Are you studying abroad anytime soon? Are you afraid of the language barrier but unsure about how to learn a new language on your own? If you answered yes to both questions, then we have some good news for you! There is a way to master a language without going into a classroom - learning a language online.
Now, before you disregard online language courses completely, let’s break some myths that surround the idea of online language learning!
1. Learning a language online is expensive
Though not the majority, a lot of people still believe this. Rest assured, with so many resources available at a click of a button, language learning online can cost you next to nothing.
However, this is not only true for using free apps and blogs!
Yes, in many cases if you want to have personal interaction with a teacher and get feedback in online language courses, it requires paying a bit more than you would usually pay for a language course.
2. The quality of online language learning is lower
One of the common myths about online learning stems from the lack of trust in online education when it comes to language learning. This is due to the belief that the quality of online language courses is inferior to those offered in the classroom.
This myth is well, just that - a myth!
If you want to know how to learn a new language, it’s important to remember that learning a language is a process. It requires constant revision of grammar and vocabulary, reading source material in your target language, and listening to news and songs to improve your listening skills. There are many online language learning options that offer just that! It’s just a matter of picking the right one and being persistent!
Memrise, for example, is among some of the best language learning websites that offer a free and effective way to learn a foreign language that has helped many people. So, why not give it a try?
3. Only tech lovers can learn a language online
This might come as a surprise, but many people feel daunted by apps with complicated interfaces. They often can’t seem to get around seemingly complicated sites, or the applications just don’t fit their preferences. This is the reason why some people think they have to be tech-savvy to use an online language learning app.
With digital sources of learning taking over, the best language learning websites, as well as more and more apps, have become increasingly simplified. In short, you do not need any specific knowledge to use apps, just to find the right online material that fits your needs.
For example, Duolingo has become a synonym for language learning online. It has a simple interface and an interactive reward system to keep you engaged.
If you’re looking for an even more entertaining way to boost your vocabulary while commuting, why not give Clozemaster a try! It teaches languages in context and is easily navigable- and fun!
4. It’s hard to concentrate while studying a language online
Concentration is a fickle thing, and it can come and go regardless of if you are learning a language online or in a classroom.
It's true that one can get easily distracted by social media and Netflix. This is one of the myths about online learning that can be shared with classroom learning. You can get distracted by your friends, the nice weather, or even your Instagram feed in both settings.
Ultimately, it's your own hunger for new knowledge that will determine how effectively you will learn a language.
As previously mentioned, it’s important to find something interactive and fun to avoid boredom and organize your time so that you don't get distracted. If you choose to learn a language with an online teacher, your concentration will likely remain fairly constant throughout the lesson.
5. I won't find anyone to talk to
If you mean a native speaker of your target language, not all is lost! As you understand how to learn a new language, you’ll find that though it’s true that online learning relies more on the individual, there are ways to find someone to talk to online.
For example, Duolingo has forums where you can discuss your target language with other learners.
When you feel comfortable enough, there are many online communities where like-minded language learners can connect. With a little research, you’ll find a supportive group to help you become fluent in no time!
6. Connecting with a teacher online is difficult
With an internet connection, this problem is easily solved! Online language courses benefit from platforms like Google Meets or Whereby that give you an opportunity to talk to a teacher at any time of the day.
This is incredibly important for learners who understand things better through interaction. A face-to-face conversation lets you pick up on gestures, how things are said, and other physical cues important for understanding a new language.
So- don’t be shy, find a teacher online, connect, and start learning!
7. Classroom language learning is better than online learning
Whether you choose online language courses or in-person learning, it's just a matter of preference! In a classroom you're surrounded by several people, and if you don't get a chance to speak, you won’t get far in your learning journey.
For those that thrive in an environment where there are more people, online language learning might be counterproductive.
However, a lot of us need individual classes to thrive or prefer classes in smaller groups where we can still interact with others while also getting a chance to express ourselves.
Online learning is perfect for such students. It offers practice in reading, speaking, and listening while you decide exactly what you wish to focus on.
8. Online language learning means using only apps
This is another common misconception! While the most common way to learn is via an app, the truth is that you should use apps as a starting point.
To become fluent faster, it’s important to immerse yourself in the language. Read blogs and news articles, listen to music in your target language, and if you feel brave, reading books in your target language will help build vocabulary in no time!