Live, online instruction has many benefits for learners. Chief among them, the fact that it can be even more accessible, and, therefore, more effective than in-person classes. In this post, we look at data from thousands of learners demonstrating exactly how effective virtual live instruction can be.
Video conferencing software has made enormous strides in the last few years, and most people probably have encountered multiple applications that can easily facilitate virtual, face-to-face conversations with friends, family, and colleagues from phones or computers. In the “olden days”–that is, even just three or four years ago–tools like Skype or Google Hangouts would crash, …
In general, there is evidence that technology can provide educational opportunities to people who would otherwise not have them, which is going to have an enormous impact on the lives of millions. However, the online courses we offer still tend to be replicas of their face-to-face counterparts, and we are not nearly as innovative or disruptive as we could be when it comes to instructional design. Perhaps part of the problem is that we are not harnessing the power that technology-driven instruction can bring to learning science.
Now more than ever, the education industry is focused on “gamification,” or creating learning activities from games. But many of the things that make playing a game fun are the same factors that make language learning hard. Let’s explore several ways game and language application designers can bridge this gap.
We know from copious amounts of research that instruction works best when it is personal. Yet daunted at the prospect of sorting this out, many language programs revert to the outdated approach of just assigning everyone the same thing. However, maybe incorporating individualized instruction into a group curriculum isn’t as hard as it might seem.
There are over 43 million immigrants in the U.S., and more than 20 million are adults who are what’s called “Limited English Proficient,” or LEP. This means that on top of all the struggles they face to provide for themselves and their families, they have a huge and staggering additional barrier–not understanding English. Yet our ESL programs often don’t address the multitude of needs of this population in solving the real-world problems they face in their daily lives.
Teaching a foreign language to first-time learners is hard. Students wonder how they can possibly language the language when they don’t know anything, and teachers grapple with speaking in the target language even when they know their students don’t fully understand. Ultimately, it comes down to setting expectations.
Standardized tests have been both vilified and venerated, and despite their well-documented shortcomings, they are widely used in many high-stakes circumstances. But with the introduction of other measures of proficiency, performance, and assessment, we gain a far more robust picture of a learner’s capabilities.
Are you searching for the best way to provide English instruction to employees? If so, then you’re probably considering two options: self-study online courses or teacher-led live classes. But did you consider a mixture of both?