Is Online Language Learning Effective?

By Juliet D'cruz

It’s all too easy to dismiss online learning as a second-rate alternative to traditional face-to-face learning. However, now that high-speed internet connections are accessible to more people than ever, online learning is definitely worth investigating if you’re keen to master a new language.

Online tutors are particularly useful if you’re restricted by an inflexible schedule or are seeking a cheaper alternative to conventional study courses. An online learning model can also be advantageous for those looking for a more tailored curriculum. Regardless of whether you’re looking to get to grips with conversational Spanish or master an unfamiliar foreign language for the first time, online learning can help you realize your dreams.

An Accessible Alternative

Online language learning makes getting to grips with a new language incredibly straightforward. Many individuals based in remote locations will struggle to find a suitable language school nearby, while others may find limited offerings when it comes to available courses. By training virtually with an online tutor, you can access the languages you want, without having to make any compromises.

Online learning is also far more affordable than signing up to a regular course at a conventional language school. In the United States, the average weekly cost of studying at a language school can be anywhere from 800 to 1,200 dollars. For many cash-strapped Americans, these prices are simply too high. As well as making significant savings on course costs, you won’t have to worry about budgeting for incidental expenses and travel fares when studying remotely.

Learning a new language online is also a good choice for those with busy working schedules and demanding home lives. Rather than having to work around restrictive course timetables, you can pick up your learning at a time that suits you. You’ll make further time savings by not having to worry about commuting to a bricks and mortar language school, while adverse weather and traffic delays are also not going to impede your learning.

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Modern Technology Makes Learning Easier

Online learning is by no means a poor substitute for traditional study models. In fact, the rise in affordable technology and reliable broadband connections means studying online can often be far more beneficial than learning in a traditional classroom setting. Studying online with a language tutor provides you with all the benefits of face-to-face learning, as well as a host of other perks you simply won’t get from a conventional setting.

Video conferencing software ensures audio and visual communication can be maintained for hours at a time with no delay. You can also opt to record your sessions for later reference, meaning you won’t have to worry about jotting down endless notes on paper. Online learning also benefits from screen sharing technology. During the course of a lesson, tutors can easily share reference links and files with a student for later reference.

Maximum Engagement with Tutors

Conventional classroom education is not without its benefits, but it’s not the best approach for language learning. Large class sizes are often detrimental to language learning, with teachers having to spread themselves too thinly. When you study a new language online, you won’t have to compete for the attention of a tutor. If you’re struggling with a fresh concept or problematic pronunciation, you can slow down the pace of the session until you’ve got a handle on things. What’s more, while your tutor will almost always steer the structure of your learning, you can have a far greater hand in deciding the content of your sessions.

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