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Meme Creation as a Language Learning Exercise


In the end of her course 'Modern Spanish Language for Beginners', Raquel Navas invites her students to use what they have learned so far in this introductory Spanish class to create their own memes in the form of humorous pictures ironically reflecting on their experience in the past term. This activity is ungraded and non-compulsory, but most students eagerly contribute to it, with many submitting more than one image. Every participating student must submit their entry to a dedicated Padlet page, which is then displayed and discussed in a class setting.

Using basic language constructions to form jokes is an engaging and effective way of prompting students to apply their existing knowledge of Spanish and use it in a non-academic situation.

Lesson plan

  1. The tutor announces the activity, inviting their students to create humorous images incorporating writing in the language they are currently learning. The tutor may optionally select a broad theme for the memes, should they wish to limit their focus; moreover, students may be offered to partner up with their peers, rather than making submissions individually.
  2. The students are invited to submit their entries to a dedicated Padlet or Moodle page (depending on the tutor's preference).
  3. During the next class, the tutor displays the Padlet page with the student submissions, and the students discuss each other's submissions among themselves and with the tutor.

Tutor's observations

I want [the students] to realise that [after one year of learning Spanish] they are now able to use humour in a foreign language, because we look at some memes during the year... so at the end of the year they all have to create a meme on their own. ... I always tell them to just do one, [but] in every group they do three or four, ... because they find it funny; they engaged with that activity a lot.

Examples of student work

Examples of student work in one of the classes can be accessed via a Padlet page.

A humorous image written in SpanishA humorous image with Spanish text.

1_Meme Creation as a Language Learning Exercise
2_first_Raquel Navas
5_second_Raquel Navas
HP102: Modern Spanish Language for Beginners