Escuela Oficial de Idiomas Santa María de Guía

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Social networks are becoming an important part of our lives, or at least of my life. I only use facebook and twitter. But I’ve already talked about the latter  in two previous posts (see twitter part 1 and part 2). Let’s talk about facebook.

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In our previous post, we talked about Twitter, saying how to use it in general. Now we are going to take a look to its educative uses. This is a list I’ve prepared with the help of my friend Carlos Martín. I hope you find it useful.

  1. You can write tweets just for the sake of writing something: to express your ideas to the world or to other students, teachers, friends, family, etc.
  2. You can read other people’s tweets.
  3. You can follow famous people: actors, singers, football players, etc.
  4. You can read the news.
  5. You can follow events at the same tima they’re happening: conferences, sports, shows, etc.
  6. You can ask or answer questions related to ESL or to other topics of your interest.
  7. You can follow interesting people: teachers, esl sites, news, etc.
  8. You can find interesting information using tags (#esl, #elt, #grammar, etc.).
  9. You can communicate class information to your teacher or classmates.
  10. You can find opportunities to work or study in an English speaking country.
  11. You can make friends.
  12. You can help others to cope with learning difficulties.
  13. You can improve your summary skills as well as language accuracy.
  14. You can find out what other students are doing to improve.

These are only a few options you have with Twitter, but there are many more. Like the ones listed on this article called 100 Inspiring Ways to Use Social Media in the Classroom found in the site OnlineUniversities.com, where you can also find ways to take advantage of social media in class.

If you can think of any other ways to use Twitter , just leave them in the comments section and I’ll add them to my list.

See you!


What’s Twitter?

According to the Wikipedia, Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. The most important characteristic of the tweets is that they are limited to 140 characters.

What can we do with Twitter?

Twitter can be used for different purposes: professional, personal, educational, etc. These are some of its features:

  • You can follow the people you are interested in, or be followed by other members.
  • You can make your tweets private or public.
  • You can tag the your tweets using the symbol #, or find tweets using your tags.
  • You can ask and answer questions.
  • You can create lists of the people you follow to classify them.
  • You can retweet the tweets you like to your followers.
  • You can add pictures and links.

Nowadays most important events (sports, politics, economy, culture, showbusiness, etc.) can be followed on Twitter. What is more, you can read tweets from everywhere using a PC, laptop or smartphone. So now you don’t have to worry if you’re out and you want to know what’s happening around certain issue, how the Oscar’s Ceremony is going or if your team has scored any goal.

How does Twitter work?

The only thing that you have to do is register and you can start tweeting. There are multiple way of reading and writing tweets, though the easiest and fastest way is using the Twitter official website. Here you can find a list of services and applications that can be used to read and write tweets from PCs, Macs or smartphones.

What do people tweet?

As we said before, people use Twitter for different purposes:

  • In education, as a way to share knowledge, to communicate with students, to practise foreign languages, etc.
  • For personal reasons: to communicate with the people you know, to share what you are up to, etc.
  • To give information and be informed.
  • To find jobs.
  • To everything you can imagine.

Twitter in Plain English:

Common Craft is a group of people that work on creating videos to explain things. Their videos are simple and effective and use English in a clear and understandable way. Besides videos include their transcripts, so no intermediate student will have problems picking the language. Apart from Twitter, you have other videos about society, technology and money. Many of their videos can be also found in other languages, including Spanish. Twitter is explained in this site with two videos I’ll leave at the end of this post with their transcription. I hope you enjoy them.

Twitter in Plain English

You can read the transcript of this video here

Twitter Search in Plain English

If you want to read the transcript of this video click here.


Are you in Facebook, Twitter or MySpace? Or maybe, are you in all of them at the same time?

Nowadays, social networks are very extended in our society. Probably you are in some of them or you have a relative or a friend who are in them.

In the following video, you can see a quick and plain explanation about how a social network works and the basic features of social networking websites.

In these kinds of websites you can share information, upload photos, videos or whatever you want with your friend list. Furthermore, people use social networks with the purpose of finding jobs, meeting new people and finding partners. Many people have even located friends, who they didn’t know about them since they were at school or university.

What is more, social networks let you keep in touch with people from all over the world.

But, how  far can your privacy be kept safe? Sometimes, people who you don’t know, or you don’t want that they know about your life, can see your profile or information about you or your family. What I mean, you will never know 100% who is behind the other screen. This video called “Protecting Reputations Online” can help you with this issue, you can find it in the web site Common Craft, where you can also watch other videos related to other social networks, blogging, etc.

Even President Obama gives some advice on how to use social networks:

So, when you use a social network, you should take care with what you publish and the information you share, since your privacy depends on this.

Last, but not least, I leave an interesting link about dating on Facebook. It was published in the site Mashable, The Social Media Guide some days ago. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. To read it, just click on the heart.

See you at Facebook!




I can promise you that writing a blog demands a lot of work, but if you add the creation and maintenance of wikis, sites, etc. All the time in the world is not enough.

Carlos Martín works as an English teacher at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas Los Cristianos and is a pioneer in the use of web 2.0 in his teaching practice. Let’s take a look at the things he is using with his students right now:

Carlos’s English Corner: This is Carlos’ blog. It’s similar to our blog and he uses it to publish links, references to sites, etc.

My English Site: This is a site that Carlos Martín has created to share materials and interesting links with his students. I especially recommend you the section where he includes places you can find native speakers for a language exchange, it’s at the home page.

Shared items in Google Reader: In this site Carlos adds links to podcasts and activities he finds interesting for his students.

Twitter: You can follow Carlos on Twitter. This is his username: Carlos38205.

Now it’s the moment to visit Carlos Martín’s sites and leave the comment here with your opinion. See you!



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