Once upon a time if you wanted to learn a new language, you had to enroll in a foreign language class at school, college or university. But these days, thanks to the burgeoning internet, it has never been easier to learn another language, especially a widely spoken one, like English. The Internet has also been extremely helpful, not just for those that want to learn English, but for those want to learn how to teach it and need to gain a specialist qualification, such as a Master of Arts in teaching English.
But how useful is the internet as a language tool? Can learning or teaching English online using a home computer, such as a PC or a tablet make picking up a new language easier?
Using your PC
For those that want to learn English, a home computer with an internet connection has made learning the language so much easier, thanks to the advent of a number of specialist websites and courses dedicated to teaching internet users new languages over a period of time. These courses vary in price and quality, depending on the level that you want to speak.
For people that want to teach English as a foreign language, the online language community has offered up a wealth of opportunities, from joining specialist websites as a trainee language tutor, to enrolling on a distance learning course for that coveted teaching qualification.
Using your tablet
Handheld devices, such as a tablet, or even a cell phone are also very useful for teaching and learning English online. The compact sizes and easy to use features mean that you can carry your very own tutor in your pocket!
Downloadable apps allow users to learn and teach at a personal pace when not at home, so there’s no need to be chained to the PC in order to improve. You can brush up during lunch breaks, at the weekends, or even while on vacation, all it takes is an app and a Wi-Fi connection. You can even plug in earphones and watch a quick YouTube video to help you along the way.
Going to school
As previously mentioned, many people like to take the route of a traditional education, by going back to the classroom. The advantage of this for both teachers and students is that you can learn in a class with peers.
However, online learning allows for anyone, of any age and background to learn how to speak and teach English to others. It also allows for more one-on-one time with lecturers and lets you learn in your own time, so that you can fit your education around family life and career. Many universities have realized this, and have started creating online and distance learning courses for students around the world.
The Internet is open, easily accessible and a very friendly place to everyone that wants to learn a new language, so why not get online and see where it can take you?
Image by Shane Global.
Author Bio: Neil Bedford teaches English in Thailand after travelling around Asia. He is a sucker for the local street food and enjoys beach life a little bit too much.