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We all speak a second language – Emoji

We all speak a second language, Emoji. That might seem frivolous and a bit of a stretch, but if we are communicating with others those little pictures can be very powerful. They can enhance intonation, convey the depth of emotion, and even provide gestures to attached texts. Emoji are a unique second language that crosses all platforms and dialects with no need for an interpreter. Although user beware, it would be wise to ensure you know the meaning of an emoji before using it. The eggplant, skull and fire may not mean what you think they mean. Luckily for us there is an emojipedia, you can check it out here –

Language has the power to shape culture and in turn develop empathy, respect, self-regulation, and moral growth. It makes perfect sense to use the one form of language young people use daily Emoji. Teachers can post up the Emoji’s and discuss the emotion conveyed and discuss times when these emotions may be experienced. Students who may be neurodiverse or non – verbal may be able to communicate how they feel by choosing different emoji’s, simply by pointing to them.

Did you know.

  • There are over 900 billion emoji sent around the world every day
  • 92% of the world’s online population use emoji to communicate
  • There are over 3600 emoji to choose from enabling you to communicate, love, ideas, culture and more
  • There are strict guidelines for making a new emoji, it must work in a small size, it must add an expression to what emoji already exist and it must be popular, so it gets used
  • There is an emoji spelling bee, for all the non-spellers here it is

The most popular emoji is ‘Tears of Joy’ expressing great joy or laughter

  • Emoji are generally consistent across 45 different platforms including, WeChat, Samsung, Google, TikTok, Apple, Zoom and Twitter to allow cross-platform communication
  • There is an emoji day the 17th of July as it is the date on the “calendar” emoji
  • There is a Unicode Consortium who ensure that the standard of new emoji is processed, stored, and interchanged with ease

Language and culture are intertwined and have an impact on the people who step into the conversation. When we work with students in describing emotions and feelings Emojis provide a vast array of choices. Why not play with communicating emotions with your students through Emoji?

Check out other articles Sheila has written here.