use Twitter from your iPhone.
    TweetDeck - Powerful, customizable way to use Twitter on your desktop.
    Facebook –
  • 29. Beyond Tweeting
    Adding audio:
    Adding pictures:
  • 30. Sample project for Intermediate French, university level
    Required: 3 tweets / week (2 in TL, 1 in NL)
    Students interact with their class and with partners in France
    30 mn training session in class
    Students must follow each other
    All tweets include the hashtag #RDE09
    1 extra credit point for 5 direct replies
    Purpose: community building and language practice
  • 31. Twitter for Intermediate French
  • 32. Benefits
    Creates /builds community
    Connects outside world with class discussion
    Connects students from different classes/universities/countries
    Can be used to network, disseminate ideas, professional development
    Short and easy to write
    Fun, informal, play and practice with language
  • 33. Challenges
    Tweets are very short – not a lot of language practice
    Need Internet access
    Tweeting doesn’t fit some personality types
    Time consuming
    Twitter spam (unwanted followers)
  • 34. Ideas?
    How might you use Twitter in your classes?
    What challenges/benefits do you foresee?
    How might you use Twitter professionally?
  • 35. Resources for Teachers
    Tips for Teachers on Twitter
    Other twittering teachers:
  • 36. Twitter Guidebook
  • 37. References
    • Antenos-Conforti , E. (2009). “Microblogging on Twitter: Social networking in Intermediate Italian classes” In The Next Generation: Social Networking and Online Collaboration in Foreign Language Learning, Eds, Lara Lomicka and Gillian Lord, (pp. 59-90). CALICO: Texas State University.
    • 38. Dunlap, J. C. & Lowenthal, P. R. (2009). Tweeting the night away: Using Twitter to enhance socialpresence. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20(2). Available:
    • 39. Stevens, V. (2008). Trial by Twitter: The Rise and Slide of the Year’s Most Viral Microbloggins Platform. TESL-EJ 12(1), 1-14.