For those who dream of walking the streets of Paris, bidding a bright “Bonjour” to those they meet, learning a foreign language can be an exciting way to start along the journey. For many years, would-be language learners had to contend with either traditional classes, which can be quite costly and require a significant time commitment, or audio tapes and books for self-taught learning. Neither option is ideal for busy individuals with other responsibilities. Today, language learning is easier than ever, thanks to online streaming video, which can be utilized to radically revolutionize the language learning experience.
The Convenience Factor: Learn Language Online 24/7
Easily the most intriguing aspect of the online learning experience is the ability to sit down and study on your schedule, in bits and pieces or lengthy sessions. This is the same convenience once offered by self-teaching methods, but the Internet allows learning through streaming video, a far more effective way to learn than through self-instruction books. And online learning videos can be updated constantly, assuring the knowledge you are receiving is always relevant. Students are exposed to current content that reflects the language being spoken by instructors in their native country today. It is so convenient that anybody can learn a language online.
In some instances, such content can even be preferable to classroom instruction. In a classroom environment, students rely on instructors to be knowledgeable about a particular subject matter. For professors who have not recently had the opportunity to spend time in an environment where the targeted language is spoken, it can be difficult to stay abreast of linguistic trends and the development of the tongue. Streaming internet content eliminates this challenge.
Learning to Converse
Perhaps one of the more challenging aspects of online learning materials is simply that they are unable to replicate the natural ebb and flow of a conversation with a native speaker. Listening to dialogues or watching instruction online can be a great foundation for a student hoping to master a language, but it nevertheless leaves much to be desired in terms of conversation-building skills. To truly master this domain, it is necessary for students to seek out conversation opportunities.
Some students have bridged the gap left by such materials, seeking out video instruction from native speakers. Such content can have a dramatic overall effect on one’s language-learning experience, allowing conversational abilities to grow exponentially. This largely suppresses the potential for a student to learn materially incorrectly, as a native speaker can correct and make notes for improvement when needed. Ultimately, this allows a student to focus on pushing forward, rather than needing to “unlearn” information taught incorrectly.
In general, the Internet offers would-be language learners a fantastic opportunity to learn a language online and to have fun doing so. The convenience factor of online materials, combined with the ability to access information that is fresh and relevant, helps to ensure that language learners advance in their quest to become fluent. While using an online program may not be as effective as immersion programs or spending time living in a particular location, it offers an alternative to outdated classrooms that are unable to offer students the attention and interaction needed to ensure a dynamic overall language learning experience.