In a highly competitive and evolving society knowing more than one language can put you at an advantage. The only problem is most of us don’t have enough time or money to take college courses or advanced education programs, which is why people turn to online resources.
The question “can I successfully learn a language online” is asked more than ever since traditional classrooms have stopped being the only option for a decent education. In fact, the free resources you can find on the Internet are often on par or better than face-to-face training.
5 Advantages of Learning a Foreign Language Online
Many new software programs, websites, and electronic devices are devoted to foreign language teaching. Each of these learning platforms can offer several advantages over classrooms.
1. A Large Variety of Languages, Courses, and Teachers
While language newbies may think they’re limited to Babbel vs. Duolingo for e-learning apps, that’s not the case. No matter what language or course you’re considering, you’ll discover a program that fits your needs, geographical location, and teachers that suit your learning style.
However, traditional classrooms are limited to the needs of your location. If you want to learn Korean, but you live in the central American suburbs, you’re out of luck. Even if you do find a teacher, they may not be the right instructor, and it’s challenging to change your course midway.
2. More Budget-Friendly Than Traditional Classes
To engage in e-learning, all you need is a stable internet connection, smartphone, laptop, camera, headphones, and some software, which most people already have at home. Some apps have free versions or trials that are good enough to support casual language learning.
Rosetta Stone is one of the most expensive language programs out there at $99-$200 per language, but that’s still less expensive than taking a college course or hiring an in-person tutor. There are still many ways to save money, as apps like Busuu and Memrise are quite cheap.
3. Access to Native and Fluent Speakers
Traditional classrooms don’t necessarily hire native or fluent language speakers. Most in-person tutors aren’t there to teach you a language on a deeper level; they’re only expected to teach what you need to hold a conversation. However, native speakers can teach language nuances.
Online language courses give you access to these speakers who have lived or grew up in countries where their native tongue is often used. Taking classes from a native exposes you to local slang and idioms, which help you become fluent and wholly competent in a language.
4. Learn a Language From Your Phone in Your Own Time
One massive advantage online learning has over an in-person course is its flexibility and convenience. From anywhere, you can take out your phone and spend 10 minutes learning a language at any time. You won’t need to travel to the classroom or worry about being late.
What’s more, online learning offers efficiency and confidence. Some people are hesitant to speak in class or ask questions in front of other students. Your phone offers you the ability to learn a language in the privacy of your own home, limiting or removing social anxiety.
5. Easier to Find Uncommon or Less Taught Languages
There are some languages that are extinct or aren’t taught anymore. Others are specific to a particular country or culture, making it difficult to learn these languages. Unless you’re incredibly lucky or wealthy, learning an endangered language in a classroom won’t be possible.
For example, in Canada, there are over 80 languages that range from vulnerable to critically endangered. While you can find the most commonly spoken Indigenous language, Cree, taught in Alberta and Saskatchewan classrooms, you don’t have to live in Canada to learn Cree online.