Social media in English language teaching and learning – Updated 2021

social media in english language teaching and learning

In a world run by technology, it is crucial to move forward with it if we want to advance. In the same way, English teachers must also learn to adapt and evolve with technology to meet students’ needs while teaching ESL. 

Since almost everyone is engaged on the internet, one of the most effective ways to make practical learning is through social media. There are numerous children and adults on an interactive platform that allows you to share photos, audio, and videos. 

There are several benefits of using social media for teaching English, and there are several disadvantages too. So, how do you use it to improve English teaching methods and increase students’ engagement in the class? 

Read on to find out if you should use it and how to use social media effectively.

If you are not sure whether social media is for you, let’s first check out the advantages.


Benefits of Social Media for Teaching English:

social media in english language teaching and learning

Improve Engagement

Using social media to boost the participation of students in an ESL class is a brilliant idea. Not only are students more inclined to check out the content when they are using their networking pages, but it is also beneficial for them. They can check out content when and wherever they need, and you can assist almost instantly. 

Promotes collaboration

Social media allows students to connect with the teacher and fellow students. It will enable them to collaborate through the distance by giving feedbacks and online interactions. Some students might be too shy to ask for helo, and social media is a great platform to express their needs.

Shareable resources 

While using social media, teachers have better access to resources such as a worksheet, websites, and pictures. It makes it easier to share important and relevant topics with the students. Sharing over the internet saves time and a lot of hassle too.

Improves creativity

There are thousands of materials on the internet. Students and teachers can check out other sites and be inspired to get more creative in the classroom.

Virtual Educational Games

Since playing games is an important activity to keep the class interesting, teachers can connect students to play online word and language games in a common platform.

Reaching out to parents and guardians 

Social media is also a convenient platform to send reviews of the students to their parents or guardians. You can easily reach out to them for feedback and comments to improve your class.


While social media has its charms, there are drawbacks too. So some of the disadvantages of social media in English teaching are:


Students, teachers, and parents alike can easily get distracted on social media. With thousands of information available, it is easy to lose track of time and focus on the lesson.

Needs supervision

Unlike regular classrooms where teachers can keep an eye on the students, social media is different. Young students continuously need adult supervision to prevent mismanagement of the platform and protection against online bullying and predators.

Written rather than spoken

The main flaw is that social media provides a platform mostly for writing instead of spoken learning. While there are video features that advanced students can use, social media cuts off the authenticity of in-person education.

If you feel like social media is an excellent platform to improve your English classes, here is how to use it to your advantage.

How to use social media for English teaching

Keep me posted on Twitter and Facebook

You can use Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with your students. It is also a great platform to send out notifications and share bits of information. On the other hand, you can post pictures and short videos on Instagram to refer to summarized versions of the lessons.

ESL Blogging

For English teachers, creating an ESL blog is one of the best ways to use social media to teach English. You can share elaborated notes, generate content, and even make students contribute. That way, you can check on how well they are doing in your class and how to improve their writing!

Use Edmodo or Facebook for schools 

Edmodo is also a social media app that can revolutionize English classes. You can create a virtual classroom and interact with students and other teachers. It is an excellent platform for online teaching from anywhere to any remote location.

Use Google Hangout 

Google Hangout takes you to nearby places with your contact list. Through this app, you can meet others at a virtual place when it is difficult to meet at the same time.

Connect to other cities

Using social media removes geographical restrictions. You can connect with students and teachers from other cities around the world. The cultural exchange will benefit the students by exposing them to different ways people speak English. 

It will also encourage them to practice their learned skills while communicating with someone from another place. It also widens the horizon for ESL teachers who want to teach internationally.

YouTube channel to put or help students review lessons

Lastly, you can use YouTube to share videos of your class. YouTube is a powerful platform. The number of content you can share through video is limitless. Since YouTube is a video sharing platform, you can film your classes and give out tips or instructions to anyone around the globe. 

If your content is informative and engaging, you can also generate income from the views and subscribers.


As you can see, the main downside is the lack of physical interaction with the students, and it might be hard to keep them focused. 

Integrating social media with teaching English has numerous values. Teaching through social media is a great way to engage with students far and near if used wisely. It also opens up numerous opportunities to generate income. But there are several dos and don’ts while substituting it for real classrooms. 

As a teacher, remember to educate the students about internet etiquette. Finally, if you are still reluctant to use social media, you can always check out easy guides to help you through teaching English.