There are many reasons to learn a new language. Some people decide to do so in order to enhance their career prospects, others to deepen the value of their travel experiences or to meet new people. A new language can open up all sorts of opportunities you may not have come across otherwise.
Of course, the process of learning a language isn’t always easy. There are a myriad of studying options on the market, from traditional classes or textbooks all the way through to eLearning language courses.
Whatever type of course a student decides to undergo, there’s one vital ingredient that makes language success much more likely. Can you guess what it is? Community.
What role does community play in learning a language?
Community is important for learning a language because it makes it far more likely that students will be able to immerse themselves in the learning process.
Immersion has been recognised to be one of the very best ways to learn a language. The students who take the time to read materials in the language they are learning as well as to listen to music and radio and watch films are much more likely to find themselves experiencing success.
Even more key to this language immersion is speaking the language you are learning and listening to others speaking it in return. Indeed, this is how we learn language in the first instance: all of us learn our mother tongue simply by surrounding ourselves with it.
Because of this, the community each student has around them during their language education is hugely important. Students need to have resources such as language laboratories, books, revision exercises and regular assessments, but they also need to have people around them who are willing and able to practice conversations with.
What role does community play in online language learning?
Traditionally, the only places language learners would be able to access a true community of fellow language students or teachers was in a face to face language course. This is no longer the case.
eLearning language courses offer their students a myriad of options and ways to practice languages online. This includes digital language labs as well as the option to engage with spoken word revision exercises.
However, it’s arguable that the most effective way to practice languages online is by accessing eLearning language courses with a strong community element. Many online language learning providers, including Dexway, offer their students the chance to engage in real life conversations with real life learners and tutors from across the globe.
Students who enrol in an online Dexway language course will be able to practice languages online by using our popular conversation groups feature.
The way this feature works is very simple. From anywhere within our eLearning language courses, students can press a button to be taken straight in to a virtual classroom where they will be able to video chat live with other Dexway students.
This is an ideal way to practice languages online. Students can access this virtual learning space any time; twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. From within this virtual classroom, students have complete freedom to practice their developing language skills out loud with real people by having real conversations. Not only does this do wonders for their language ability: it also makes students feel welcomed, engaged and involved.
It’s also worth noting that these real life genuine conversations can make online language learning really fun.
What other benefits does community have in eLearning language courses?
The main benefit of community within online language learning is certainly the huge boost it gives to the confidence and ability of the learners who take advantage of it.
However, there are also some other key benefits to note.
Community, whether it’s found online or offline, is valuable because it makes learners feel as if they belong. This is important for both traditional and eLearning language courses as the more a student feels they belong, the more likely they are to remain enrolled in the course. Because of this, community can help to improve student retention rates.
Another very important point is that being engaged in a community can be a lot of fun! This is as true for online language learning communities as it is for geographic or hobby-based communities. Learners who enjoy sharing their experience with other learners, whether they are in the same physical classroom or on the other side of the world via video link, are far more likely to enjoy the experience. And of course: the more fun a student is having, the more likely they are to return to practice languages online again and again.
Want to take a closer look at the community Dexway courses have to offer? Read more about our online courses here.
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