In the last few generations we’ve seen a very fundamental shift in the way we teach new information. Half a century ago, most educational organisations taught their students by asking them to memorise facts.
This was particularly true for those students who were expected to learn a language. Language education was often managed by teaching grammar rules and vocabulary by rote, then expecting students to put these pieces together themselves.
Luckily, education has come a very long way from that today. Modern teachers of both offline and online courses, set out to engage and interest their students. Fun has become a very vital part of the educational process.
How important is fun in the language learning process?
Modern teachers work hard to incorporate fun into their lessons. But how much does this actually increase the effectiveness of their traditional classroom and online courses?
There is a wealth of evidence to suggest that students do actually learn a language more effectively when they’re enjoying themselves.
This is true for both those who set out to learn a language, and those who are learning other subjects. Neurological research shows that students who are having fun are more likely to learn authentically and commit new information to long term memory.
The neurologist Judy Willis wrote in her book Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist and Classroom Teacher (ASCD, 2006) that:
‘The highest-level executive thinking, making of connections, and “aha” moments are more likely to occur in an atmosphere of “exuberant discovery,” where students of all ages retain that kindergarten enthusiasm of embracing each day with the joy of learning.’
This research suggests that the more enthusiastic students are about the learning process, the more effectively they will be able to accept new information and remember it over the long term.
How can online courses harness this?
It’s just as important for eLearning students to enjoy themselves as it is for students in a more traditional classroom setting. Because of this, it’s vital for the providers of online courses to explore what they can do to ensure their students are having fun while learning.But how can they do this?
#1. Invite students to take part in engaging eLearning activities
One of the great aspects of online courses in this respect is that most students find digital technology very engaging. Digital learning exercises can be a lot of fun and very effective. Learning platforms allow eLearning providers to offer these kinds of activities throughout their online courses.
#2. Build a strong student community
One of the ways that online courses differ to traditional classroom based courses is in the social sense. When a student enrols in a more traditional school environment, they will share a physical classroom space with other learners.
This isn’t the case in eLearning, so it is important for the providers of online courses to explore what they can do to build a strong student community around their eLearning programme.
Most learning platforms offer a wide range of communication features to help facilitate this. Students can regularly work with each other within a virtual classroom, using a virtual whiteboard, or by writing in forums. Making friends can allow students to have a lot more fun when they learn a language.
#3. Incorporate a wide range of learning resources
Learning platforms can host a wide range of learning resources. This can include images and text files as well as more dynamic formats such as video and audio recordings.
A wide range of these kind of resources can make online courses more varied. The more varied a course is, the more engaging it is likely to be.
What could Dexway do for your eLearning programme?
Dexway eLearning courses are an excellent way to learn a language. They work in partnership with CAE learning platforms to offer eLearning providers and their students a fantastic experience.
Not only will Dexway online language courses give your learners access to high quality learning resources, it will also allow them to access them whenever they want to, whether they’re on site or at home.
Would you like to find out more about Dexway courses and how they could help your learners to learn a language? There are a wide range of options available depending on your needs. This includes learning platforms for online courses, digital resources designed for blended learning programmes and comprehensive language laboratory software.
Visit the links above to read about some of the different digital language learning tools available, or get in touch to request a free consultation.