The argument whether e-learning beats traditional language education has been going on for years. There are so many different courses and teaching styles. Different people prefer different methods. This makes it hard to come to a common conclusion. However, some methods are generally preferred more than the others.
One such method is applied by Bliu Bliu, an online language learning platform. We will take this method and compare it with traditional teaching methods usually applied at universities. Most often, schools, private teachers and education companies also apply the same methods.
1. Peer motivation
People at universities often lack the motivation to learn a language. A number of dedicated individuals get mixed with those who aren’t into it at all. Some join the course only because they had to collect additional credits. Others lose motivation very quickly. People who lack motivation are more of an exception to the rule in e-learning courses. It’s not their education plan that motivates them. It’s their own honest interest in learning a language. Be it a love for language or a pragmatic need that drives them.
How is that important? It’s so much easier to learn among people who are also focused on the same goal. The quality of various group tasks and practice exercises depend on the involvement of all the participants. You won’t go far if you’re practising speaking with another person and they give up after failing just once.
2. Teacher motivation and tips
E-learning beats traditional language education because it provides another source of motivation. Of course, not all e-learning platforms do, however Bliu Bliu is different. They help their students stay motivated in many ways. They use statistic data, inspiring examples and other information. This makes their students aware of their own progress and how much they can do if they keep it up. In comparison, university students have to motivate themselves.
And that’s just as important because motivation significantly improves performance. Motivation from course hosts and students’ own dedication adds up to a whole new level of productivity.
3. Content selection
Usually, courses at universities only allow limited choice for content. Teachers provide texts and topics according to textbooks. If they ask for the opinion of the class, every person wants something else. So you never end up learning from the content that you personally find interesting. E-learning stands out because each learner can choose the topics and sources he/she wants to learn from.
As a language learner, you need your content to be interesting. If you’re reading a text you wouldn’t enjoy in your own language, it becomes tedious. Interesting content improves involvement and motivation. As you can see, everything is related and, therefore, crucial for efficient language acquisition.
4. Content variety
The same stands for content variety. If you want to maintain motivation for a longer period of time, your content must be diverse. Some universities do a good job at varying learning content. On the other hand, many are still quite traditional and monotonic. And you never know what the method will be in your course before you join it.
E-learning beats traditional language education as it solves this problem. It spices things up a bit. Texts and soundtracks for listening are only a small part of the content. The rest includes videos, music, tv shows and movies, books (not textbooks), internet posts and articles, podcasts and so on.
5. Practice amount
University courses focus on theory and then helps you put it to practice. It goes on in a loop. Theory, practice, theory, practice. E-learning sometimes uses the same method. However, in our case, the theory isn’t as important. Practice is all there is because the theory doesn’t make you speak. Rules only tell you how to speak. However, you can learn ‘the how’ during actually speaking just as well. In the end, the more practice you get, the easier it is to talk to a stranger native speaker. Doesn’t sound right? Just continue reading.
6. Approach to grammar
Since there is no theory involved, grammar isn’t as stressed as in university courses. Very few people like learning grammar. Speaking is much more exciting. Luckily, you don’t have to learn the rules to know them. If you practice and speak a lot, you develop language intuition. Instead of knowing the rule, you just feel whether a particular sentence is wrong or not. In this case, passing an exam might be difficult. However, when it comes to using the language for communication, nobody cares whether you know the rule as long as they understand you.
Since practice is more fun than theory, e-learning beats traditional language education in the sense of fun. Traditional learning is tedious. It gets boring quickly and easily. E-learning, as it’s done by Bliu Bliu, is way more fun because of the previous points. It skips grammar, focuses on practice, provides varied content based on individual interest. It unites motivated people and keeps their motivation up. What else is there to say? Only one thing…
8. Level of ease
Which method is easier? Traditional education is difficult because of one thing. It’s hard to stay motivated while learning boring rules from boring content. E-learning is difficult in another sense. It takes some effort to practice the target language without learning grammar. People are used to the old method so much that they’re scared to say a word before they know all the rules by heart.
However, once you step over yourself, e-learning is so much easier! With all this personalised content, motivation, fun and other factors, we think traditional methods are far behind in terms of difficulty. They’re difficult from beginning to the end. The e-learning case we’re discussing is only difficult at first. Once you’re into it, it’s a walk in the park.
So, our final conclusion is that e-learning beats traditional language education. It takes some time getting used to, however, after that it’s nothing but efficient and fun. Should you decide to try e-learning on your own, try Bliu Bliu, the platform we used as a case for comparison in this post. And don’t worry, they help to get used to their method, too.