lunedì 26 agosto 2019

Generation Z and Social Networking Apps: Back to School and Instagram

Some time ago I started my DipTesol independent research about the use of social networking apps to engage learners in communicative tasks inside and outside the EFL classroom. Last spring I also set up a closed Facebook group to share activities which include the use of social networks to learn English as a foreign language. 

Social scientists who study young people have found that their digital use can be inventive and even beneficial. This is true not just in terms of their social lives, but their education too. In fact, thanks to the online world, young people can now publish ideas not just to their friends, but to the world. And by writing for strangers, their sense of “authentic audience” makes them work harder, push themselves further, and create powerful new communicative forms.

One of the apps which is most used by young people in Italy and in Europe is Instagram, which is a social networking service built around sharing photos and videos. (If you want to know more about it, check this article.

It is almost time to start your lessons again and I know you are more than excited to meet your new and old students! I am also sure that you are looking for an activity which is not the usual 'What did you do last summer?', though. This the reason why I am going to share with you the following Bingo game.


1. Distribute the cards and pens or pencils to each student.
2. Tell the players that they must interview each other. Have each player go around the group and ask other students questions.
3. When they find someone who replies positively to their question, they have to write down their name and then move on to another student for another question.
4. The student who first completes the grid with 9 different names, raises his/her hand and shouts, “Bingo!”
E.g. A: Did you use #summer and #beach?
B: Yes, I did.
A: Can you show me, please?
B: (Showing his/her Instagram account) Here you are.
A: (Writing down B's name) Thank you.

Download the template here. You will also find a blank template you can use to write down your own questions.

Have a wonderful back-to-school time!

Bye for now,

Ps: If you use this activity, let me know your feedback please!
If you are interested in learning how to use social networking apps in your English classes, email me

4 commenti:

  1. Great idea Larissa! But how do you deal with those schools who don’t allow the use of mobiles in class? In middle school particularly this is often strictly forbidden whilst in high school it may be at the discretion of the teacher. A couple of years ago I had problems just organising Kahoot & Socrative games in middle school as an end of year ‘test’.

    1. Hi Susan,

      Thank you for your comment. What I have been suggesting is a meeting with the headteacher and other colleagues in order to establish a set of rules for using mobiles in the classroom instead of banning them. If you need any ideas for the meeting, let me know. ;)


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