Using Instagram to Learn Languages

If you recently become interested in learning a language, you may be surprised when I tell you that Instagram can be a great tool to help you study new words in a visual way. If you are the type of learner that likes to see pictures and word associations, Instagram can be a great resource for finding new words in context and building a small community of language learners.

A few weeks ago I started a Japanese language learning Instagram account called @japanesewith alice. I made this account specifically to document my progress studying for the JLPT N2. I regretfully do not have a lot of old notebooks or papers from when I first started learning Japanese and so I wanted a way to track the progress I'll be making as I prepare for this exam.

I also use my Instagram story as a daily resource for posting the points I get on Memrise while doing reviews and learning new words.

Here's how I use Instagram to study Japanese (this could be adapted to fit any language)

Create content in your target language

When I learn new words on Memrise, I like to take a view of the words and make some visual content with them for my Instagram. I'm trying to get into the habit of taking photos of my study sessions as well as use the caption of each photo to use my target language.

Follow those who speak your target language natively

I don't follow very many accounts on Instagram in Japanese as of current. I try to follow content that is both interesting to me and simplistic enough that I can pick up vocabulary words in context without using a dictionary to look things up. 

Essentially, whatever your interests are in your native language can be used as learning points in your target language. If you enjoy fashion or nail art, try to look up those things using your target language as a hashtag and see what accounts you can follow.

Follow those who are learning your target language

In the same way, you should definitely be following other people that are alerting your target language to form a sort of community on Instagram.

The more friends you have, the more motivation to work on your Instagram and make more posts about language learning! It's especially fun and rare when you come across an account that is at a similar learning point in your target language.

Use the hashtag #langexchange or #languageexchange to find others that may be interested in learning your native language.

Use Instagram Stories 

There is some daily content that you may be able to post on Instagram stories that can help motivate you and keep your followers engaged, and that is an Instagram Story! Instead of making a post every day, I use Instagram stories keep track of my daily flashcard review progress so that I can say that all my reviews are done and semi-brag about the streak that I'm keeping. 

I like to hashtag these posts with whatever app I'm using for flashcards (Memrise) so other people using Memrise can add me! If you're lucky, the developer of the app might even like or repost your story.

Use Hashtags

In order to gain visibility for your page, you're going to need to put some hashtags on your photos. These allow Instagram users to find the content you're making. If someone is interested in looking at vocabulary lists and you've just created one, make sure you hashtag your post with #vocabularylist or #Xlanguagevocabularylist. 

If you're preparing for an exam, include the name of it as well! 

Here's a list of hashtags find useful for making future posts (feel free to swap the word Japanese for your language's name):


I hope these tips are helpful! If you have any Instagram accounts in Japanese to recommend, I'd love to hear about them in the comments. As always, thanks for reading :)