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Seb Anthony

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Online language training.


We have been asked to develop an online language laboratory. Besides the technology and its implementation, what are the problems of teaching languages online or being an online language student?

Have you had experience of either as teacher or student that you are willing to share? Any advice would be appreciated as this is early days for the project.

Tony Treacy

One Response

  1. Structure follows your client’s didactic approach
    I have worked as a language teacher on-line and also as the owner of a language school offering online language courses. The challenges raised by learning a language comes down to two points – what type of course the client wants, i.e. a university course is very different from a commercial language school course catering to corporate clients; and the expectations of the students.

    Academic courses generally focus on the study of vocabulary and grammar and their application to literature and general comprehension, whereas a commercial corporate course is very much focussed on accelerating the student’s ability to speak and understand a language. The latter option requires a much higher degree of live interaction. The two most common learning methods for commercial courses are fluency/role-play-centric and template-based repetition – in our case we prefer the first and have developed a blended course that integrates live practise with vocabulary/grammar/reading support. However we find that the majority of students whether older or younger are more comfortable with face-to-face live practice, but I don’t know how feasible this is in your case.
    If you’d like any more information feel free to contact me by email which you can find on my profile page, or check our website at
    Alex Taylor


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