Online Language Courses Vs Traditional Language Classes: Which Is Better?

Languages have traditionally been learnt in classrooms but the rise of online language courses seems to have changed this trend and a greater number of people have switched to learning through online language courses. Traditional language classes have existed for centuries. Surely this should mean that this is the best technique for learning languages. Or is it? Could the use of technology in online language courses actually make learning easier?

I recall my language lessons back in school. It was a French cantonese course  class and there were around forty students in class. We all had a text-book that was used for the class and in addition the teacher would write on the black-board whatever that we needed to note down. It was the typical language learning class. The aim of most of the students was to simply pass the exam with a decent grade, not caring much for actually learning the language. To me this was discouraging, since I actually wanted to learn French not just to pass the exam but to actually engage in conversation in French if I were to meet a French person. Progress was slow, and honestly I doubt if any of us in class knew beyond the few words of vocabulary we memorized in class and the simple grammar structures. But of course that was enough to get a grade ‘A’ and as far as most students were concerned that’s all that mattered. The teacher would usually cover a chapter of the text-book each day. She would tell each of us to read out aloud parts of the chapter, which would mostly be in the form of a story. At the end of each chapter there would be a list of new words we learnt and a touch of grammar. We would be expected to memorize this vocabulary and grammar and virtually copy-paste this at the exam. Naturally few months after the exam, all knowledge will be lost as we gradually forget what we memorized. As always some students will be up to mischief and disrupt the entire class, breaking the concentration of the rest of us. The teacher would have a tough time maintaining the attention of the class and rarely would the teacher have time to pay attention to the progress of each individual student. Sadly this is how most traditional language classes operate and it certainly is no fault on the part of the teacher; it’s simply a weakness in the system. No wonder few of us really learn foreign languages. But of course having a language class is better than having nothing at all. Some language classes actually improve their efficiency by taking some simple measures: limiting the number of students in class, strict discipline in class, encouraging greater interaction from the student, giving assignments that actually make the student speak in the foreign language and presenting videos of the foreign language in class to make the lessons more interesting.

The popularity of online language courses have risen greatly in the recent years with the advancement in communication technology. Research is constantly been done in all fields; be it medicine, engineering, astronomy and education, and it seems that language learning has benefited greatly from these advancements through research. The audio-visual element in online language courses has appealed to the masses and makes it interesting even for kids to learn languages. It has proven that the more senses you engage when learning, the easier it is to learn. Online language courses would generally engage the auditory and visual senses thus promoting faster learning. Another great positive of online language courses is the convenience it grants to learners. Learners can decide the time of learning and the duration of each course and even take the lesson with them wherever they go, since most language courses are downloadable courses. Even in terms of cost, it is apparent that online language courses are offered at a much cheaper price when compared to traditional language learning classes. This is because the unit cost of production of each language course is much less compared to the cost of conducting a class. While research cost of creating an online language course would be high, once the product is created, multiple copies can be created at a negligible cost, thus allowing you to learn at a cheap price.

However, some people will always prefer the traditional class setting to learn languages. It makes them feel at home, being in a class with a roomful of students, while a teacher would lecture away the hours. But in terms of cost, convenience and efficiency it is evident that online language courses come on top. Online language courses have certainly set a new trend in learning languages.

For great online language courses that are audio-based, interactive and designed to make language learning fun, easy and effective visit the link below.

 

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