Social media is here to stay, so why not harness its power? Instagram is the popular picture-based social media app that has over 800 million users with 80% of those users living outside the United States. So, it comes as no surprise that people are using the visually stimulating app to connect with others worldwide. One of the major reasons for its widespread popularity is that it allows users to build connections with people across the globe – even those who speak different languages.
As PSFK reports, “Several Instagram users dedicated to teaching their native language (or a different one they have learned) have garnered a substantial following. The accounts take advantage of Instagram’s translate feature and use the social media network’s visual responsiveness as a tool to interact with and teach non-speakers basic vocabulary.”
Given the popularity and nature of the app, it is a fun way to learn a foreign language. We’re here today to help guide you through the basics of using Instagram to help you learn a foreign language.
Set Up an Account
First, if you do not have an Instagram account, you must sign up for one. If you do already have an account, you can choose to begin your Instagram foreign language study with this account or create a new one to be used for language learning purposes.
Do Some Research
Next, do some basic research. You should look for language learning accounts connected with institutions. For instance, students who study English in Washington DC may follow @inlinguadc. Most schools will have a link to their Instagram pages on their websites. This type of research will point you in the right direction.
Find Popular Accounts in the Language You Wish to Learn
But you should have some fun with Instagram, too. So, follow some of the most popular accounts with users who spoke the language you wish to learn. For example, look for celebrity accounts where the user posts frequently – especially if the user posts videos or Stories regularly. This is a great way to hear the language spoken in a natural way.
Find Language Learning Accounts
Now, it is time to search for language learning accounts. For instance, if you simply search “Instagram learn English,” you will find numerous hits in the search engine with suggestions. Browse through the search engine results to find Instagram accounts that seem interesting. Ultimately, you want to look for accounts where the primary purpose is teaching a foreign language. The account should post regularly with images and words in the foreign language.
Don’t worry! We’ll give you some accounts to help you get started.
Follow the Right Hashtags
While society has moved past using “hashtag” as a slang term, it is still an effective way to find users on Instagram. Hashtags help searchers navigate the 800 million plus accounts on Instagram. Hashtags help you narrow down your searches, but without the right hashtags, you may still wind up with too many results as you search. Instead, you want to use hashtags correctly to help you find relevant content and connect with others. For instance, try the hashtag #languagelearning or specify the language #learnenglish. If you feel stuck, use sites like Hashtagify or Best Hashtags.
Watch Instagram Stories
A newer feature of Instagram is stories. Instagram Stories appears at the top of your Instagram feed. When you select stories, you will then be able to view videos and other content. These stories only last 24 hours, but they offer great opportunities to interact with other users. Stories are fun, but they are also another way for you to hear and see the foreign language.
Comment and Interact with Other Users
If you want to learn, don’t be a lurker. A lurker is someone on social media who just looks at the posts or images without interacting. Social media is designed for you to be social! This means you should go beyond “liking” a post to actually commenting and responding to comments other users’ leave on your posts. Plus, if you are trying to learn a new language, it gives you ample opportunity to practice.
Use the “See Translation” Feature
A major perk of using Instagram to connect with those who speak another language is the “See translation” feature. Individuals can not only adjust their own language settings, but they can also use the “See translation” feature to see translations for captions and comments in posts. For example, it is easy to use this feature when the native speaker uses vocabulary you do not understand.
Accounts You Should Check Out
As we said earlier, we are providing you with a few Instagram handles to get you started. While they may not all be accounts for the language you hope to learn, these accounts will give you an idea of what language learning Instagram accounts look like.
@frenchwords – An account with basic French including words, quotations, and images.
@joyoflanguages – The Instagram account for a popular language blogger.
@yourspanishguid – An official Spanish language learning Instagram hosted by a Spanish teacher.
@russianwordsdaily – A flashcard-like Instagram page.
@bbclearningenglish – An Instagram feed packed with useful posts for English language learners.
@idiomland – An Instagram feed devoted to teaching and explaining English idioms.
@1taskaday – A test-like Instagram feed for English language learning with multiple choice and fill in the blank prompts.
While Instagram is Fun, There is a Better Way
Learn English at inlingua Washington DC!
Instagram is great! But, when it comes to learning a foreign language, you shouldn’t rely solely on Instagram. If you are serious about wanting to learn a foreign language, you should consider enrolling in one of the language schools in Washington DC. When students attend language school DC or choose to study English in Washington DC, they will be guided through the language learning experience while having fun at the same time.
Rather than viewing Instagram stories and daydreaming about traveling abroad, students at the Washington language school inlingua actually are immersing themselves in another culture and experiencing life abroad. Instead of relying on following a popular Instagrammer, sign up for an English class in DC. Who knows? Maybe you’ll become the next Instagram language learner turned language teacher.