Why would a person choose online lessons? (leia em português aqui)
We are conditioned to keep ourselves doing what is safe and what we know well. Most people find it hard to adventure with something new. We are used to having lessons in-person, with a teacher in a classroom, classmates and a board where the teacher will write examples and explanations that we can see and copy.
Why can we not do those things online?
Who said we cannot have an online teacher who will write on a board, give you examples and explanations that you can copy and learn well? Who said we cannot have classmates when learning online? Who said we lose the human interaction when we have lessons online? Who said you are not going to have a book, notes, audio activities, etc.?
People who say these things have never had an online lesson or if they did, they never found a friendly teacher who understood their personality and needs. They probably did not find a teacher who was able to take advantage of the amazing things we can do with the help of technology.
I am not saying there will not be people who have taken online lessons and will still prefer face-to-face interaction. Maybe they also want to make the most that they want and/or need to have lessons and get out of their house/work and make friends. Would it not be much more fun to do it while enjoying your favourite pastimes? With like-minded people who are not there primarily to learn a language?
I am sure I am not the only person who sees that the online teacher in a videoconference is able to do exactly the same things a face-to-face teacher is able to. We can make notes, we can draw, we can give examples, work on your writing, listening, speaking and on your pronunciation. Online teachers are capable of giving you full attention and you have the chance to meet him/her from anywhere, at anytime, as long as you have a good internet connection. If you have a language partner who would like to have lessons with you and a teacher, you can talk to your online teacher and see if he/she offers two-to-one lessons.
Which is the best: online or face-to-face lessons?
I taught in classrooms for over seven years and, today, I also teach online. So far, the only thing I am not able to do with my online students is giving them a hug and running around the room with them. We have always been successful in the language acquisition both online and in-person. The best type of lesson, face-to-face or online, will be the one the student is willing to dedicate himself to. It does not matter how much a teacher juggle or dance in front of a learner or on the learner’s monitor, if he/she doesn’t give his/her all and work hard.
I know a lot of people would disagree with me, they would have their own preferences. This is only my point of view and my experiences with language teaching. I would love to know what other people think.