Learning English Using Technology
Mar 1, 2009 E-Learning/CALL 2931 Views
The World Wide Web has opened a whole new world of opportunity to those who need or want to learn English. Instead of being required to go to regular classes and study with a teacher in a traditional setting, which many do not have time to do, those who want to learn English can now do so from the comfort of their own homes on the computer.
Benefits of Learning English with the Computer
Whether you use an online format or a computer software program to learn English, utilizing technology carries many benefits. First, you are able to learn at your own pace. If you take English in a traditional classroom, you are forced to learn at the pace of the rest of the class. If you are more proficient than the average student, you will be held back. On the other hand, if you are learning more slowly than your classmates, you may be left behind. Technological resources allow you to learn as quickly or slowly as you want, giving you the chance to spend extra time on the areas where you need more help.
Another benefit to learning through technology, especially online courses, is the fact that you can learn no matter where you are. As long as you have an Internet connection, and with WiFi technology this is becoming more and more readily available, you can log on to your class and do a lesson or two. If you are required to travel frequently for your job, you can still use the computer to improve your English skills. This is not possible if you enroll in a traditional English class, as you will be required to be present at your scheduled class time.
Learning English Online Works
You are probably wondering if learning English online is going to sacrifice the quality of your speaking and reading ability. If you choose a good online program it will not. The best online English courses give you the chance to practice writing and speaking English. You may need a microphone for your computer in order to speak, or the listening ear of a friend, but you will learn the language well.
Choosing a Program
The key to your success in learning English using the computer is choosing the right program or course. Choose a program that focuses on basic vocabulary first, and then teaches you English through conversation, either written or spoken. Grammar rules are important as well, but if your goal is to be able to converse fluently, you need a program that jumps right into conversation after teaching you some basic words. Grammar rules can be learned after some conversation has been mastered.
Ideally, choose a program taught by native English speakers. Be sure to choose a course that has a listening component. You will need to be able to hear the different sounds of the language repeatedly in order to learn to speak them. This is one way in which learning English with the computer is helpful, because you can replay phrases over and over until you have mastered them.
Other Online Resources
The Internet also gives you the chance to practice reading and writing in English. Since 80 percent of all websites are in English, you can read as much of the language as you want after you have gained a basic understanding of common phrases and vocabulary. In addition to this, chat rooms, online forums, and discussion groups give you the chance to practice writing in English, with the opportunity to get some feedback on your grammar and spelling. Additionally, there are many websites where you can download worksheets and even games that give you the ability to practice your vocabulary skills. The Internet is a treasure trove for people who are trying to learn English, so stop making excuses, get online, and start learning!