Learning a new language has always been a challenge for adults. Finding the resources, hiring a teacher, and committing to a long-term plan to speak at an advanced level is hard for even the most academic among us. However, the process has been made easier by new technology.
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The drawbacks of traditional methods
In years, adult language learners had to rely on live classes, textbooks, and other material printed off by their teachers. This presented challenges for both students and teachers.
The biggest problem was maintaining engagement and motivation over a long period. The learning process was long and drawn out, and there was a high dropout rate from evening classes.
A world of possibilities
Today, things are a bitdifferent. For example, if you want to learn Chinese for work or travel, there are many more options. Rather than being limited to local classes, if there are any at all, you can learn the language online at a site like Preply. They have a choice of teachers from your own time zone, or anywhere in the world, and even offer free trials so you can try before you commit.
You could even sign up as a tutor yourself if you have the right language teaching skills. Having classes online also means you can have them more frequently and gives you the flexibility to arrange classes that fit around your work and social life rather than having to attend a class at a fixed time.
In addition, the latest technology means you no longer need to rely on books. Using smartphones, laptops and portable tablets gives students the option to practice using interactive methods. Online resources can be more fun and engaging. They also allow you to practice whenever your want and from wherever you are. Going online means there are unlimited exercises and activities for students of all levels. This also benefits teachers too as they have more options to customize lessons.
Motivation through active learning
The use of technology during and outside lessons helps to keep adult learners motivated. Interactive exercises and voice recognition tools are more immersive and promote active learning. For teachers, technology can also be used to help track the progress of learners. This makes the process much more personal, and classes can be tailored to each student. This is impossible in a classroom with a mix of students of different age groups and levels.
A more rewarding experience
Overall, the use of new technology allows students to have a more rewarding language experience, meaning they are more likely to follow their studies through to the end while getting better results. It is easier for the teacher to show the student the progress they are making, and this is motivating for both sides.
Everything from lesson planning, student preparation, practicing, organizing, and taking tests has been made easier by technology. New AI technology could make language learning even easier in the future. When combined with the best of traditional teaching methods, this has made it easier than ever to teach and learn new languages.
So, if you were thinking about learning a second language but are worried you are too old or it’s too difficult. Just remember, language learners have never had it so good.