In this day and age, where computers help make almost every part of our lives easier, language learning is no exception. Online lessons are an increasingly popular way of accessing qualified private teachers when and wherever you want. In addition to saving commute time for both you and the teacher, lessons that take place online also open up a whole other world of language learning materials available on the internet.
Naturally, there are a few differences between Skype lessons and meeting your teacher in person, so here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your first online language lesson.
1. Choose the Right Teacher
Everything starts with getting the right language teacher for you. There are so many options out there these days that it might take a while to find one suitable for your learning needs but the effort definitely pays off.
Think a bit about your goals and what you would like to improve the most and focus on that. You can try to find an online teacher through one of the other platforms, scrolling through endless profiles, or fill out a short form on our site and we will find the right teacher for you.
You can also read our guide on how to find the right online teacher for you.
2. Choose the Right Medium
In addition to a plethora of teachers, there are also very many different platforms you can use for your online lessons. Skype is probably the most common tool for going through with language lessons but FaceTime and Google Hangouts are also gaining traction.
Each of these platforms has its own little quirks but the right one for you is probably the one you are most used to and comfortable with using. During your first online lessons, you will probably have enough on your mind that the added pressure of dealing with a new programme is very unwelcome. Most of the experienced online teachers will be flexible to give you lessons through whichever medium you choose, so just make that one less thing to worry about.
3. Familiarise Yourself with the Language Beforehand
Usually, not many people sign up for a language teacher right off the bat but have had a bit of contact with their target language before. Whether or not this is true for you, it would really help you to either get even the bare basics of the language you’re trying to acquire, or go over what you know before the lesson.
This really enables you to get the most out of your lesson because you’re not spending the first half of it explaining what you do or don’t know. Additionally, if you yourself are aware of what your drawbacks are, it helps to steer your teacher to pay more attention to those areas.
4. Have Your Own Resources Ready
If you have been learning your target language by yourself and have found a few favourite resources, you should definitely have them ready and open. Feel free to show them to your teacher and they might even get incorporated into your lesson.
But just the general knowing that you have your favourite dictionaries and translators handy, can really help you feel more at ease. Additionally, if you prefer having your lessons with native speakers with whom you don’t share a common language, having a good text translator can really help the lesson go smoother.
6. Check the Hardware and Connection
As the last step before your lesson, just go over everything you need to have a successful video chat – check that your webcam and microphone work, your speakers are in order, and that you have good enough internet to actually go through with the lesson.
All the preparation on the planet won’t help you have a good lesson unless your hardware is in order and you have a decent internet connection. These issues might be the single biggest drawback to having online lessons but, at least with a little heads up beforehand, you can minimise the risk of having to cancel the lesson altogether.
Conclusion – Prepare a Bit for a Smooth Lesson
Since you are the one paying for your online language lessons, it’s natural that you would want to get the most out of them. To ensure the best possible outcome, it’s necessary to do a little bit of preparation work. Choosing the right teacher and platform are an important first step, followed by double checking your knowledge of the language and making sure everything you need to carry on with the lesson is in good working order.
Once you’ve successfully completed your first lesson, read our general guide on how to improve your online lessons.