English is widely regarded as being one of the hardest languages to learn, especially if you are unfamiliar with the Roman or Latin alphabet. However, it is also essential as is the language of business used throughout the world with many non-native speakers communicating in English. Indeed, along with Mandarin Chinese, which is obviously primarily spoken in China, it is the most commonly spoken language in the world.
English is taught in most schools around the world, but in some countries, particularly in the developing world, it is only coached to a basic level. As such, many students are choosing to further their studies further either by attending further private tuition or alternatively, following online options. According to englishgang.com, you could choose to learn English online, with massive advances made in technology, new and innovative learning techniques and highly qualified educational professionals, e-learning is the option chosen by many self-motivated students.
So, what are the benefits of learning online compared to more traditional classroom learning?
1. Control your own learning
Many students find classroom learning too rigid, which may not suit their preferred style of learning. Some pupils prefer, and indeed are far more successful, when then conduct their studies on their own and at their own pace. Of course, you do need to have a certain level of self-discipline and to be self-motivated. Still, it can also be gratifying, allowing you to challenge yourself and develop both intellectually and as a person.
It should be stressed that when you choose to follow an online course, the onus is very much on the student. You will have access to all the materials and tools that you need to complete the course, but you will need to plan and structure your learning so that you can become an active learner either on your own or in a virtual classroom. Of course, you will also need to have a reasonable understanding of technology and have reliable internet access.
2. Flexibility and accessibility
Flexibility is a term that we hear a lot, but it couldn’t be more relevant than to online learning. The majority of people who wish to improve their English are already in full-time education, work or have other commitments such as bringing up a family. Online courses are available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, meaning that you can conduct your learning at a time that suits you. You can go about your everyday life with feeling constricted by a timetable which often students find impossible to fit around their other commitments.
Most online courses have apps so that they can be accessed on-the-go through mobile devices, making learning more accessible. Any coursework can be completed at a time that suits you, reducing pressure which not only makes your learning more enjoyable but more productive too.
3. Advances in multimedia
The advances in technology have made learning a new language even easier for both those wishing to engage in group learning in the form of a virtual classroom or on their own. Multimedia is widely used in the teaching of English such as videos, interactive grammar correction tools as well as the more informal message boards and chatrooms. Although remote learning has existed for decades, modern technology helps to keep students remain motivated and increase retention rates on courses. Of course, having regular access to tutors via webcam, instant messaging and email also reduce errors in learning.
4. Repetition and practice
Repetition and practice are essential when it comes to learning a new language. Very few people learn and remember something the first time that they are taught. It is also crucial that students are tutored things in context and in a relevant way. Keeping things relevant and facilitating practice is something that is achievable with online learning, perhaps even to a greater extent than in a classroom environment. Students can converse with the teacher without disrupting the class, getting the answers and help that they need without feeling self-conscious.
Online courses also help to engage students throughout the course and the chance to learn in a comfortable environment and at a pace that suits the individual is beneficial. It has been reported that many students now have more informal, engagement with other English speakers via social media, which again provides more opportunity for practice and repetition.
5. Boosts confidence
Learning online has also been shown to improve students’ self-confidence, especially those who are not comfortable speaking in front of others. Smaller groups or even one to one tuition allows more introvert students to express themselves without feeling self-conscious. As they gain confidence, they will also increase the amount of English that they speak which naturally helps with practice and repetition. It is particularly useful for those looking to improve their fluency.
The more confident a student gets, the more they will communicate with others in English which will rapidly improve their pronunciation and extend their vocabulary. It will become evident in lessons and the grades that the student achieves at the end of their course. Amongst more timid students, this level of increased confidence is rarely noted in a classroom environment.
6. A variety of new learning techniques
Adding variety into learning is something that helps to retain students’ levels of interest and concentration, and the grades achieved are markedly higher. Online learning presents the opportunity to incorporate more variety into lessons. The old school method of learning by ploughing through reams of vocabulary has been replaced by more interactive teaching that respects the need for patience and self-study. The vast array of multimedia tools can help students with reading, writing, listening and speaking English. The teacher still has a presence to help foster learning but has assistance from different mediums.
There are a vast range of online courses that are available, so it is crucial that you choose the one which is most appropriate to you. There are courses specialising in business English, conversational, English, general English and practising exam technique for IELTS and similar courses.