Guest Post: Learning French - Virtual versus Brick & Mortar Classrooms
People have traditionally learned French in traditional classrooms, but there has been a shift towards online learning in the past few years. Each option has pros and cons worth considering before making a choice.
The greatest advantage of learning French in a traditional classroom is that you get to interact with your tutor and with fellow students. This interaction is important because you will be able to practice what you learn. This is very important for your confidence. A tutor will be able to give you special attention if you have a problem (such as a problem with pronouncing particular words). You will be able to ask questions in a traditional classroom. The class will also be able to ask a tutor to slow down or hasten the teaching pace. The advantages of studying French virtually, however, outweigh those of studying in a brick & mortar classroom.
When you learn French online, you are able to learn at your own pace. With a traditional class, you can only move as fast as the slowest learner, meaning you will waste your time, effort, and money. When you learn French online, you will be able to repeat entire lessons if you find this necessary. This means a better mastery of the language.
Many people struggle when learning French because of pressure from tutors and fellow students. Many students will say they have understood a concept when they have not just to avoid seeming stupid. There is no such pressure when you study French online.
You get variety when you learn French online. There are many multimedia learning tools that will help you learn the language fast. Tools like games and puzzles make learning French fun. You are more likely to master a language fast if you are having fun learning it. Videos and audio interviews help you master pronunciation and they help break the monotony. A tutor can never have all the teaching resources you will find online.
If you are concerned about one-on-one interaction with a trained tutor and with students, you could always join a virtual classroom. This is a classroom where a tutor and students log into the same forum and the lesson takes place just like in a brick & mortar classroom. You could also get recorded lessons from renowned French tutors.
Most online language programs are highly systematic. This will help you progress through the different stages of language acquisition in a step-by-step manner. You need a structured approach if you are to master any language. With most online language programs, you will start with the basics (the alphabet and the letters), move to common greetings and courtesies, and so on.
You have to pay tuition fees with a brick & mortar French classroom, but there are many ways to learn French at no cost over the Internet. Even when you have to pay for lessons, the cost is a fraction of what you would have to pay a tutor. Online learning costs are further brought down by the fact that there are no logistical costs (such as travel costs) involved. The fact that you will find such resources as dictionaries, videos, and puzzles online also help you save money.
One of the greatest reasons to study French online is that it gives you unparalleled convenience and flexibility. You get convenience in that you can study French whenever you want and from wherever you are. Learning French will not interfere with your work life, your regular school life, or with your social life. If you have a restrictive policy and you do not want your boss to know you are taking French, online learning is the best option.