Is it possible to learn a language online?
It is becoming increasingly common to use new technologies to learn languages, perhaps because work schedules do not leave much time to attend face-to-face classes, or because these classes are expensive; whatever the reason, the Internet is undoubtedly a very useful tool that must be taken advantage of.
It is clear that language schools are the most widespread option because they are a traditional method that has been used throughout the years all over the world. They offer classes with a limited number of students to encourage learning; most of them have native teachers, which is essential to have a good listening comprehension and improve pronunciation. A teacher can explain grammar structures, vocabulary nuances and correct you when you make mistakes. Generally, you practise writing exercises, reading and listening comprehension and also practise the spoken part. In other words, in a language school, all aspects of language learning are covered.
That said, it seems that this is the best option for learning a language, especially for the fact of having a native teacher who can be there for any questions and with whom you can interact. However, there are more and more online platforms that offer this service in their language courses, i.e. the user has a native teacher to guide them at all times, as is the case, for example, with the online language school TruFluency. This school has its own method called Bellieu, based on personalised lessons to meet your objectives. There is also the case of the Bicortex platform, which in addition to online courses, also offers face-to-face and in-company classes.
However, it must be said that, as with physical language schools, the resources they offer must be complemented with external activities that can help us, such as reading books, watching films or series in their original version, spending time in the country of the language we want to learn, singing songs...
What are the advantages of an online course?
1. It is convenient.
It is indisputable that an online course allows you to learn a language from any place where you have a computer or laptop, which is a great convenience as you do not have to travel to a physical teaching centre. Moreover, being able to do the course in the privacy of your own home allows you to practise without the pressure of others listening to you, which makes you feel more uninhibited and more willing to express yourself orally.
2. It is flexible.
The Internet allows us to choose when and how much time we want to spend studying. Nowadays we don't usually have a lot of time, on the contrary, the day should have a few more hours. Therefore, it is vital that we take advantage of those moments we have in our busy schedule, and set our own timetable. Another advantage of studying online is that we can take advantage of those dead moments we have, for example, when we are on the bus, or when we are in the dentist's waiting room, when we are in the car...
3. It allows us to control our pace.
When we go to a language school, there is a subject that has to be done within the time limit of the course. We know that not all students learn at the same pace, and that although the teacher does their best, in the end there is always someone who is left behind. An online course offers the possibility for the student to dedicate as much time as they need to assimilate what they are studying.
4. The possibility of repeating.
It is obvious that when we learn something new, we remember it while it is fresh in our minds, but after a few days, if we do not go over it again or do not use it, we tend to forget it. The good thing about using the Internet is that we can do the same exercises as many times as we want, either at the same time as we study a particular subject or later, precisely to consolidate what we have learned.
5. You get immediate feedback.
When doing an exercise it is very important to know if we have done it correctly, but even more important is that if we have made a mistake, we can see the solution immediately and compare our sentence or word with the correct one. This gives us the opportunity to locate the mistake, understand why we have made it and finally correct it.
There are many other complementary things that we can find on the Internet and that we can use to immerse ourselves in the language we want to learn. E-books, blogs, youtube videos, podcasts, mobile apps, such as Lewolang, which you can download for free from GOOGLE PLAY and APP STORE.
Whatever method or methods we use to get to speak a new language once and for all, we must not forget that we will need a great deal of motivation and a large dose of patience. You can't learn a language miraculously or in a short period of time, you have to dedicate hours to it.