This is the final article in this series of blog posts that deal with some of the myths about online language learning.
The last couple of myths that I addressed were;
1. That online courses are pretty much the same as textbooks; which is a myth exploded(!) as technology has advanced and e-learning has become better understood, giving online courses a huge advantage over traditional text books.
2. That learning in a classroom is better than studying online. When you take into account the small amount of one-on-one time with the teacher in a classroom setting, it's obvious that online learning has many advantages over a classroom. The major pro for classroom study is that they are usually regularly scheduled meaning that students have to turn up and study!
Now, today I'm going to cover a few of the smaller myths, starting with;
1. Online qualifications are not as recognized as off-line qualifications.
How much weight this holds depends on the goals of the person learning. 64% of the people that use Rocket Languages courses are doing so with an eye to traveling in the near future, and to that end we've designed our courses to be ultra-practical for having conversations. Because the goal is to gain a conversational foothold in the target language, gaining a formal qualification is not a motivating factor.
If the goal is to gain credibility with your language speaking through gaining an off-line qualification, then online courses can certainly supplement that. Often off-line courses can be very formal and theoretical in nature and/or follow a prescribed path. That means the information learned is not as "conversational" as most people would use in day-to-day life.
2. Another myth out there is that online courses don't offer the same kind of support as off-line courses...
This is true to an extent, however with voice/video chat technology becoming more readily available, the level of support you can get with an online course is closing the gap fast. Currently we have our popular Rocket Languages forums, where members can get an answer to almost any language question. We're looking to build on that over the coming months, watch this space...!
3. The final myth I want to delve into is that online courses are harder to complete than off-line courses.
Certainly this can be true if the learner isn't motivated to do a little bit of study every day. In fact you could say that it doesn't matter whether you are doing a course off-line or online, if you don't practice on a regular basis, even if its just 15 minutes a day listening to an MP3 in the car while you commute to work, then you'll struggle to make real progress.
One of the great things that's recently been introduced to the e-learning space is gamification; the ability to gain points, badges, and/or rewards for completing different activities. Gamification makes it easier for people to stay motivated to complete courses, games, etc online. And this is something that we built into all Rocket Languages courses with our 2013 Edition, and one of the things we'll be expanding upon in our upcoming 2014 edition.
So, to wrap it all up... online language learning is moving ahead in leaps and bounds, particularly compared to what's happening in the off-line world.
I'd like to highlight a couple of Member reviews that we've recently received before I sign off.
Here is Mollie Sluss' (USA) review...
This is a fun way to learn French. I like the humor incorporated in the lessons. You learn the language without even realizing what great progress you are making. To be able to record yourself practicing pronunciation is a tremendous tool to make sure your accent is going in the right direction. I look forward to studying everyday. The lessons hold my interest. I find I retain the information rather readily and the learning curve is not steep at all. The site is easy to navigate and includes a variety of options to choose to keep it interesting. I can't recommend this highly enough. I compared it to another online course and the other didn't even come close to measuring up to Rocket Languages. This is a great launch pad to be on your way to learn a language.
And one from Santosh Kumar (Switzerland)...
I just love it. Rocket German has improved my German skills so much that I was able to communicate in German very easily in such a short span of time. I have tried many websites/tools but nothing comes near to Rocket German. Just try it. you will never regret it.
Remember, if you want to add your own review or see what everyone else has had to say, just click the "Reviews" link at the top of the page!
All the best with your language learning!