Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hashtags For Learning

We're always thinking about ways to help our students become autonomous learners, and recently I started thinking about hashtags and how they might foster autonomy. There is a vibrant community of educators on Twitter, and I'm familiar with the various hashtags they use to talk to each other about our learning needs as teachers, so I started to look into what English language learners might use among themselves for their own development. Teachers, meet #twinglish and #engpls.

This hashtag seems to be most widely used in Japan, though I've seen examples of it coming from Taiwan and South Korea as well. The inventor of this hashtag is Mayumi Ishihara, a teacher and textbook publisher in Japan.

The #engpls tag seems to be newer than #twinglish, but also a bit more widely used globally.

Let's get students talking about how they use hashtags for their own learning, and see if we can come up with some samples from other parts of the world, and perhaps even in other languages. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are widely used all over the world at this point, and most of our students are adept users of the hashtag for their communication on these platforms - so let's encourage them to use hashtags for learning.

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