Go To School In Your Pajamas!

Online learning is gaining popularity with people all over the world as the best way of developing English skills. A recent study suggests that online learning is actually a more efficient and effective way for students to learn. But, it may not be for you!  Lets look at the Pros and Cons of Online vs Classroom English Learning.

Online Learning Pros

We are all very busy.  Between work, family, shopping and doing work around the house, people do not have the time to drive to a school to take a class. With an online class: you take the class whenever you want, wherever you want. (As long as there is an internet connection.)  There is no travel time or need to find parking for your car. You can wake up, turn your computer on and take your first class before you even get dressed for work! (Don’t worry, you don’t always have to have the video camera turned on!)  And you don’t have to go stand in line at the college bookstore…since most online class materials are downloadable! Also, payment is safe and secure now days with Paypal.
First of all, if you take a $10 (US) class from a $10 teacher… you get a $10 lesson.  We all agree with the saying …you get what you pay for.   But let’s compare a $20-$25 (US) dollar session on the internet compared to a class room class that costs on average $18-20 a class.  By time you pay for the classroom class, pay for your gas to drive back and forth to the class every time, pay for parking or tolls, pay for your books, maybe coffee and food if you didn’t have time to eat at home….you usually will find that you are paying close to around $30 to sit in a classroom and “share” a teacher’s time with 15 other students!  Remember, the online teacher is usually just focusing on you for the entire session…for less money!
You can take a class from anywhere in the world!  There are a lot of English teachers.  Find the one that works best with you.   American, Canadian, Australian? If you do not like them…take classes from someone else.  Oh by the way, most online teachers give a free or very affordable trial session! Unfortunately, when you pay for a classroom course, you get the teacher the school gives you…period.   It doesn’t matter if they are boring, talented, good or bad….that is your teacher!  You paid for it…no refunds!  ·

Online Learning Cons 

If you are reading this, you have some technology abilities.  But if you do not know SKYPE or video conferencing, you cannot use a word processing program like Microsoft WORD, you don’t know what Youtube is or Ted Talks, you may just want to sign up for a traditional classroom English class. Most important is your connection speed.  If you are running at less than 2 Mbs, you are asking for trouble.  Video and sound will be poor or constantly being disconnected.  Make sure before you sign up for your class that you and your teacher have a good connection.  Most professional teachers will have a reliable connection.  They are usually teaching all day and have made this investment as part of their business.
A good online English teacher can keep you motivated, but only so far.  The rest is up to you.  If you are an extremely social person and need the support of other students and a classroom environment to help you stay interested in English, you might want to avoid online classes.  A good online teacher will suggest materials and have homework to help keep you motivated, but in the end, it is you who have to have the desire to learn English.
Practice Speaking:
You can only practice your speaking with other English speakers.  An online class limits your speaking time only while you are in class.  You will have to find other people to practice with on your own.  A regular class room at a school with a teacher is filled with other students learning English that you can practice with.  But keep in mind, they usually only know as much English as you do.
So the choice is yours. If saving time and money appeals to you and you are self-motivated, an online English class may be the best thing for you!


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