Instagram Challenge: #WAFLTwiWord

#WAFLTwiWord is a monthly Instagram challenge inspired by Spanish educators Adelaida Martín Bosque and Pilar Munday, who created a similar challenge in 2014, #instagramELE. Each month there will be a word or a phrase relating to global languages and cultures posted by the WAFLT 21st Century Communications Committee to hashtag in posts by you and/or your students along with #WAFLTwiWord. The objective is to think about the importance of the wider world by noticing global connections in your own community, posting about it, reading the posts of other people, and by interacting with the posts of others.

Starting in January 2017, this is how it works (adapted to WAFLT from the original challenge):

  • Check the monthly picture with the word or phrase by following #WAFLTwiWord on Instagram.  For example, in January the word is #community.
  • What does #community mean to you? You can think of an idea or you can look for the hashtag #community on Instagram to see how others are already using it.
  • When ready, post your picture and add a sentence in which you use the word #community.
  • Add hashtags so other people can find your picture. There are three important hashtags to add:
    • The word of the month, in this case, #community, which might be part of the sentence you write to connect your image to the word “community.”
    • #WAFLTwiWord.
    • The hashtag of your class or group if you have one (if you are doing the challenge as part of a class assignment)
  • Check the hashtag #WAFLTwiWord and see what other people posted for the word #community. You can like other pictures and you can even write comments on the images posted by others.

Instagram is an app that many of our students are using on a daily basis. You do not have to be a tech expert; you can just assign your students the task and let them run with it. In fact, you can simply go to, create a login, and do nothing more than use that in a browser to search for a hashtag. Feeling overwhelmed? Ask a student to show you. They all know how!

I will admit—this is a new idea to me. The original posting, which was shared as a part of a presentation at the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in 2016, has fleshed out ideas, verbiage on the connection of the project to the 5 C’s, and more.  Some of their ideas included Extra Credit, Group Work, and as part of a Homework Choice List.  While searching this topic I found the ideas of scavenger hunt, maintaining engagement during a field trip, documenting how a literary character or historical personage would see the world, finding books in the library or the home that would relate to the topic, and even recreating a famous piece of art or vintage photograph.  Thanks to Hannah Hudson and Jason Cunningham for these additional ideas.

If you or your students enjoy the idea, please share suggestions for what the #WAFLTwiWord should be.  Send them to

Our students are often the best advocates for how and why understanding other cultures and knowing more than one language is important.  They see vividly how this knowledge helps them to see the world around them through a different lens. Let’s use instagram to help them share what they see!

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