The teaching and learning of languages has been revolutionized in recent years thanks to the internet. Some might say that the quality of teaching may not be what it once was but i would argue that the benefits outway the disadvantages. This is an opinion echoed by many such as omniglot.com and english.com. The internet offers us a vast amount of resources that were once often difficult to get hold of or very expensive. I would argue that for this reason it is almost imposible to be involved in the teaching and learning of languages without working online in some shape or form.
Flexibility to study when and where you like
Wide range of resources
Consitancy is easy when you study on your laptop or phone
To learn a language, the student is required to be consistant and varied in their methods. The days of grammar book based learning are long gone and the internet gives teachers and students the perfect opportunity to practice language, discuss their doubs and even find likeminded people with whom they can practice speaking. It could be called ´the classroom without walls´but what it has done is opened the lid of time restraints. We can now study languages 24/7 and this enables those with tight schedules to get into language learning. We can study where we want, when we want and even use our telephones to do so.
For students the internet has a huge amount of resources, not to mention the possibility of finding study partners (look at our post on LANGUAGE PARTNERS) and teachers. Students certainly need to be careful with where they get their information from as the reliability can be suspect at times but generally information of a good quality is easily accessible.
Recently I have been working on an online course with the collaboration of a large business (www.appf.es) here in Spain (this is why I have not written any posts for a while), as I have realised that the internet is the future. One to one or classes in language schools are great and have their benefits but let´s face it. Not everyone has the time to do this. Our schedules are just too busy. Through an online platform and the support of a team of experienced laguage teachers, there is no reason why someone cannot study completely online. With the use of forums, or even social networks it is easy to find speaking partners and we can talk to someone online with ease. Language schools are becoming more a more active online with blogs and advertising due to the demands of the industry and to move with the times it is an issue that all of us teachers should be prepared to deal with. What is important at the end of the day is access to material and the quality of the methodology used.
So let´s not see it as a threat but an opportunity to grow and improve the quality of the teaching and learning of languages.
If you are interested in having a look at the online course mentioned above, take a look at APPF The course can be done 100% online and all of the activities are compatible with your mobile phone, laptop or tablet.