There is no doubt at all that technology helps us in many areas and industries, but in education the demand for it continues to rise. Educational technology can be a tremendous help and support to language academies and is the best accompaniment to classes when you want your students to be successful in studying one or more languages. According to a study by Ambient Insights, the global market for digital language learning tools, above all for English, reached $2.8 billion in 2015. Over five years the annual rate of growth has been 6.2%, and it is thought that revenue of $3.8 billion will be attained by 2020.
It has been reported that in the near future translator tools, such as those created by Google and Skype, will become more dominant, making it less necessary to learn a language. However, it can be argued that by only using a translating tool we cannot master a language, although it does serve us to break down language and communication barriers in some situations. To learn a language well you need to work on the four pillars of language equally (speaking, writing, reading and listening) and study grammar and vocabulary. For the moment, translator tools only purely translate and do not teach these abilities.
Those who truly learn and master a language continue to opt for classroom learning, blended or 100% online, but more and more have the need for the help of educational technology. The role of the teacher gains importance from being merely a presenter to that of a coach to their students, and can dedicate much more time to them as individuals, improving the quality of teaching. Further to this, the students evolve into active learners who are more involved in their learning thanks to the wide variety of interactive multimedia content in language courses, which is much more motivating and improves their results.
Language academies who are dedicated to incorporating new educational technology can make the most of many advantageous features which come with it to improve performance at their centres. They can increase their student numbers and be seen as leaders in the world of language training.
Advantages of educational technology for language academies
#1 Educational technology makes language learning more effective
Educational platforms like those used in blended or online learning are complementary to classroom learning and have a direct, positive impact on the process of acquiring a language. There have been numerous studies which have confirmed that classroom, or face-to-face, learning is much more effective when combined with e-learning. The teachers as well as the students have access to an infinite amount of resources and tools which make learning and mastering a language much more simple and attractive.
#2 Educational technology allows academies to extend their reach to an international market
These days an academy can open its doors to the rest of the country, and even to the rest of the world, thanks to technology. Offering classes online, or giving classes through a virtual classroom to individuals or in groups as if it were in a physical classroom, is now possible. Thanks to educational platforms which include virtual classrooms, language academies can now reach many more students, extend what they offer educationally, creating their own courses, and share all educational resources instantaneously with their students.
#3 Educational technology makes classroom learning much more dynamic
Academies can make classroom learning much more dynamic with all the content structured and ordered through the use of an interactive whiteboard, making the students much more participative in the classroom. Educational platforms and their software enable the teacher to prepare their classes “a la carte” with less effort but without decreasing the quality of teaching, including group activities, revision of difficult concepts etc.
#4 Educational platforms offer numerous benefits to academies
Platforms which are specialized in education have the main objective of making available to an academy the tools which help them to manage themselves effectively.
Among these, the most important stand out as being those which:
• Save time.
• Decrease direct and indirect costs.
• Encourage the most participation from students.
• Optimise the teacher’s work.
• Provide systems which students can use easily to do exercises and exams online.
• Encourage group work.
• Increase efficiency in the communication between teachers and students.
• Allow the construction of their own educational community.
• Make available more and better educational resources.
• Incorporate virtual classrooms in which classes can be given either to individuals or groups.
#5 Smartphones are one of the key tools for learning languages
These days nobody can imagine not using their smartphone as much for personal as professional reasons, or sitting watching TV while swiping away at your tablet at the same time. Because of this, language courses that can be done on any gadget synchronized to the program, where and when the student wants to study, are attractive to academies. Students can access their learning materials with just one click. Interactive courses on educational platforms allow a different form of learning, attractive and above all motivating.
In the opinion of the educational expert, and prize winner in education in the United Kingdom, Richard Gerver, it is the moment to revolutionize language learning methods and to employ technology which allows flexible learning, permitting the student to learn and adapt to what they want and need. As a result, language academies today more than ever should take advantage of this opportunity that educational technology delivers, to offer better language education and to continue having a relevant role in language training.
You may also be interested in: