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  • Gwen

The New Classroom

Updated: Mar 8, 2020

The “classroom” has evolved in recent years. As an online English teacher, I love the fact that my classroom spans the globe. But, are there also advantages to students – particularly English learners – in the new online classroom?

Well, this very question has been the topic of some recent studies. A 93-page report on online education, conducted by SRI International for the Department of Education, evaluated the comparative research on online versus traditional classroom learning. Most of the comparative studies were done in colleges and adult continuing-education programs of various kinds, from medical training to the military. And this is what they concluded:

“On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.”

Now when they speak of “face-to-face instruction,” they should really say, “face-to-faces instruction,” as in, one teacher to many students. That’s how it is in a traditional classroom. It’s not the best environment if you are trying to learn and improve your English.

These studies include online courses that don’t have the student and the teacher talking face-to-face such as we do over Skype. Still, online often wins out. However, the one-to-one ratio in an online course offers the biggest advantage.

Language learning occurs best in an environment that includes relationship. One-on-one learning avoids the pitfalls of the one-size-fits-all classroom approach. With online coaching you get real dialogue and lots of it. Online language coaching is more helpful than simply watching a movie. This is because the teacher and student read each other’s moods, and non-verbal cues. In other words, they communicate. That is at the heart of language learning.

An online coaching session is a collaboration between teacher and student. Each class session is a unique, one-time-only event.

Socrates taught us that learning needs to be a collective enterprise. This assures the student remains actively engaged. As a student with a private English coach, you don’t have to wait in a state of boredom while the teacher explains to other students things you already know.

Also sometimes it’s easier to ask questions and try out new phrases when there is no “audience.” New language is used to supply the individual student's needs. That’s the way language is learned the fastest. It naturally grows from a need for expression.

The student who is privately tutored actually helps to construct the classes by expressing their needs and preferences. The teaching material then moves from standard curriculum to specific needs. The teacher can support the diverse needs of the individual student so that personalized learning is enabled. Then things start happening fast!

Here are some clear advantages of the online, face-to-face language learning model:

  • Real conversation! It’s key to any effective language learning.

  • Get quick feedback from your tutor so you avoid developing the wrong habits.

  • You won’t be left behind or have to wait for others to catch up.

  • Pick lesson times that fit your schedule.

  • “Hold class” from any location.

  • Someone to encourage and motivate you.

  • Zero travel costs.

  • No intimidating “audience” of other class members.

  • The dress code is chill. Come as you are and be relaxed.

  • No need to purchase a lot of lessons at one time. Buy the amount of classes you want.

  • Try before you buy!!

So if this new classroom seems intriguing to you, just email me about a time that you would like to have a free 15-minute trial lesson. Try before you buy!

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