I’ve learnt a few things since I started blogging. One is that I like Instagram. For years, I ruled it off as being too cliché, too filtered, and just too darn hipster. But since starting my account alongside my blog, I’ve actually discovered it can be a useful language learning tool. I’ll be writing more about this and using other social medias for language learning over the coming months, but today, I want to introduce something new!
One thing I’ve enjoyed on Instagram is participating in photo challenges. I’ve done #fmsphotoaday and #decemberdaily and really enjoyed the creativity it’s provoked. However, this got me to thinking: why is there no similar specific language learning challenge? Image is often considered a great association for language acquisition so why not use Instagram for language learning? As far as I could find, there was nothing out there on Instagram doing this, so I decided to start the Instagram Language Challenge. Let’s do this!
Each month, I’ll post a new image with a word for each day. You don’t have to take a picture of that word. I mean, sometimes, the word will just be ‘verb’ or ‘little useful word’. Three words, I know. But sometimes, it will be a theme for vocabulary, in which case you can interpret it however you like! So if the word is ‘colour’ and you learnt colours way back in lesson 1, (yawn, boring) don’t worry! Do you know how to say turquoise, maroon, rainbow, gold, silver, bronze? Can those words even be translated accurately into your target language? There’ll always be something new to learn! You’ll also notice some words coming up more than once. This is because I think these are vast topics or really useful.
You can use it to learn any language you fancy. It can be one you’ve learnt for ages but still want to improve, it can be a language you learnt long ago, or it can be a completely new language. Heck, you don’t even have to do the same language each day. No problemo.
There are no rules to this. All you need is an Instagram photo each day based on the word provided, a new word in your vocabulary, and the hashtag #IGLC in the photo description (because #instagramlanguagechallenge is far too long of a hashtag) so I can see your photos and learn along with you.
You can use words in your photos or you can use the descriptions to write the new word. You can use apps to add text to your photos, or you can leave them completely unedited. Either way I’m really looking forward to seeing what you come up with! If you’d like some app recommendations for adding pretty text to your images, try A Beautiful Mess or Phonto to get you started.
Hey, who says you even have to take a photo? If you’re feeling brave, why not try making a short Instagram video of yourself practising your new found word?
You may notice there’s only 28 words…and 31 days in January! This is because 28 is a nice even number and so looks pretty on the square. Also it gives you the chance to catch up if you miss a day, post some videos at the end of the month of you practising your words, or just chill for a few days.
I want the challenge to help you to learn something new everyday. This isn’t for me – it’s for you! To give you something to look back on – a visual personal dictionary – as well as to share your new words with others. Fancy it? I look forward to seeing you on Instagram in 2015!
Any questions? Let me know in the comments!