Through the past few years, online learning has revolutionized the teaching process, changing how most people viewed learning and allowing us to learn about anything, at any time.
However, there are people who aren’t yet familiar with the concept of online language learning and don’t understand the hype surrounding it, doubting its effectiveness.
This unfamiliarity tends to make them iffy and make them choose more traditional forms of learning, unaware of the vast development of virtual learning and its effect on their learning curve.
This unfamiliarity comes from not fully comprehending how it works, how to enroll in one, and most importantly, how to find the most suitable one for them.
Some might even think that to learn a language, skill, etc. online, you need to be a tech wiz and it’s the opposite. Breanne Tepler, admissions counsellor at The College of St. Scholastica (CSS) explains that online classrooms have evolved over the years and became increasingly user-friendly. You just need to know the basics: How to use a computer/laptop and surf the internet.
Due to the increasing number of questions and concerns surrounding e-learning, we decided to answer as much as we could in this guide. We also included top language learning programs and any other information you might need regarding distance learning.
Let’s Start with the Basics, How Are Online Classes Structured?
The structure of an online language course differs from one website/app to another, but essentially the course consists of pre-recorded videos, live videos, or a mix between the two. Live videos are divided into one-on-one sessions and group learning sessions; you can choose what you want based on what makes you more comfortable and more focused.
You can access the course through your mobile phone, laptop, tablet, or any other technological device, which makes the process even easier.
These online platforms are programmed to track your development and memorize all the data obtained from any tests or questionnaires that you take to address any weakness that you might have. They also provide you with detailed activity reports and learning patterns to help you understand your learning habits better.
Of course, these tests and videos are designed, planned, and executed by certified native speaking language instructors. They put a huge amount of effort into constructing the best learning strategy for the users and adjust the modifiable parts of the plan to fit everyone’s needs, since online learning focuses on the individual needs of each learner. That is why, compared to traditional face-to-face classes, virtual learning is more attractive and impactful.
How Does Online Learning Work?
Each online platform has its methodology and approach, that’s why you can’t generalize their methods, but for the sake of argument, let’s take Voxy as an example.
Voxy is an English e-learning personalized website, it’s built on the importance of personalizing its course to fit the unique needs of each individual. It adjusts and adapts according to how the user is progressing and it also bases its material on content from real life to guarantee its authenticity.
How does it do this?
Well, Voxy accumulates all its material from any form of media/content produced by native English speakers, i.g. news articles, videos of real people ordering food, music, etc.
By doing this, Voxy makes sure that that the user is learning English that could actually be used in their day-to-day conversations.
A frequent question we get when we reach this point is “how will I be able to practice all this real-life material that I’ve accumulated?”
Voxy knows that in order for you to actually learn English, you need to practice it. That’s why it focuses on the principles of TBLT (Task-Based Language Teaching) that focuses on exerting tasks from real-life situations like calling customer service for help using the targeted language. Because to learn a language, the student must use it and apply what they’ve learnt.
But beware! Not all online language platforms use the same techniques as Voxy, each one has its own methodologies and teaching strategies. Also, most language apps are not as qualified as a legitimate language course; they might look easier, but they can’t teach you a new language. You can use them alongside an online course if you want to practice a bit more.
Before you enroll in anything, you need to see if you are ready to make the switch from traditional learning to virtual one.
Try the 24/7 Online English Courses with Voxy!
Voxy offers online English courses for all purposes on one platform and all of the courses are available 24/7 so you can flexibly manage your time.
How to Know If Online Learning Is for You?
You need to be very organized if you want to keep track of what you’ve studied, any upcoming sessions, tests, etc… and thanks to apps like Google Calendar, it has become much easier to put everything you have in one place and set a reminder whenever you might need one.
You also need to manage your time, see where the online course fits in your schedule and when you will be able to study, because if you don’t plan your week ahead you will become overwhelmed over the things you have to get done, especially if you are doing anything besides the online course.
2. Virtual Interaction
It’s needless to say that in virtual learning you won’t have any in-person interaction. However, in this day and age, we are all used to interacting with our friends and family through the internet and if you are still studying, you’ve probably reached out to your professors or teachers through e-mail a couple of times.
So the idea of only communicating virtually isn’t as unusual as it was before, some people actually prefer it more since they get to choose who they want to interact with and it takes the weight of awkward small talk off their shoulders.
Being self-motivated is the key to online learning. If you can prioritize your studies, motivate yourself to sign in, watch the videos, and study what you’ve learned. That way, you will be able to ace any course online or even offline.
These are the three main things you need to consider before logging into the virtual world.
How Do You Choose an Online Language Class?
Since it’s an online course, location does not matter. However, you need to pick a flexible course to be able to fit it into your busy day. Voxy for example offers live online courses 24/7 to ensure that whenever you need a class, you can access one.
If you are being taught by any person who speaks English, then you won’t actually learn anything. You might just memorize some vocabulary and miscellaneous grammar rules. This is why you need to look for courses that are taught by certified instructors who specialize in online teaching. Because traditional classrooms are nothing like virtual learning.
Only hiring certified native instructors is how Voxy has been maintaining its high-quality courses and ensuring the best learning experience. Because they understand that a good course includes an instructor who is active, capable, and exhibits care for the students; they also must balance these qualities with being assertive and firm to establish a professional, yet relaxing learning environment.
Do not enroll in a course that depends solely on software, emails, and audio because robots cannot teach you how to speak a language. You need some sort of human interaction.
A good online course uses a variety of teaching techniques, from live sessions to effective practising approaches. It also shouldn’t focus on teaching you grammar or vocabulary only, you need to choose a course that is both practical and conversational. The course should challenge you but keep you engaged at the same time; it motivates the student to keep going and contribute to the class.
How to Become a Successful Online Student?
Now that you’ve chosen the appropriate online course for you, how can you make the best of it?
- Ask questions and add to online discussions to enhance your understanding of the course material, broaden your knowledge, and avoid any sort of confusion. Communicate with your instructor and other learners; students who engage with their teachers and classmates also tend to have the most success in their classes.
- Log in regularly and actively participate.
- Accept critical thinking and decision-making as part of the learning process.
- Set up your workspace, a dedicated learning environment where you will do your studying, because if you establish a palace then you will establish a routine. Whether your workspace is in the corner booth of a local coffee shop or your kitchen table, experiment to discover which sort of environment boosts your productivity the most.
- Determine how you learn best. If you are a morning person, study once you wake up, but if you are a night owl, then make sure to take some time after dinner to catch up on everything you have. We are all different, that’s why figuring out what works best for you will make you an A+ student.
- Build friendships with other users by introducing yourself and engaging in online discussion boards.
- You need to hold yourself accountable for your goals and check-in with yourself weekly. In online learning, you won’t have anyone to remind you or check if you’ve finished your assignments, so you need to be aware of everything you need to get done.
Although it might be foreign and new to some of us, online learning courses such as Voxy have proved their success as well as their ability to replace traditional classrooms due to their convenience, their willingness to adapt to the diversity of the students, and their eagerness to improve and grow.
Online English Courses for ALL Purposes!
Study English now with qualified teachers which offer English courses for all specializations. In addition, you can study English at anytime and at any place through the Voxy mobile app.