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The Benefits of Learning a Language Online
The Benefits of Learning a Language Online
The world is turning faster and faster and the more countries a company seals deals with, the more likely is the achievement of economies of scale, through access to a larger market and an increased geographical expansion. It is obvious that the piece of the cake is going to be much smaller in saturated markets, which is why companies have begun targeting and expanding into the emerging economies that will be dominating the world in the future: India, Brazil and China. Nothing can be achieved without mastering English and ideally the language of the targeted country, however, and that is where companies seek the help of e-learning specialists that will help them understand, manage and administer foreign employees, legislations and customs.
The advantages of e-learning vs. traditional language courses
The packed schedule of many employees and managers does not offer any gaps for visiting a language institute. The internet has offered a more flexible and less time-consuming way of learning a language. Time has become a more valuable resource than money and e-learning is the ideal way of saving time and money, as lessons can be taken directly from home or from the office and expensive language courses abroad are no longer necessary. E-learning companies offering language courses online have sprung up like mushrooms in the last few years. By means of communicational tools such as Skype or e-learning software like virtual classrooms and virtual conference rooms, businessmen and individuals are able to learn the language of their choice in an online environment without having to travel unnecessary distances. In addition to that, people have discovered the benefits of learning a language with a native speaker rather than a teacher that teaches his/her second or third language and will most likely have an accent when speaking.
How does it work?
The most popular tool for learning a language is Skype. Skype offers you the opportunity to speak to your teacher based in any desired country for free. You simply need to sign up and create your account and you are ready to go. It is recommended to have a broadband internet connection, a headset (the best ones are the ones with a USB connection) and a quiet learning environment to make the fastest progress. A webcam offers you the possibility to see your teacher and observe the way he/she talks and uses gestures to reinforce and emphasize his/her speech. Another useful tool for learning a language online is a conference room or virtual classroom. The teacher can upload files containing audio, videos, grammar exercises, activities and games into the virtual classroom where the student and the teacher can see the same screen. Virtual classrooms also provide a chat window which teachers can use to write down new vocabulary, expressions and anything that might be useful for the learner. The contents of this chat box can be copied and pasted into a word file which can later be emailed to the student. The student and the teacher can activate their webcam inside the virtual classroom which will make the learning experience more intense and real.
Which are the best e-learning companies?
On VerbalPlanet you can select the teacher based on experience, number of lessons taught, price of lessons, age and rating. MyWebAcademy provides interactive online German courses for all levels and ages with a native speaker in their advanced virtual classroom. Learnship is a German company that offers language courses that are conducted in an advanced virtual conference room with interactive learning material based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, produced by the Council of Europe. Gofluentis a French company that offers English courses via mobile learning, e-learning, lessons over the phone and e-writing.
Which language should I learn?
While English has been the most sought after language for decades, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian are currently among the top favorites against the background of Brazil, Russia and China becoming one of the world’s leading economies and offering high potentials with GDP grow rates of up to 9%. It might be hard to believe that Portuguese is spoken as a native language by approx. 178 million people and it has become the 7th most widely spoken language on earth. Besides, Portuguese is an official language of the EU and the MERCOSUR. Russian is the 8th most widely spoken language worldwide with 144 million native speakers and it is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. The most spoken language of the world, however, is Mandarin, spoken by 845 million native speakers. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Learning German might also be a wise choice as German is the most widely spoken language in Europe and Germany has the 3rd strongest economy. German is also the second most commonly used scientific language. You will find great opportunities to study and work in Germany with a great number of scholarships being offered and special visas for skilled workers. Nevertheless, English remains to be the most important language in the world and in many countries English is the first foreign language studied at school. English is mostly the only connection there is between two people that do not speak each other’s native languages. Spanish is also an important language as it is spoken in more countries than any other language. It is estimated that in the future there will be more Spanish than English speakers in the United States.
It is time to start e-learning a language! Choose your favorite language and give it a try. You will not regret it and you will be amazed by the results you can achieve in a very short time.