There are many ways of learning English – whether on courses with others at an educational establishment, lessons using Skye on a one to one basis, or with English language learning software using the Internet. We all have busy lives and it comes down to finding a course or way of learning that suits you. Everybody has a different way of learning and it is important to find a way of learning English which can fit into your life and suits you. We all have different needs and requirements as to what we want from learning another language.
Here are some pros of English language learning software:
Easy to schedule lessons
It is an excellent way of learning when we are busy and sometimes can only fit in 10/20 minutes of practice per day. This practice could take place before work, in a coffee break, in lunch break or in the evening after work. As long as you have Wi-Fi connection it is easy to use language learning software and this language learning software can be used by anyone of any age and in any country around the world. Practice should be a minimum of twice a week.
Take classes from home
There is no commute so learning using technology is time effective as you do not have to go to a language school or tutor. You will have no interruptions in your learning as you choose a time to suit. You can learn English from wherever you live and/or work. In this way, it is cheaper.
Lot of free resources
There are many books, videos, newspapers, documents and apps which you can download from the internet and many of these are free. It is cost effective and flexible as you choose when you want to learn and practice together with choosing which books and newspapers you want to read, which videos to watch and which language learning apps suit you best.
Here are some cons of language learning software:
You are not talking with a real person!
By learning on a one-to-one basis with a native English speaker, one can learn by conversing with a native who can answer more in-depth questions about the language you are learning, correct your mistakes and teach you specific areas of interest. You will not have this personal interaction by learning using online software.
You need technology, of course!
You need a computer, tablet or mobile to install the English language learning software which can be expensive to buy initially.
There can be technical issues of learning online as you are relying on a computer, tablet or mobile and need Wi-Fi or 3 or 4G so you are reliant on good internet signal and speed.
There are fewer courses on line so if you live in a town there may be more alternative options. If you need an English qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL then it would be better if you did a course at an educational establishment.
If you want to learn specific grammar, learn to write specific documents and to learn and write correctly including tenses then it would be better to learn at an educational establishment where teachers can help you in these specific areas.
Below are some specific English language learning software sites which can be downloaded from the internet and used to help you learn English at times to suit you:
Rosetta Stone (www.rosettastone.com)
This app encourages the learner to listen, read, speak and write and contains many photographs to aid learning. It is expensive but only takes the learners to intermediate standard.
This is a free app for mobile phone users and encourages immersion to aid learning. The app can be used at any time of the day and night, on the go, in a coffee break or lunch break for 5, 10 or 15 minutes per day. It works using internet connection – Wi-Fi, 3G/4G.
Busuu offers short courses for English speaking learners worldwide. This site also uses flashcards to help with learning and this course is very structured.
This covers lessons teaching vocabulary and practice to enable you to speak with friends.
This app can be downloaded onto your mobile so great for learners who are busy and who travel and contains many videos to help learn English.
It is important to find a course and/or way of learning which suits you, your life and commitments. Online courses are a great way to start and for refreshers sessions. There are also many YouTube clips you can watch online to help improve your listening skills. You must be prepared to commit to regular practise to help learning all aspects of English. Learning on line is here to stay so it is an excellent way of integrating into our busy lives. Learning with Spoken English Practice whereby you speak ‘face to face’ with a native English Speaker will give you the benefit of a more personalized learning at times to suit.