Memes in ELT: More than pictures with words...

Memes in ELT: More than pictures with words...

XXXVIII VenTESOL National Convention "Facing the New Era of Teaching: Unlearn, Learn and Relearn" (2021)


Internet memes are usually used to depict hilarious situations. However, there is more than what meets the eye: memes are visual resources that could offer infinite possibilities to teachers. Since 1976, the concept of meme has been associated with culture. According to Richard Dawkins, a meme is a unit of cultural transmission. Thus, Internet memes go beyond funny pictures and slang, they also become windows to other cultures and the students’ lives and interests; they become a meaningful and authentic input where multimodality and hypertextuality are significant features.

In this demonstration, participants will explore some of the benefits of using Internet memes in ELT, their relationship with culture, and some ideas to integrate them in class.

Biographical Statement:

Jessica Rivas holds a B.A in Education major in Foreign Languages, and a B.A. in Education major in Philosophy. She has taught in a wide range of settings, including young learners, high school, college, and English courses. Currently, she teaches at the IUESTA and she's a M.A. Educational Innovations' student.


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