Various educational legislation states that knowledge of a foreign language, apart from the mother tongue, is essential nowadays. In an environment marked by globalization and the speed of communication provided by new technologies, it is essential that future professionals are competent, at least in a second language. If, moreover, this second language is English, its learning ceases to be an alternative or complement to the training to become a central subject, which brings a complete development to our students. Given its importance, more and more, new ways of acquiring the necessary skills arise, such as online English courses, which we will discuss below.
Currently, English is the most studied second language. Today it reaches a figure of more than 1.4 billion speakers of which 379 are native. This reflects the value, interest and usefulness of English in the world in which we live.
The importance of English is evident not only as a vehicle of communication in the international, trade, and finance fields but also in academic and even at a personal level. Approximately 80 percent of the information stored electronically is available in English; it is also the most widely used language by Internet users; the main language of the scientific community and the official language of many international organizations such as the European Union, the United Nations, or Unesco.
Fortunately, the advancement of new technologies in education has allowed us to incorporate very useful tools for language training such as online training courses.
Why choose online English courses?
According to a United States Government study, the most effective English training is that which combines online learning with face-to-face classes. The conclusions of the report note that «more than eleven effects on learning were significantly positive, in favor of online or blended learning» (U.S. Department of Education).
Online English courses offer many advantages over traditional classroom classes. They are usually articulated in virtual platforms (LMS), which allow interaction between students and teachers in a centralized way, which is an excellent alternative for those students who cannot participate in a study plan abroad. Here are some of the advantages of learning languages online.
1. Complete methodology
These language courses are designed so that the student can work and develop the different language skills (comprehension, expression, reading, and writing), through multimedia exercises that encourage active participation within real communication situations.
2. Access at any time
Online English courses allow students to access their course at any time with a simple internet connection. The information from the lessons is stored so that the user can pick it up exactly where he left off. Students can control the time of their online training and the progress in the course depending on their time availability.
In addition to time flexibility in learning, online training provides more individualized teaching, since it allows to adapt the course contents to the pedagogical and professional characteristics of the student. Similarly, when users identify themselves within the portal of the online English courses, the interface is personalized by showing them the information that results from their interest: course offers, progress tracking, messages, notifications, etc.
Effective and comprehensive online English courses facilitate learning from a wide range of devices. These tools allow students to access information from a smartphone, tablet, or computer with an internet connection. Even the most advanced systems allow access to certain remote tasks, that is, downloading the contents to perform them without an internet connection.
5. 100 % compatibility
Being a type of offshore teaching, online learning makes possible something fundamental in modern societies: the reconciliation between the different activities of the student. This allows students of online English courses to make the study of a language compatible with other subjects, their work, or social activity.
6. Quality of content
The content of online language courses is provided by native language teaching professionals. Being electronic content, mainly in SCORM format, the student can access updated information, and, in turn, the tutor can adapt the materials to their own and even reuse them for other groups of students.
One of the advantages of these systems is that they allow the tutor to closely monitor the progress of the student at any point in the training. In turn, the student does not have to renounce the presence of the tutor who offers traditional teaching; through chat or internal email, you can have fluid contact with native teachers who will solve your doubts in real-time.
8. Unlimited registration
This type of online English course system makes it possible for schools to have a more flexible language offer, to which more students can opt regardless of their level, specialization, location, or personal situation.
9. Lower dropout rate
The introduction of online English courses or blended learning training increases the pass rate and decreases the dropout rate below 5%.
Online training can reduce spending by up to 30% compared to conventional classroom training. This type of online learning saves costs for transfers, teaching materials, daily allowances, tuition, etc.
As can be seen, digital learning has enormous potential, and there are many reasons why an educational institution of the 21st century should opt for such solutions, which offer a more complete training and adapt to the levels of excellence demanded by today’s society. Increasingly, we will see how, thanks to new technologies, there will be changes in learning methodologies and online training is on track to become a fundamental tool. We must not forget that one of the main objectives of education must be to expand the windows through which students approach knowledge and, therefore, the world.
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