Que fais-tu? Twitter for Language & Culture is an interesting article by Sharon Scinicariello from Richmond University and member of The American Association of Teachers of French Telematics and New Technologies Commission which explores a variety of ways in which the popular microblogging tool can be used to enhance language learning in and out of the classroom.
What particularly caught my eye was the idea that students could follow news feeds from the target country offering them a neverending stream of authentic language on contemporary topics in real time. The advantage of these types of tweets for language learners is that they are written in appetising bite-size chunks and link to the full article if students desire further reading practice on a subject that interests them.
To quote Sharon:
"Tweets from news organizations offer opportunities to acquire useful vocabulary and reinforce the learning of geographical names. Headlines quite naturally refer to places, e.g,. le Tchad, le Liban, le Mexique, la Birmanie, les Caraïbes, and provide opportunities to practice the appropriate use of articles and prepositions with place names. In another activity, students follow one or two news topics and compile a personal glossary of vocabulary used. After a few days they use the vocabulary to give a brief oral report to the class. Because headline tweets are short but carry a great deal of information, students find them less intimidating than even short news articles and still have the option of delving more deeply via the included URL."
Here are some examples in French and Spanish to get you started:
The article includes other great tips on the use of Twitter. Click this link to find out more. Have a look at this earlier post MFL Front Page News too for more sources of finding foreign language news on the web.