WHAT DO YOU THINK? Is learning English online a good idea?

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With everything and anything being online nowadays, there are sure plenty of ESL learning websites too. But do you really think they are worthwhile, so you really think they will take over the classroom. Are people really keen to sit at home on their computer and answer questions online?

There are good and bad points to it, but is learning English online really a successful way to go?   What do you think?

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13 thoughts on “WHAT DO YOU THINK? Is learning English online a good idea?

  1. I’ve tried learning a language online, and with a teacher before. Having a teacher makes all the difference really!!

  2. I think you can learn a lot online in terms of lexis and sentence structure – but to learn English (or any language) a student needs to be able to practice speaking regularly. There are too many other aspects to consider such as stress and intonation, pronunciation, etc, that really need regular oral practice, with both a teacher and other students, to be taught effectively I think online learning is good as an additional resource, but is far too limited to function as the only source of tuition.

    • Well said, I couldn’t agree more….I’m glad there are other people who understand. Interesting too, I have heard that now the Saudi Government is no longer funding any kind of online courses….interesting, I guess they know that (for their citizens anyway) online learning hasn’t been successful for them.

  3. English, like most subjects, could benefit from hybrid and blended online structure. However, it is not a subject that could be learned totally online. There are just certain aspects of communication that face to face interaction. Body language is the first one that comes to mind.
    There are other considerations too. The level of the student for one. Absolute beginner could learn a lot chunking, the alphabet and sound recognition. This would give them confidence going into a beginning class. However, beginners and low intermediate would probably fail to advance beyond their current level without intervention. I could continue, however, I am not for totally teaching online, but I do believe in using it.

    • Thanks for your comment, I agree, there is definitely a place for online learning, but in the case of English, it really does require a lot of ‘live’ experience. And yes the acquisition of a few words and phrases here and there are helpful, but limited. So what do you think is the future for online learning for English students?

  4. Online learning will be used in addition to face-to-face instruction. It is a way for students to take control of their learning. They can explore topics of interest or virtually visit places in the world. One of the most interesting uses of online technology are discussion boards. It is here that even the most introvert student can take a chance and use English. Something they have trouble doing in the classroom.
    It is still a developing field, even in the native educational sector. I am very involved in developing lessons, leading to a curriculum. I emphatically state that the face-to-face teacher can never be fully replaced, however, any native English speaker in the classroom will no longer be the norm. Online teaching will lead to the need of fewer teachers overall, and more talented, experienced and technologically capable ones in the future.

    Amy

    • I totally agree. We have an English course which is a recorded online course with native teachers and it is delivered in Somalia (and now rural Malaysia) with local teachers. It is very cheap and very effective for these kinds of schools and actually the students there often do better than the students in our centre in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia….I think the idea of the online + live teacher is the perfect combination at the moment. Skype is fine but there are often huge technological problems with that. In Somalia schools can only provide electricity, internet is unreliable, so our recorded system works well…check it out on our website http://www.elitlc.com – ELIT ONLINE. Tell me what you think.

  5. This I think exposes people to being lazy… I believe there is not much challenge. The thrill of having a one on one (physical) is very important. I am also currently trying to learn a new language, and not even sure where to begin! Tried pen pals, it was hard!

    • Yes I have tried to learn Somali language but found just having a friend or a CD is not enough, I really have to be in a classroom with a teacher. Nothing online will work for me….not too mention that I have NEVER FOUND an online Somali language course!

      • LOL Not so sure you will anytime soon, I think friends and so forth will have to do!! Very challenging language. All the best

  6. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something
    that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for
    me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get
    the hang of it!

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