Online courses continue to increase in popularity. In fact, the worldwide e-learning market is forecast to surpass $243 billion by the year 2022. There are many reasons why a growing number of people decided on distance learning and opted to study online.
The Benefits of Online Learning
Online learning offers a list of advantages:
Distance is no longer an issue – In the past, a person’s location was a great determinant in the kind of education that he or she could receive.
Either you were lucky to have been born into a place that offered great opportunities or you would have to travel a great deal and spend a significant amount of money to receive the education you were looking for. In this regards, online learning became the great equalizer. You can now learn whatever you want in the privacy of your own room.
Flexibility – Online learning offers unprecedented flexibility when it comes to receiving an education. It has shifted the focus from the instructor’s teaching to the student’s learning.
Online learners enjoy the full control they have over their education, as showing up to class is no longer a requirement. They are free to set their own schedules and accommodate the online courses to their everyday lives.
Affordability – One great advantage to online learning is its cost, which is typically lower compared to traditional classroom education. In fact, many of them offer amazing free trial periods, and some of them, are completely free of charge.
The Internet offers a wealth of opportunities when it comes to taking online English courses. So how do you make a decision in a plethora of choices? Below we have provided you with a guide that you can use to better evaluate your online English speaking course options.
1) Do not underestimate the importance of personal interaction
Speaking a language is an activity that is intrinsically social in nature. It is no wonder, then, that many experts consider social interaction as the key to successfully learning a language, and many studies show that children need interaction with their caregivers in order to acquire a language.
Students achieve fluency in a language when they regularly focus on sending and receiving authentic messages. In other words, true interaction between a sender and a receiver happens when there is context and exchange of information that is of interest to the speaker.
So why is interaction so important in the process of learning a language? First of all, because through it, students enhance their language skills as they actively put to use all that they have learned in order to express themselves in real, authentic situations.
And, second of all, during an interaction, students not only learn to express their own ideas, but also how to comprehend those of others. In other words, through interaction, they simultaneously develop several language skills by becoming more fluent in speaking, improving their grammar and syntax, and developing listening and comprehension.
This is why, when choosing an online English speaking course, opt for one that offers plenty of one-to-one interaction with an instructor, a fellow student, or both.
2) Do not fall for the deceitfully cheap courses that are e-mail-based or dependent solely on software
This point goes hand in hand with the first in that it is impossible to achieve language fluency using only software, chat-bots, and other audio materials. Although these types of courses may appeal to you price-wise along with their lucrative free trials, you will soon find that they are rather ineffective.
These types of courses certainly do bring something to the table. They encourage students to learn many new words and put in constant effort – two essential components of learning any language.
If your mind is set on this type of instruction, undeniably, it’s better than nothing. However, the importance of the support of a tutor cannot be stressed enough, so if your goal is to achieve the best possible results within a certain timeframe, you better look for more effective options.
3) Set clear learning goals for yourself
Before deciding on an online course, make sure to first define your criteria. Did you decide to learn English with a specific goal in mind? Are you looking to improve your job prospects? Moving to a new country?
Applying to a university that requires English fluency? Or maybe just looking to pass time? In short, make sure to set clear English learning goals before you commit to a course online.
Setting goals is important on a multitude of levels. First, you will know exactly what you want to achieve in your English speaking course. Otherwise, how will you know whether you are on the right path?
Second, goals will help you stay focused. There are so many different directions and approaches when it comes to tackling English speaking, and they may all differ depending on what you want to get out of the course.
And finally, with a set of goals in mind, you will be much more likely to keep up your motivation and have a way to measure your success.
4) Carefully read course descriptions.
This is where having defined your goals will come in handy. With a list of criteria in mind, it will be easier for you to differentiate between courses and decide which one suits your needs best.
You don’t want to take a shot in the dark and test your luck when choosing an online English speaking course. This is why it is important that you take the time to read each course description carefully to understand what you will have learnt by the end of it.
Look for things like who the course is aimed for, what the learning materials are, the pacing and frequency of the lessons, etc. This will help you narrow down your choices and ultimately improve your chances of making the right decision.
5) Look for courses with less emphasis on grammar and more focus on practicality (Such as English Ninjas)
Although this trend is slowly being phased out, many courses still have the outdated approach to teaching English, in that they focus largely on grammar.
Knowing grammar is undoubtedly important in order to construct English sentences. However, drilling down grammar rules without much practice of how to put them to use won’t do you any good.
Just like with sports or cooking, speaking English is a skill that can only be improved through practice. Knowing the theory is not enough.
It is only through regular conversation with preferably native English speaking partners that you will begin to develop a sense of what the language really sounds like, how those grammar rules are really put to use, how to use those idioms that you have memorized, how to use your voice and intonation to convey the meaning you intended, etc.
Learn how to Speak English online with English Ninjas
English Ninjas is one of the best places to learn how to speak English online.
We firmly stand behind the belief that methodical, daily speaking practice with our experienced tutors is the most effective way to improve your English skills. We carefully structure our courses in order for you to reap the most benefits.
- Qualified tutors – All our tutors are native English speakers and come from different backgrounds. This gives our students more freedom to choose an instructor, who is not only proficient in English, but will also have background knowledge of topics are students are most interested in. This allows our tutors to structure the lessons in a much more interesting and interactive way.
- Ready materials – After choosing a session with us based on their speaking level, interests, and professional goals, our students are provided with all of the learning materials that they’ll need.
- Personalized scheduling – With us, our students are completely free to set their learning pace, choosing their practice sessions as often as they like without having to worry about playing catch-up. Best of all, students are able to practice their English 24/7. You can’t be any more flexible than this.
- Affordable prices – English Ninjas strives to give the best possible results for the most affordable price. On top of our ever low prices, we also regularly offer various discounts.
Is Online English Learning for You?
Some people have the idea that learning English online isn’t as effective as traditional classroom instruction. While this is not the case, we understand that you may still hold this view.
In that case, you may be starting your online learning with preconceived notions, which may hold back your progress.
However, if you are not questioning the efficacy of online courses and are having trouble fitting your local English classes into your schedule or simply prefer to learn at your own pace, then go ahead and get a start on your online English learning endeavor with English Ninjas today!