Choosing the Right Language Course: Face-to-Face or Online?

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A lot has been said about the advent of technology and its wonders to the extent that other approaches are considered too “traditional” (that is, “old school”.)

There is so much literature about the topic. However, we would like to ponder on some of the most important aspects to be considered when choosing the right language course for you.

We are going to analyse both options so we can have a deeper understanding of each of them when it comes to learning languages.

Face-to-Face Learning in the Classroom

Advantages

  • The physicality of the classroom helps you concentrate better.
  • It is encouraging to see other students willing to learn by participating spontaneously.
  • The understanding of the communicative situations is more natural and can be understood by observing the teacher’s and classmates’ body language and tone of voice.
  • The completion of a face-to-face course is much more rewarding than the completion of the ones online.
  • It is a great opportunity to negotiate, agree, disagree and solve problems with students from the same level but different personalities.

Disadvantages

  • Commuting may take too much time or be at peak hours.
  • Schedules are fixed.
  • There is a maximum number of absences allowed.
  • Breaks depend on the class length.
  • You may not like the teacher.

ONLINE LEARNING

Advantages

  • Online courses may be more convenient due to their flexibility.
  • Resources may be visually attractive and innovative.
  • They do not demand spending time on commuting; they bring education to where you are, not to mention that you can meet a wider range of people as well.
  • You can save money since these courses are generally more affordable.
  • Online courses promote autonomy and discipline.

Disadvantages

  • Online classes demand students to manage their study time to avoid procrastination.
  • Online courses may lead to students feeling isolated.
  • Inner motivation is key to prevent losing focus and forgetting about the objective: finishing the course.
  • You are required to be responsible for your own learning.
  • There may be loads of information available, which makes it difficult to choose what to pick or avoid.

Do you have a broader perspective now? It is not only a matter of saving time or money but choosing the most effective kind of course for your own learning style. If you are more visual, more tech-savvy, you will undoubtedly prefer online courses. On the other hand, if you prefer socializing and talking to people, you will go for face-to-face courses.

Aspects such as the type of course, frequency, design and assessment should not be neglected either. The debate is ongoing.

       Now, your turn!
       What kind of learner are you?
       Why would you choose one alternative over the other?

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