Learning Languages Online
Can you learn a language online? When you think of a language, you think of oral skills but of course language learning requires speaking, understanding, reading, writing and culture. There is little concern about learning reading and writing in an online environment. It’s the oral part that sometimes causes concern and may give second thoughts to taking a language class online. Yet, it’s not just possible to learn the oral aspect online; indeed for some people it can work even better than in a regular classroom. Oral work is handled in a number of ways in an online situation. To begin with, audio is available at the site accompanying the textbook. This is the same audio one listens with a CD or an audiocassette. In many ways it’s better because one can easily download it and put on an I-pod or similar type of player and listen to it at leisure in many places. Oral work is also supplemented by special recordings made by the instructor. These recordings can also be added to an I-pod. Of course, a good online class also has opportunities to meet with the instructor for practice sessions in person and tutors. Some of these practice sessions can also be handled on the phone and via computer by means of web cams. Online language learning is not for everyone, but for many people it can work very well. It requires discipline and dedication. Try it!