No, we’re not talking about an old school correspondence course. Telegram is a free messaging app, much like WhatsApp, Viber or FB Messenger. You can use it on your phone, laptop, tablet or other platforms that run on Android, iOS, Windows, Linux and other browsers. Currently, the app claims to have more than 200 million users worldwide. These users form channels or groups, many of which are great communities for learning.
What are Telegram groups and channels?
Telegram groups are ideal for sharing various materials, resources and links with friends and family or collaboration in small teams. Up to 200,000 members can join a group. Users can also form channels that are similar to groups but can accommodate an unlimited number of members. Members can join or subscribe and also post content or messages. However, admins/creators of the channel can restrict users to limit unnecessary or offensive posts. As a language learner, Telegram can be another avenue you can explore to broaden your options for learning.
Why use Telegram?
- It’s free – The app is free to download, install and use. It also has no ads or subscription fees. It is run by Telegram.org, a non-profit organization.
- It’s secure – Telegram was created in 2013 by Russian brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov as a means of communication that can’t be accessed by Russian security agencies (The Verge). It boasts of an encryption method that ensures security. It also offers a Secret Chat feature where users can set their messages to self-destruct after it is viewed by the recipient (just like Snapchat posts). These messages are not saved to the app’s cloud.
- It’s fast– Telegram claims to be the fastest messaging app in the market today. Its unique distributed network of data centers around the globe makes this possible.
- It’s accessible – Telegram uses a cloud-based storage where you can store all your messages, files and documents. This means you can access all your data across various platforms, save the progress of your discussions, and can log in and out of any number of devices simultaneously, any time, anywhere.
- It has a large capacity – Telegram provides unlimited storage on their cloud for your data. You can also send and receive any type of documents and multimedia files of up to 1.5 GB every time.
Best Telegram channels for learning English:
These are suggested channels compiled by sociaclclu and forum daily that you can try:
- English of the day (5,993 members). Learn idioms, parts of speech, even slang to improve your conversational English.
- Viola. (12,519 members). Provides various materials to help you learn the language.
- English tips and tools (30,781) Features a daily dose of new English words and phrases. It also has grammar guides and tips for learners.
- Learn English (22,498 members). Shares collocations, idioms and expressions. Photos and tips are posted weekly.
- English Idioms Land (69,272 members). New idioms and idiomatic expressions are shared every day to help improve conversational English.
- Grammarfy (69,272 members). Teaches through sentence samples to show spelling and grammar rules.
- English for Tomorrow (6,435 members). Features a variety quizzes, activities, sentence samples and thematic vocabulary.
- English Online (not affiliated with English Online Inc./Live&Learn). (3,900 members). For basic level learners. Provides daily language review of vocabulary and usage using a variety of posts from quotes to stories.
- Espresso English (5,906 members). Features phrasal cards and a host of other materials.
- English Harmony (4,600 members). Features a treasure trove of podcasts, magazines, books, videos, music and idioms for English language learners.
There are also Telegram channels for learning English that cater to specific ethnicities, for example Slang Bang! or Lingvobot for Russian learners or Learning English for Spanish speakers. To search for specific Telegram channels, follow the steps here: Telegram channels.
To know more about Telegram, read the FAQ. You can download the app here: Telegram
Sources: Telegram Guide; Why Telegram has become the hottest messaging app in the world, Ellis Hamburger, The Verge; 11 reasons why you should use telegram instead of whatsapp, Siraj Abas, Medium; Best Telegram English channels list, Kedarsan Sahoo, socialclu and Telegram language channels. Accessed January 14, 2020.
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