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Are Online Language Courses As Effective As Traditional Language Schools?

Sep 5, 2008
For those with a desire to learn a second language, the decision of whether to learn online or offline in a traditional school setting can be difficult. Each one has its own set of benefits and challenges. When it comes to learning languages, Seattle language experts recommend traditional teaching environments for a variety of reasons:

1. Atmosphere

Online learning opportunities do allow you to learn from the comfort of your own home, but this isn't the best option for languages. Seattle learning experts have seen an abundance of research that demonstrates the benefits of instructors. They are able to identify when students are becoming frustrated and are able to diffuse the stress and keep the atmosphere light. Research proves relaxation and enjoyment in the class increases the ability of students to learn and absorb information.

2. Learning Patterns

Online courses use one method and one style to teach languages. Seattle educational counselors say this is why there is such a debate over which online course is the best. In a traditional school, the second language instructor can explain and teach concepts using a variety of different tools and methods to ensure that each student not only memorizes the information, but also is able to understand and use the information.

3. Educational Evaluation

Traditional schools are necessary when it comes to recognizing whether or not the student is learning the work correctly. To an inexperienced ear, it might sound like you are saying a phrase correctly although you're not. This is especially true when it comes to languages such as Chinese that have a higher level of difficulty. Speech recognition programs have come a long way in recent years, but they are far from perfect. Because they lack the ability to evaluate and reason, they have difficulty particularly with words that sound only slightly different from each other.

4. Encouragement and Motivation

Many people purchase an online language program with full intentions of learning a second language. Seattle experts find that a majority of these people begin to put off the lessons or become discouraged with the difficulty and end up stopping the program. In traditional language schools, the instructors will remind you of tests and homework that needs to get done and can push you enough to keep you going with the class on a regular basis. This is a big benefit for the many people who find self-discipline difficult. They also give you praise and encouragement when you do a good job to keep up your interest level.

When it comes to learning languages, Seattle learning experts say traditional language schools are by far the best way to go. Online courses may be able to teach you some of the basics, but they are difficult to stick with and learning the finer points of the second language can become virtually impossible. A live instructor will be able to teach you what you need to know in order to use the language in the real world while giving you the type of instruction you need to make it a positive experience.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on languages visit http://www.seattlelanguageacademy.org.
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