by Lucy Brown
With the rapid evolution of technological advancements, education has obtained many options. Learning can now be done either with the traditional in-class way, or online. When it comes to learning a foreign language, things could be more challenging when opting for an online course, rather than an in-classroom experience. However, since every coin has two sides, let us look into the pros and cons of learning a second language without the use of the impersonal internet as your only method.
To begin with, in class learning provides a more interactive setting that encourages the open exchange of ideas. When you are part of the school community, regardless of its size, you have the opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas with other classmates and of course, your instructor, and get them answered right away. Through this process, learning is achieved with a valuable learning medium that no online environment can easily (if at all) replicate. With no barriers in communication, ideas are freely expressed, and you also benefit from first-hand interaction with a person that knows well the answers to your queries.
Other than that, with the new introduction of iPad at schools as a learning tool, in-classroom experience is enhanced and learning a second language has stepped out of the boring and, sometimes, passive learning that leaves shy students out of the classroom activities. Now, classroom learning has a multi-sensory appeal, which is actually good. It is appealing to listen to the teacher, get visual stimulants via a PowerPoint image or interactive whiteboards, and participate in hands-on activities that will help you learn a foreign language easier, quicker, and most importantly, more fun.
Undeniably, having personal contact with other people (e.g. students, teachers) is always better. However, there are issues that could hold one back from learning a language in the classroom. You see, sometimes, the learning differences can be ignored in the classroom. If classes are outnumbered, instructors have a hard time spotting and helping students with learning deficiencies. Maybe you learn better when you are provided with visuals while your classmate may be an acoustic type of learner, and the girl sitting behind you may be an excellent learner if is she is provided with a written content. The same result (learning) can be achieved but will need 3 different approaches for each student. This is nearly impossible in a classroom with many students. Moreover, learning a language in the classroom is very structured. You have to be there at specific times, etc, which is not always easy for some students that may be working or have a family to look after, to name a few.
Learning a second language definitely helps uplift your resume or CV. When facing the dilemma "in-classroom learning or online?" learning in class will provide you with a lively, interactive learning environment, your instructor and classmates will be there to encourage the exchange of ideas that will contribute to more effective learning, plus chances you need to face internet connectivity problems that disrupt you from getting educated are null!
Lucy Brown is a freelance writer. She often writes for Translation Services 24.