So, what’s the deal with an online Spanish language course? Many who lack proper information feel that an online course can never replace one held in a classroom. In truth, the effectiveness of an online course depends most heavily on the student – these courses are rarely lacking in features compared to their real-life counterparts, but they do put more responsibility on you.
It’s not hard to see why. You attend an online course on your computer. You also watch YouTube videos on your computer, browse Facebook on your computer, Google new diets on your computer… You get the point. Not only do distractions lurk around every corner, they also threaten to take hours of your time without you even realizing it.
Before starting an online Spanish language course, ask yourself this: how badly do I want to know Spanish? Do I have the patience to follow the curriculum as it’s presented? How badly will distractions affect me? The idea of knowing another language definitely sounds cool, but not everyone will have the drive to push through even when the learning is grueling. Still, if you’re sure you can do it, an online Spanish course might be the best way for you to learn the language.
Why an online Spanish language course beats a real-life one in many ways
For those who can push themselves a little, an online course is generally the best way to learn Spanish, provided you pick the right one.
- Your online Spanish language course will be geared toward the individual. It doesn’t take much to explain why a class where you are the only student will always beat out one with over a dozen colleagues: in a classroom, the teacher has to mold his or her lecture in a group-friendly way. This rarely, if ever, makes room for custom progress. Students are meant to learn as a whole, all at the same time. Those who need extra attention are usually given poor grades; those who are more apt at learning the language are held back by others and forced to follow a program that is below their abilities.
- Time constraints affect the quality of lectures. Language schools, like every other type of school, need to work under a timetable. Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean that lessons are ‘crammed’ to fit inside a particular period of time – information crucial for learning can be overlooked. Depending on the language school you’re attending, you’ll be lucky if there’s more than 10 hours of lectures a week. Sure, the language prodigies will find this to be more than enough time to become fluent, but what about the rest of us? With an online course, you are free to study 10 hours a day, should you feel a need to. This ensures that everyone, regardless of aptitude, ends up with a good grasp of the language.
- The class won’t move on without you. Had an emergency or unplanned situation that stops you from studying for the next 3 weeks? With classroom-based courses, you’ll get off easy if you simply missed 20-30 hours of class that you can’t get back. In some cases, you’ll be booted from the course altogether and forced to repeat it. Even if you stay in the course, your chances to complete it slimmed down considerably, and you’ll have to put in many extra hours into studying from a book – rarely an efficient way to learn a new language. With an online course, however, you can stop your lecture at any time and come back right where you left off, weeks or even months after a break.
- When they say you can take an online course anywhere and anytime, they really mean it. How often is your mind idle when doing mundane tasks? Doing the laundry, walking the dog, waiting for someone… These are all examples of situations where you could use your time more productively. Many stages of an online Spanish course don’t even require you to use your hands or look at something – all you’ll need free are your ears, which greatly increases your learning opportunities. Not bad when compared to having to drive or walk to a classroom that could be on the other side of town, and then sitting there for hours that could be spent on doing something else while learning.
Don’t forget to have faith in your online Spanish language course
The premise of an online course can seem deceivingly simple. The truth is that the people behind these courses have been in the business for many years, meaning they have potentially bestowed a Spanish language education upon hundreds of thousands of people.
Just because it’s over the internet doesn’t mean it’s held to a lesser standard. The vast majority of online courses – especially those that aren’t free – have a team of competent Spanish instructors behind the software – these people will make sure you become sufficiently familiarized with the language.
Here are 3 online Spanish language course software options: