Using Twitter for Vocabulary

Ms. Stuart's Twitter Vocab Review

I have always had trouble making my vocabulary lessons engaging. A colleague suggested I try using Twitter to introduce the words to the students. I had them all create Twitter accounts and explained how to use Twitter. I created a hashtag for each of my classes and assigned each student a vocabulary word. Each student was responsible for tweeting their respective word, the definition, part of speech, and a picture as an example of the word. The students get a visual of the word and they only need to be responsible for one word, so it less work for each student. The hashtag allows for all of the students’ words to be in the same place. When they are reviewing for their upcoming quiz, they can go back and look at the words and pictures at once. My students (amidst the complaints about the slow internet and forgetting to use the hashtag) seem to really enjoy this activity. It allows them to be on Twitter, something many of them already use, as well as do an assignment quickly. They tell me that the visuals in particular are helpful. At first this was tedious because they all grumbled and had to make an account. Our internet at school is often slow, so after they got the hang of it, I generally have them complete this for homework and we go through the words together on the projector the following day. A drawback to this is that the hashtag disappears after about six days. Students cannot use old tweets to study for a midterm or final exam, but generally this is plenty of time for a weekly vocab quiz. I would absolutely suggest this activity to other English teachers. Twitter can be used in so many ways.

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