Saturday, September 18, 2010

Learning English Online: Problems and Solutions

Problems: Learning English Online

Online English is certainly fun and exciting but it is not devoid of problems and issues. Most of the problems have taken place not because of some technical issues but because of the students and teachers. Here, I am going to survey some of the problems and then I will provide their solutions:

 1.    Organization 
The first issue is that classes are not organized in terms of lesson planning. Teachers start a topic and start the class. It’s only a random way of learning. It’s not organized like a real-world class where learning takes place step-by-step and the learner comes out fully satisfied because he can link the present and past classes. Online classes are mostly random and topic-based. They are not organized like a real-world course.

2.    Gradation
Most classes are not graded. Online classes usually don’t follow a certain line of action where a student learns from beginners to an advanced level. There’s no gradation of syllabus. If a teacher starts a basic class today, he will start an advanced class tomorrow.

3.    Time
Time is also an important issue when either teacher or student doesn’t turn up in the class in time. Sometimes, they take online classes for granted and don’t give it importance. The teacher must be committed otherwise there’s bound to be a cut in the class. The same applies to the student as well.

4.    Participation
There’s less participation in online classes because if Speaking Control is given to all students, there’s much noise in the class.

5.    Feed back
Usually, there’s no feedback on part of the teacher for the students. Teachers take classes and that’s it. They don’t usually test and feedback.

Solutions: Learning English Online

1.    Methodology
Language Learning is not simply a problem, but it’s a very effective way of teaching and learning. Teachers can teach their way and students can learn their way. It can be more and more creative on part of the teacher and much and more exciting and effective for the student. People can learn and teach the way they like.  I think there should not a random way of teaching online. The teachers must adopt some methodology. They shouldn’t go random in teaching. They can take a certain approach, maybe communicative approach in teaching Spoken English and GT-Method in teaching Grammar. But it should not a random selection of sentences to teach grammar or correction of language.

2.    Task-based approach
There’s no doubt that more practical approaches for language teaching are better than theoretical approaches. I suggest that a teacher must use Task-Based Approach in the class at least for 15 minutes. The Internet has made it very easy for the teacher to use a Task-based approach because teachers can easily use any task easily according to the level and interest of the students.

3.    Seriousness
Just because the class is free, it doesn’t mean that it is less important. Students and teachers must show seriousness in their studies. Learning online is much better than learning in the real-world because, it is more flexible and student-centered. So if you are not serious, you are going to lose your class both as a teacher and a student.

4.    Expensive Learning
I think at least leaning should not be expensive. Teachers should take their classes under around 5 US Dollars not much more than that so that more and more students can participate.

5.    Commitment: NeoEnglish System
NeoEnglish System is committed to language teaching online and it welcomes both students and teachers. 

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