What do pictures of cats, babies and food have in common with learning English?
You can see all these pictures and learn English on Facebook.
Facebook has a huge international community and it can be a perfect place to learn English.
On Facebook, you can join conversations with just a few words. You can also have interesting discussions that result in pages and pages of comments.
Since you’re on the internet, you can feel more confident because you’re not speaking English out loud. You can also take as much time as you want to decide exactly what to say and which words to use. You can check and double-check your grammar and spelling before posting anything.
Facebook also has many groups and pages that are ideal (perfect) for English learners.
You’ll find a long list below, but first, here are some tips on using Facebook to learn English:
How to Practice Your English with Facebook
On Facebook, you can join conversations without worrying about how you say things. To actually learn from your experience, here are some tips that you can use:
- Make sure your language is set to English. Facebook is available in a few different languages. Your account might be in your native language now. If it isn’t in English, change it to English. Seeing English all the time will help you practice reading it – and you’re probably familiar enough with Facebook to know what all the words mean.
- Read the comments. The comments on Facebook posts don’t always have the best grammar, but that’s what makes them real. This is where you’ll see how people really speak English. If you notice a word or phrase repeated more than a few times, find out what it means. It might be a good phrase to add to your vocabulary.
- Leave your own comments. Every time you read a post or an article that someone shared, add a comment. The person posting will appreciate your comment, but you’ll also be using your English skills. Leaving a comment also means others might reply to you, and before you know it you’ll be having a conversation in English.
- Write status updates. Practice your English by posting status updates to your own Facebook profile. The status update can be anything—what you’re doing right now, a random thought you had or an interesting article you just read.
- Follow topics that interest you. You might already be connected with your friends and acquaintances (people you know but are not really friends with). If you haven’t already, you might also want to follow pages and groups on topics that are interesting to you. Love horses? Find a community on Facebook that loves talking about horses. It’s easier to talk to people when you have a shared interest.
- Make English-speaking friends. Try to become friends on Facebook with native English speakers. The nice thing about Facebook is that you can ask anyone to be your “friend.” You probably don’t want to approach a complete stranger, but you might find a friend in someone who’s in the same group as you, or who you share an interest with.
- Find online practice buddies. Aside from becoming friends with English speakers, you can also find a practice buddy on Facebook. In many of the pages below you’ll notice people looking for others to practice speaking English with. Be friendly, say hello to them and you might find some great practice buddies—and maybe you’ll even make some new friends.
Learn English with Facebook: 15 Pages to “Like,” Follow and Love
Facebook has a huge variety of pages. Here are just a few of the great pages and groups on Facebook that you can use to learn English.
This Australian Facebook account shares some excellent articles and videos about English and language learning. It posts explanations about everyday phrases, commonly confused word pairs and pronunciation issues. You’ll also learn about Australian culture and what it’s like to be an English learner there. Best of all, there are lots of comments on each post so you can get some reading practice or even join the conversation!
BBC Learning English
You might be familiar with the BBC. It’s a public service broadcaster, which means it runs British programs and TV shows thanks to donations. The BBC also has a huge collection of online English learning tools. Their Facebook page challenges English learners to answer questions and write their opinions about current events.
Practice English with real world examples through audio clips, podcasts and news articles. Remember: This is British English so some words will be spelled differently than they are in American English, like colour (British) versus color (American).
VOA Learning English
This page, run by Voice Of America, is similar to the BBC’s English learning page, but it uses American English. The language is a bit harder to understand but the idea is the same: You can learn English by reading about and discussing things that are happening in the world right now. VOA also has some fun grammar videos, tips, new words and much more.
Learn English—British Council
Here’s another excellent place to learn through just talking about things. Instead of using current events as the topic of discussion, the British Council page uses more casual things like short stories and popular TV shows. The operators of the page are always happy to help in the comments, too. Watch out for British spelling again!
Learn English Online Community
If you want to learn from a teacher without going to a classroom, this online community will have something for you. The Learn English Online page shares many blog posts and YouTube videos of different kinds of teachers giving English classes, like Fluency MC, the teacher who raps about English grammar. When you’re done watching or reading, you can always come back to the page and leave your thoughts or questions. Maybe you’ll find your new favorite online teacher here!
Practice English Everyday
Practice English Everyday is a great place to meet a practice buddy. It’s a very friendly group where people ask each other questions about English and share great English lessons they found. They also practice together and test each other on their English knowledge.
Post your own questions or get involved by responding to posts from other members of the group. Join the group and introduce yourself—you’ll get some warm welcomes and immediately (right away) feel more confident about posting.
Dictionary.com is an online dictionary, and their Facebook page is full of very interesting posts about words. You’ll find new vocabulary words here that you might not learn anywhere else (like oology). You’ll also learn some history about how these English words were created and how they’ve changed over time.
This is a great page for anyone interested not only in learning new words, but also curious about where everyday words come from. Why is April called April? (Nobody really knows!) Where does the letter “A” come from? (An animal!) If these kinds of questions are interesting to you, you’ll enjoy Dictionary.com’s Facebook page.
Some pages post questions and just let followers have their own conversations in the comments. The ESL Team joins the conversation instead, asking questions and responding to others in the comments, turning a conversation into a deeper discussion. It’s a small page for now, which makes it a great place to have a discussion with a small group of people (including the “teacher”).
A lot of the pages mentioned here use text to explain English. If you learn better through pictures, you’ll love the English Vocabulary Facebook page. This page posts pictures and worksheets so you can see what new English words and phrases mean. Everything is organized and visual (you can see it), and the level ranges from very basic vocabulary to more complicated concepts like prepositions. Something for everyone!
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Additionally, the Facebook page shares links to great blog posts with tips for learning English in fun ways, like this huge list of useful English proverbs or this guide for learning English with audiobooks. Never miss a FluentU blog post again!
Idioms are sayings that might not make sense if you just look at every word’s definition. They often have surprising meanings! This Facebook page teaches idioms by explaining what they mean and sharing examples of the idioms being used in actual news articles from big publications like CNN.
If the idioms above leave you confused, the English quotes on this page will leave you inspired. English Quotes shares sayings with pictures. These are not the kinds of sayings you would use in everyday life—they’re “inspirational quotes” that are meant to be shared with others on Facebook. If you take some time to understand the quotes, you can learn some new words and some new thoughts about humans and life.
This page is a resource for native English writers, but it has such friendly explanations and interesting discussions about grammar and words that it’s a must-follow for any English learner.
Do you like puns? Grammarly does! A pun is a play on words, where one word has two meanings. The second meaning is often funny. Grammarly loves to share fun puns like this one on their Facebook page. The conversations here are usually for more advanced English learners, as they like to discuss the English language in general or talk about their favorite English poets.
English as a Second Language
This page really understands the issues English as a Second Language students face. Powered by About.com, the page mostly shares links to the website’s blogs. You’ll find a lot of useful information on many different topics like grammar, sayings and English speaking customs.
Facebook really is a great app for learning English. There are hundreds and hundreds of pages you can find on Facebook that will help you learn English. This list of 15 should get you started.
Do you really need a reason to play on Facebook?
Explore Facebook on your own and discover some more great learning opportunities!
And One More Thing...
If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:
The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or from the Google Play store.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.