As the world grows smaller and speaking more than one language becomes vital for your professional success, many people find themselves looking for private teachers. But for those with busy schedules or houses in the suburbs, far from the city centre, that can be a difficult process. Trying to fit language lessons into an already full schedule or manage a trip to a language class in the evening can be more than many people can take.
Luckily, recent advancements in technology have made learning a language far easier than it has ever been. And online lessons play a big part in that.
The various ways you can have online lessons
There used to be a time when Skype was the only conceivable medium for having online lessons but it has long since passed. From WhatsApp to Google Hangouts, you are now free to choose from a number of different platforms for your language lessons, depending on which you feel the most comfortable using. Video chats are, for obvious reasons, still the most prevalent option but, these days, you also have a healthy choice of other online learning platforms.
However, “Skype lessons” still remain a widely recognised synonym for most online lessons you might have. But it is for a good reason. With or without a camera, all you need is a decent internet connection to have lessons with much less hassle than the traditional face-to-face method.
Online lessons save everyone’s time
It is easy to see why teachers love online lessons. It saves them travel time and enables to reach students from all over the world. But students shouldn’t underestimate the positive aspects of online lessons either.
You too can access teachers from all over the planet, shopping around for one that really suits your goals and learning styles. You can schedule lessons with very little hassle and no teacher will ask you to meet them in the nearest coffee shop or library, which just happens to be a solid forty minute drive from your house.
Additionally, your teacher will never arrive at your lesson tired and angry because of the commute (not that a professional teacher should let that show anyhow). Which also means that they’ll probably be much happier to give you several lessons a day if needed. Imagine one of your days. You wake up in the morning and you spend 20 minutes eating breakfast. It’s still 7 am. You call your teacher and have a 60-minute lesson. This allows you time for the commute to work and time to prepare for the day by 9 am. You come home after work. You make an internet purchase, check your emails, and call your teacher again. During one day, without much effort, you’ve had two separate lessons and saved yourself a lot of time and energy.
The world at your fingertips
The benefits go farther than that, though. In face-to-face lessons, more often than not, you’ll be using one specific book or a couple of other materials the teacher has prepared for you. Online lessons, however, open up a whole world of other options.
Your teacher and you can access all the learning resources available online during your lesson and thanks to collaborative platforms such as Google Drive, you can easily share and work on a single document. Not to mention that your teacher can still send you various other web links, word files, and PDFs to round out the lesson.
We all know that those interactive language learning activities available online are just so much more fun than any old textbook.
Stick to your comfort zone
Another great thing about online lessons is that you get to feel at home during your lessons. No need to run anywhere to meet your teacher, no need to order a coffee at the local café where you’re meeting. You can just stick to your comfort zone and enjoy learning your target language. This is more important than it might sound.
Stress has a negative impact on your ability to learn, so staying in your comfort zone is actually a decent learning hack in itself. And what’s more stress-free than hanging in your apartment in sweatpants while having an online lesson? You can brew yourself a nice coffee, not worry about having to catch the bus to get home, and really focus on your lesson.
The human factor
Those still against holding lessons via Skype or any other online platform argue that learning this way lacks the ‘real touch’. They worry that the internet connection may go bad or that there will be a lack of ‘student-teacher connection’ However, a camera, decent internet connection, and planning before a lesson removes these problems. Lessons can be performed either at the home or at the office, depending on what is most suitable for the student. You can still have the same friendly banter with your teacher, it’s just that you’ll also have access to all the other resources supporting learning during your lesson.
Conclusion – Online lessons save time and open up new possibilities
Online education, in general, has been a silent revolution. It has has been becoming increasingly more popular in the recent years and shows no signs of stopping. Online university courses are bringing education closer to everyone and the same applies to language lessons. Whether you live in a small town without access to great teachers or simply have a busy schedule, online lessons are definitely a way of making learning your target language a lot more fun and accessible for yourself. While it’s hard to say whether the future of language learning is online, it is a safe bet that you should do yourself a favour and at least try it out.
Online lessons save you the time and hassle of travelling for your lessons, you have access to a multitude of possible learning platforms, you can choose a teacher that really fits your personality, and you can learn in the comfort of your own home, scheduling lessons when they suit you. Add to the mix the fact that you have access to the whole of internet during your lessons, it’s hard to see why anyone wouldn’t want to try online language lessons.