Though teaching and learning English via Skype has become more and more common in the last couple of years, some still regard these types of classes with some doubt and suspicion.
People are still surprised to hear that teachers try to make their living this way forgetting that teaching-especially teaching English and sometimes practicing too- is about communication in the first place.
Skype is a tool developed for making communication easier, faster and more effective so why should we neglect it as a useful and interesting way of language learning?
Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of Skype English lessons:
1. It is extremely convenient. You can do it at home or at your workplace (provided that you enough free time to have a class) or anywhere else.
You only need a couple of things: a computer with internet access, the Skype software (free to download) and a headset. (A camera can be useful but it is not necessarily inevitable.
2. It saves you time and money. If you choose this type of class you don’t have to rush to the class anymore and I think as nowadays most of us have problems with time management, this factor is one of the most important advantages as far as online learning is concerned.
Your teacher will also be grateful to you for the same reason. As cost of travelling and the place where you have the classes is saved usually teachers charge less for Skype lessons.
3. There are a lot of great tools developed for online teaching, so you don’t have to be afraid of monotonous classes or dull exercises. You can share screens via Skype that enables your teacher to explain a great deal of things by watching the same videos, looking at the same handouts, or opening the same websites. Homework can be exchanged through emails and conversations can be tracked back as far as one year.
4. You still can see your teacher through the web camera, and if that makes you more confident don’t hesitate to use it. At the same time I realized that if we don’t use the web camera the class becomes a greater challenge and incredibly useful for improving listening and speaking skills.
It is a bit like talking through the phone, which has always been the trickiest part of using a language, as you don’t see the person you are talking to and you cannot read his or her body language. Give it a try!
And the drawbacks?
You might have some technical difficulties (usually due to problems with internet connection), but they are very rare. Some people require the presence of the teacher (one live and one online class per week can be the golden mean), and it is not really suitable for teaching big groups.
Don’t be afraid to keep up with the technical developments it might entertain you better than you have ever thought!
Do you have classes via skype? Do you enjoy them? Have you ever had any problems?
Give a try to our Online English Teachers. Choose your Teacher!
I totally agree with all the 5 “reasons why”. I use Polish school teleenglish.pl, but there are a lot of similar services all around the world. I think that this is a future of learning of English, at least up to the moment when artificial intelligence will be smart enough to substitute humans as teachers.