How to Join the Foreign Language Twitter Chats -

Foreign Language & Education Professional Development from the Comfort of your Home

Using twitter hashtags to chatFor the past year, I have received the most constant and inspiring professional development of my life and right in the comfort of my own home (and sometimes from a good travel spot). How? Right on Twitter and all thanks to marvelous hashtags. Therefore, I am going to dedicate this post to the word ‘hashtag’, not only because it is the 2012 word of the year, but because it has done so much for me as an educator.


What are Twitter hashtags

Using Twitter hashtagsAccording to the American Dialect Society, the word ‘hashtag’ refers to the practice used on Twitter for marking topics or making commentary by means of a hash symbol (#) followed by a word or phrase. In other words, hashtags are words, phrases or acronyms, preceded by the pound sign (#), that represent a topic around which people can share information and have conversations.

For example, go to (even if you are not on Twitter). In the search-box type “#langchat” (the most popular hashtag for the Twitter foreign language community).

Foreign language hashtags


What do you see?… Simply amazing huh! Do you think you would find that kind of detailed information, resources and/or ideas in one spot elsewhere? Don’t think so! And the best part is, they are all free and shared by real live foreign language teachers like you and I.

Now, let me explain the results below, which came up when I did a “langchat” search on Sunday January 27, 2013 (click on the images to see them larger).

.    Foreign language Twitter chats  …..  . Using Twitter hashtags foreign language


To begin with, all those faces you see there are from amazing foreign language teachers who connect through Twitter to share and grow. So, if you are already on Twitter and are looking for who to follow, look no further.

Now, depending on the day you do your search, you will notice that some posts sound like an actual conversation (chat). Well, the reason is because on Thursdays at 8:00pm EST foreign language teachers get together on Twitter to have educational chats about specific foreign language and education topics.  Take a look at the chat below. It is about last Thursday’s #LangChat on the topic “What role should the textbook play in the World Language Classroom?”.

Foreign language Twitter chat

The rest of the entries are from educators sharing ideas, resources, tools, connecting and asking for help or ideas. Such as the ones shown below:

Foreign language community

How to use Twitter hashtags

Foreign language chat


Using Twitter hashtags

Previously we established that to use Twitter as a research tool, you do not need to even join Twitter. All you need to know is the hashtag relevant to what you are looking for and voila! However, if you want to join in the conversation and ask for help or ideas, you do need to join Twitter, follow people and talk to them.

Joining twitter is simple. I recommend you use your picture and include your profession in your profile info. This is because it makes it easier for other educators to know that you are legitimate. If you need some help getting introduced to the Foreign Language community, go ahead and drop me a line on Twitter and I’ll be happy to help. I am @spanish4teacher.

Now, back to the hashtags. Since they represent specific topics, you need to know them in order to either contribute or search for specific information. Hashtags should be placed anywhere within the tweet. It is important to include them because they make your tweet searchable and easy to find.

For example, let’s say I want to connect my High School Spanish class with another one somewhere else in the world. Then I would send out a tweet like this:

How to Twitter Chat

How many hashtags can you include in a tweet? As many as you want, but I recommend including maximum three.


Now you must be asking yourself: Where can I find out about Twitter hashtags? Well, here are some popular Foreign language Twitter hashtags to start out with.


Other useful hashtags


Foreign language materials, resources and ideas shared this week

These are just a few (very few) samples of the resources shared this week. Keep in mind that I am not posting ideas, views and opinions which are the best part of Twitter PLNs and one of my sources of inspiration.


What I have learned through Twitter and hashtags this year, that I would not otherwise know

Using Twitter to communicate with a world wide Professional Learning Community of educators has made me a better teacher. Every time I access Twitter I am inspired to challenge myself and my students to learn, create and share.

So far this year (Jan 2013), I have learned the following from my fellow Twitter educators:

  • MOOC: Massive Open Online Courses as Professional Development options. Find some here: etmoocmooc-mooc, edcmooc. And this is an article about MOOCs that I love: Learn Like an Arachnid: Why I’m MOOCifying
  • 21st Century Learning & Teaching Skills: especially the “Active Learning Skill” which is based on two important questions: 1. How are you making your learning visible? and 2. How are you contributing to the learning of others?
  • Flat classrooms


How to Twitter Chat – Tutorial

(If the video appear blurry, don’t forget that you can change the resolution. Click on the little wheel at the bottom right and then choose 720p)


Other useful resources



Finally I would like to leave you with this awesome thought that sums up what Twitter is for connected educators.



Image Credit

7 Responses to Foreign Language & Education Professional Development from the Comfort of your Home

  1. Yuly January 29, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    Qué entrada tan chévere!. En mi curso de tecnología para profesores de español, los introduzco al mundo de twitter y sugiero a profesores que pueden seguir. Esta entrada de tu blog es perfecta para esa sesión. Gracias por compartir.

    • Emilia Carrillo January 29, 2013 at 10:10 am #

      Hola Yuly! Mil gracias por tu comentario! No sabía que dabas un curso de TIC a profes…que interesante! Lo das en inglés?
      Muchas gracias por compartir este post con ellos!

  2. Yuly January 29, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    Lo enseño en español. Es un curso en el programa de maestría en la enseñanza de español que tenemos en nuestra universidad: . Me toca enseñarlo el próximo semestre.

  3. Daniel Varo January 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    Excelente entrada Emilia. Como bien va a hacer Yuly, este contenido puede ser de gran utilidad a aquellos profesores de lenguas que comienzan su andadura en Twitter.

    Gracias por hacer referencia a mi blog. Es un honor y una alegría que me hayas mencionado.
    Enhorabuena por el trabajo que haces a diario y por la difusión de tanto contenido de calidad tanto en tu blog como en tu cuenta de Twitter.

    Nos vemos en la red,


    • Emilia Carrillo January 30, 2013 at 1:00 am #

      Hola Daniel,

      Mil gracias por tu comentario tan lindo:) Me alegra mucho que profes de todas partes se beneficien de las cosas que comparto.
      Gracias también por compartir tus ideas en Twitter y en tu blog.
      Me encanta estar conectada con profes como tú.

  4. Amy Lenord February 16, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    Thanks so much for blogging about this. While I am an avid participant in #langchat, I didn’t even know about some of these other chat groups. Glad to have this information!

    • Emilia Carrillo February 19, 2015 at 10:42 am #

      Hola Amy! Thank you for your comment! I am glad you find the Professional Development post useful :)