As of 2016, 25% of students register for online courses. Online courses can require at least 36 hours a week of work, so it is particularly important that people choose a course that is compatible with their life commitments. Self-discipline is crucial for online learning. The digital nature of the modern world means that the ways in which we learn have changed significantly over the past few years. When it comes to learning a new language, technology has opened new and exciting doors. The emergence of apps and online learning platforms has meant that we no longer need to rely on physically being in a particular country or speaking to a native speaker in order to learn.
The advantages of online language learning
Purists among us will always be skeptical about using technology for learning a language. While there will always be a place for printed revision notes and face-to-face interacting, the digital world does offer some important advantages in relation to language learning. For example, in contrast to the old-school approach of a teacher and textbooks, technology offers a more interactive approach to learning, enabling a two-way engagement between the learner and device they are using. This means a student can see and hear the language in use, while also trying out new words and phrases themselves.
Apps for learning on the go
Language learning apps have been incredibly popular over the past few years, with over 350 apps available on Apple alone. Whatever one’s views on their effectiveness at enabling people to learn a language fluently - with all its idioms and subtleties - there is a lot to be said for the flexibility of apps. One huge appeal of language learning apps is the fact that you can use them on the move, whether traveling, waiting for a bus or over your lunch break. Many people might argue that any time spent learning is time well spent.
Benefits of cloud technology for language learning
Something that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the classroom and business world alike is cloud-based learning platforms. These are able to automatically update learning resources, ensuring that topics and materials are always current. In contrast, the contents of a textbook will inevitably become out of date, making it harder to fully get to grips with the language being taught. This is particularly relevant to the millennial generation, for whom technology plays an integral part in day-to-day life.
Technology and language learning can go hand in hand
Learning a language is no easy feat but the rewards are enormous. It is probably fair to say that nothing beats immersing yourself in a country’s culture and speaking to native speakers on a regular basis. However, the ongoing advances in technology mean that we can access languages in new and exciting ways. Apps give us the flexibility to learn on the move and around other daily commitments. Meanwhile, online learning platforms mean that we can engage with the language in a way that is not possible with textbooks. Overall, we technology can have a very positive impact on our ability to learn a language.