Pros and cons of learning a language online

Over the past few years, especially during the pandemia, online learning has broken records for its popularity. This phenomenon has caused a lot of controversies, both among teachers and among students. Someone considers the new format effective, someone pays attention to the decrease in the motivation of students. In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of learning a language online and give some practical tips on how to make time spent at the computer more fruitful.

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Advantages of online learning

1. It saves time and money

It’s no secret that even if offline language learning itself is free, there are many associated costs, such as travel and meals. Online education can save on this, because you can study without leaving home or office, which, moreover, saves your time and effort. On average, in a big city, students spend from an hour to two on their way to university or language school and back. These saved hours can be spent on additional language practice or rest.

2. No boundaries

One of the main advantages of this type of language learning is that online learning has no boundaries! You can study with a teacher living in another part of the planet, find pen pals, or practice language exchange with native speakers. Opportunities are limited only by your imagination.

3. Anywhere, anytime

As we have already mentioned, you can study from home or office, and if the teacher recorded a lesson or some other materials for you, then you can use them after classes. This is very convenient for repeating the past lessons and consolidating the topic. If suddenly you have to go on a business trip, your language lessons will go with you, because you need only the Internet and a smartphone to study. A large selection of foreign language teachers from around the world will help you choose the mentor whose schedule will coincide with yours. Even if you have an unusual schedule, we are sure that you can find a teacher who will be ready to take this into account.

4. You can choose and organize your workplace

For some people, it is very important to properly organize the workplace, which, unfortunately, is not always available at a language school or university. And since you’re tied to school when you are online, you can sit comfortably at home at your desk, or even rest on a chair while listening to a lecture. The main thing is not to lose concentration in class even if your cat comes to your lap.

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Cons of online learning, and how they can be avoided

1. Technical difficulties

The biggest disadvantage of online learning is possible technical difficulties: an unstable connection from your or the teacher’s side, outdated equipment or its absence, inability to use new programs: all this can become an obstacle on the way to a new language. In this case, try talking to your program instructor, teacher, or school manager, perhaps they can help with setting up your technique or offer simpler solutions. For example, some teachers have no problem conducting lessons on WhatsApp and other applications. Do not be afraid to talk about the problem, because your comfortable learning is important not only to you but also to your teacher.

2. Problems with organization and motivation

It’s no secret that many people find it difficult to organize a workplace or tune in to a class when a teacher and classmates are not around. Especially when both at home and in the office there are many distractions. To develop the habit of concentrating on the lesson, try to clear the desktop of bright objects as much as possible, mute your phone and participate more in a lesson: ask questions, attend group discussions. At first, it will be difficult but gradually you will develop a habit.

3. Fatigue/strong>

Many people from a long sitting at the computer start having a headache. If this problem is not solved by the selection of glasses and the adjustment of the screen, you can do eye exercises and sometimes get up to have a little exercise. You can warn the teacher about your problem so that they are aware that you may need to take a break.

4. Social isolation

During quarantine, it became clear that we need to communicate with other people for mental health and good mood. Learning a language in a group is usually fun, and breaks between classes pass fast with conversations with friends. With online learning, this sense of community disappears, and you may feel lonely. If you study online in a group, invite classmates to turn on their cameras and drink coffee or tea during the break, discussing important and interesting events. This could create a feeling of your presence in each other’s lives. You can also do so with a teacher in an individual lesson: devote the first few minutes to discussing the latest news in the language being studied, that is, combine business with pleasure.

The list of advantages and disadvantages of online learning is not complete and universal, since each student has individual characteristics. But we hope that some of our tips could help you reduce the negative aspects of learning online and improve your attitude to this type of lesson.

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