What is #InstagramELE?
#InstagramELE is a monthly challenge created by Spanish educators Adelaida Martín Bosque and Pilar Munday in 2014. Each day there is a hashtag with a word or a phrase in Spanish. The objective is to practice Spanish by reading the posts of other people, by writing your own posts and by interacting.
How do you participate?
These are the general rules:
- Check the monthly picture with all the words by going to @desafioinstagramele on Instagram
- For example, today is February 12, we see that the word is #comunidad
- What does #comunidad mean to you? You can think of an idea or you can look for the hashtag #comunidad on Instagram to see how native speakers are already using it.
- When ready, post your picture and add a sentence in which you use the word #comunidad
- Add hashtags, so other people can find your picture. There are 3 important hashtags to add:
- The word of the day, in this case, #comunidad
- The hashtag of your class or group if you have one (if you are doing the challenge as part of a class assignment. In this case we can add, #nectfl16)
- Check the hashtag #instagramELE and see what other people posted for the word #comunidad. You can like other pictures and you can even write comments in other people’s photographs.
How can teachers use it?
- Extra credit - This is probably the easiest way to launch the InstagramELE project. World language students are always open to extra credit work in order to improve their overall grade and the idea they can use a social application to earn points is not only a motivating factor but also a reward. If you already have a weekly extra credit document, InstagramELE can easily be added to it, giving the student the power of choice.
- Monthly assignments: One can easily assign 20 points to a monthly homework with each post earning a value of 1 point each. Since it is a monthly assignment, you can either assign specific vocabulary words that you would want the students to learn or you can leave it open for the student to choose.
- Group work: You can designate one day a week, where the whole class works together to define, talk about, and select a picture/photo that represents the agreed upon meaning of the term in question. In this fashion, InstagramELE becomes an interactive, interpersonal in-class activity, which may or may not have to be graded making it more of a formative assessment rather than a summative assessment.
- Daily homework assignment: This is my favorite way of using InstagramELE. Once your students download the Instagram application, it is very easy to upload a photo and join the "soundless" interpersonal exchange of communication that takes place all around the globe, in a matter of seconds. Students would be responsible for posting a photo and a comment on a daily basis, from Monday thru Friday, including holidays. You can increase the level of engagement by asking students to include a peer review which allows for an extension of the conversation. In a world so blogged by excessive loads of testing, textbook based homework and projects that force students to study topics in isolation, InstagramELE offers a refreshing and inviting alternative to connect with the world and give students a real opportunity to become culturally responsive and globally aware of their surroundings.
- As an option in a “homework choice list:” Many teachers provide students with weekly “options.” This can be one of them.
- In class: to review vocabulary or to talk about cultural events. You just show the posts and discuss with your students. More ideas on this blog post.
- As a writing prompt: Many times, there are many posts which can elicit a discussion and can be used as a writing assignment.
How does this challenge foster proficiency & promotes ACTFL’s 21st Century Skills?
- Presentational → students present the information which goes with the image
- Interpretive → they are asked to read posts from other people to get ideas and to see how native speakers converse with each other
- Interpersonal → Most important, in our opinion, the students also have the chance to interact with other members of the community, whether they are other students, teachers or native speakers doing the challenge for fun.
- CULTURES: The challenge includes words and phrases related to major festivals and holidays celebrated throughout the Spanish speaking world. The tags used in these occasions are the same tags used by native speakers. Students have a chance to see how these cultural events are celebrated in real time.
- COMPARISONS: Students are able to develop insights into their own language and culture by comparing it to the Spanish posts of native speakers.
- COMMUNITIES: This is an ideal venue for students to use their Spanish beyond the classroom walls and to make connections with other students and many native speakers. In the two years of the challenge, we have seen many bonds between diverse groups, all with the main objective to increase their proficiency. Even among teachers, we learn from each other everyday.
- The learner is the “doer”, the “creator”
- It integrates technology into instruction to enhance learning
- It is a personalized world task (Many people are already using Instagram in the Spanish speaking world. Why not tap into this wealth?)
- It gives opportunities for learners to practice beyond the classroom
- Learners create to “share and publish” to audiences more than just the teacher
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Do I have to compete the whole month to be successful? Absolutely not!! Any day that you do the word or phrase, you are already engaging your brain by practicing Spanish. Any little bouts of this helps you on your path to proficiency.
- I already use Instagram. Can I use my personal account? We actually recommend to create a special account for the challenge if you are going to do it for a class assignment. You can be a bit more creative if you don not have the pressure of all your friends judging you.
- Can I use it if I have a private account? Some educators do use it with private accounts, where only you and your students see each other. This is fine for younger students. In general, the beauty of this challenge is the many voices from all over the world commenting on each other’s pictures, so we recommend public accounts for that reason (but not essential).
- How can I check what my students post? If you are doing it with a class, we recommend that you create a special hashtag for that group. When you click your class hashtag, you can see all the posts from the students. There are also free apps which group pictures, like imero or ccdays.
- Is there a rubric? We don’t have a general rubric because each teacher can use it as they fit.
- Can I suggest words? Absolutely! Here’s a form where you can offer suggestions. And we are always looking for “helpers” with the design of the slide, so let us know if you want to collaborate with us as well. We are also thinking that students should be able to create some of the monthly challenges as well. Let us know if you like that idea!
- Are there written instructions already I can share with my students? Yes! You can find some instructions and suggestions on whom to follow in this page.
- Still have questions? Here’s a presentation Adelaida Martín Bosque and Pilar Munday created to explain the challenge to Spanish educators. And here is the article to accompany the presentation.
Get in touch if you have questions or comments!
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