Are you curious and like to be flexible? Are you interested in learning Swedish? Boy, do I have a service for you! Here are my top five reasons for why learning Swedish via Skype is so great.
Learning online means you can learn a language even though there are no teachers available locally where you live. Generally speaking, it can be quite difficult to find a language teacher, unless you live in a major city that has language schools with your chosen language available. The other option is to travel to the country in question and do an intensive course, which is highly effective but may be on the expensive side for many learners. Therefore, learning through the internet means you can still go ahead and learn, regardless of where you live. This is particularly important for those learning less common languages, which can be hard to come by even in major cities.
2. Listening and speaking skills
Whereas some may see the lack of face-to-face tuition as something negative, my experience is that it can actually be beneficial for the learner. The learner automatically focuses more on listening to ‘the music of the language’, and the experience will be mainly auditory. This builds confidence for both speaking and listening, and it stops the learner relying on body language – which often happens when trying to communicating face-to-face. And in a sense, it is still face-to-face communication if you use the Webcam!
3. Using the chat box
In Skype, there are other features that can be used during a language lesson. Both learner and tutor can use the chat box in Skype in real-time, to check spelling and to emphasize other aspects. I often use the chat box to illustrate emphasis in words (only last week, I wrote to one learner to visually illustrate the emphasis of the word ‘studerar’ in Swedish, which is ‘stu-dEEEEEErar’). A few times I have had completely text-based sessions, where the learner and I have practiced writing to each other. I also use it every time I run conversational practice sessions with more fluent students, as I can type out new words as we go along and the learner can save the chat record to their computer after the session.
4. File transfers, sharing links and giving examples
Sitting in front of your computer means more flexibility. The tutor can instantly transfer files or documents that can be useful in addition to the lesson material. Both learner and tutor can share links and use images to exemplify meanings and concepts. A picture says more than 1,000 words, the saying goes, and I find it highly effective to sometimes be able to quickly find a picture on the internet that illustrate exactly what I mean. It also provides the learner with a more varied learning experience. This level of flexibility is not possible to the same extent in traditional ‘classroom’ tuition.
5. Saving time
Learning online saves time and money. Travelling cost is none. Travelling time is, if not completely eliminated, minimized to however long it takes to turn the computer on, or walk down the stairs to the office/kitchen/lounge, or wherever the computer is located.