Why Take an Online Language Course Today

In the last few years, technology has developed exponentially, transforming the way in which people perform traditional tasks, including learning and accessing education. For instance, you might have heard about platforms like Coursera or apps like Duolingo, which have been designed to help you learn a wide variety of skills, including a foreign language, from the comfort of home or while on the go. But is it truly possible to acquire a language online?

Our Spanish tutor, Cecilia, teaching an online lesson.

The answer is yes, of course, you can! In fact, not only is it possible; there are many advantages to learning online.

Now, you should also keep in mind that online learning tools and resources are not magical. You won’t learn any faster. In fact, you’ll still need patience, perseverance and, most of the time, the help of an experienced teacher if you want to truly master a new language.

But there are definite benefits for taking your language learning online, or otherwise supplementing your face-to-face classes. Here are some of the reasons why you can succeed when learning a foreign language online.

Online Language Lessons Are Convenient

Have you ever taken up a new hobby and felt enthusiastic about it, only to end up abandoning the idea because of the long journey you have to take to actually do it? Well, that’s not going to happen if you start an online language course! In fact, saving time and money by not physically traveling to a given destination is just one of the many conveniences that come with learning a language online. Also:

  • You can access numerous digital materials without printing a thing, so you can save the planet and reduce paper wastage.
  • Online lessons can suit even the busiest of schedules, as you and your teacher can quickly organize lessons as needed.
  • Online courses are completely safe (especially during these times of quarantine), as you don’t have to go anywhere or meet anyone face-to-face to start learning a language.

You’ll Have the Help of an Experienced Teacher

Julie, one of our French teachers, and her student taking a French online lesson.

Learning something on your own can be tough. Not only because you’ll need a lot of self-discipline and autonomy (learning a language is all about repetition and exposure, after all), but also because you won’t get any feedback or insights about your progress. You can, for example, repeat words and phrases after a video, but how do you know you are doing it correctly? And even if you realize you are not doing it right, how do you know what to do to improve?

This is where online lessons with a teacher come to the rescue. Your instructor will not only be there to support you in your learning journey, assigning tasks and helping you to complete exercises, but also they will give you feedback and tips on how to produce certain sounds, acquire native-like pronunciation, remember new words and structures, and more!

You Don’t Need to Be Alone in the Lesson

Some people believe that taking online classes is a synonym for one-to-one virtual lessons with a teacher, but that’s a misconception. Today, most tools for online lessons (like Zoom or Skype) allow for video conferences with multiple people, so you can take your lesson with a partner or a small group. Learning a group has many advantages, from making classes a social occasion to using games, roleplaying activities, contests and more to develop your skills in ways you cannot do alone or with just your teacher.

Lessons Favor Meaningful Repetition

Repetition is crucial when learning foreign languages. It’s of no use that you learn the rule for the present perfect if you never use it afterwards. This is also true when learning pronunciation: you can listen to the sounds in “judge”, for example, but if you never repeat them, your tongue will not get used to producing those sounds, so you will never master the skill. Online environments favor this type of repetition as you can record the class using Skype and then replay it as many times as you need.

So, if you truly wish to communicate fluently with native speakers and other language learners, there is no better way than to study online with a teacher. Better still, you can complement your lessons with free apps to make the process even more flexible, interactive and entertaining.