Although a powerful online tool, social media is only really best understood by native English speakers. When it comes to individuals that have learned English as a second language, helping them comprehend everything surrounding social media may be surprisingly difficult- due to cultural differences as well as language/slang differences. Media psychology is one of the emerging areas that will be addressing some issues like this.
Although social media is found and utilized all over the world, it is a primarily English speaking practice that may not be completely understood by people that do not speak English as their mother tongue. This begs the question, is anything lost in translation when it comes to social media for ESL students?
1. Relaxed Communication Style
One of the issues surrounding social media and those who are speaking English as a second language is that often social media is a relaxed style of communication. The problem is that ESL students may not be equipped to understand this style. With that said, it could be an excellent way for these students to immerse themselves into the common English speech and understand it from a very basic level. This could be beneficial for these students in getting the culture that comes along with the language.
2. Basic Review of Social Media
For students that have English as a second language the general concepts should be easy enough to understand with some basic review of social media.
The basics of social media can still be very beneficial to these students because they are still able to use these venues as a great way to gain information about certain topics and communicate with others regarding similar situations- there are a number of things that they will be able to pick up on regardless of their language. It is a terrific tool for any student in need of a way to gain new insight or information on any given subject from multiple sources.
3. Full Use of Venues
English as a second language should not prevent students from getting full use of the many social media platforms that are accessible to them. The advantages that come from these great communication hubs should allow students to collaborate with others just as easily as those who speak English fluently.
The slight nuances that they may overlook because of the language difference will come along in time and in fact may be guided along faster thanks to the use of social media advances. Students may find that they are learning things they never would simply by being in class.
Another excellent advantage gained by students with English as a second language when using social media to communicate and collaborate is the ability to fully involve themselves in the technology community. This can give them a good taste of the English language while benefiting from the technology that social media has to offer.
Those with English as their second language can still benefit from the communications and sharing of ideas that are the bedrock principle of social media- there are many that will find using social media technology as a way to expedite their learning of the English language.
Do you think you could understand social media in another language? Or is there a cultural barrier?