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20 February 2024

Virtual Training Versus In-Person Training: What Are the Pros and Cons When Learning a Language?

Deciding to learn a second or third language to improve your business skills, or enhance your travel experiences, is a great decision (we explore the many benefits of language learning in this article if you want to find out more!). Perhaps you are soon heading off on a business trip or a holiday and need to learn pretty fast – in which case, read this article to get you started straight away. And maybe you are also deciding whether to learn online or attend face-to-face lessons.  

Both learning approaches are readily available and it can be tricky choosing which one is best suited to you. What are the pros and cons of each form of training? In this article, we explore a few things to consider when deciding which approach to learning a language – in-person or online – might work best for you. 

Accessibility 

The most obvious advantage of online teaching is its accessibility. You can plug in and switch on to your language lesson from the comfort and convenience of your own home or office, bypassing any travel hassles. Time constraints, mobility issues, a congested commute – you can throw all of these inconveniences out of the window when it comes to virtual learning. Also, your trainer can offer lessons from wherever they are in the world – all that is needed is a reliable internet connection (plus an agreeable time zone crossover!). 

Did we say reliable internet connection? Of course, software compatibility and connectivity are essential aspects of accessibility if you are learning a language online. If either of these are likely to cause problems, then in-person training may be more reliable and effective for you. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to concentrate and hold a conversation while your internet connection is cutting out, or having to deal with a recalcitrant laptop while trying to get to grips with German declensions!  

When it comes to virtual learning, your trainer may offer to record sessions, which are useful for enabling you to revisit content and learn at your own pace. You can rewatch the lessons at any time – while cooking, or on the train to work – to consolidate your learning.  

Engagement 

We have to admit that when it comes to engaging with your trainer and fellow students, nothing quite beats face-to-face communication. You can work with your trainer more naturally, pick up on each other’s non-verbal cues (body language), get immediate feedback and interact without any tech gremlins spoiling the show. Trainers can adapt the class immediately if they sense that you need something a little different, giving a degree of flexibility. 

However, online lessons also enable you to ask questions and engage in chat platforms. You may have better concentration while learning online, because your fellow students are not quite so distracting virtually as they might be in person! You might find it easier to ask questions via an online chat function, rather than having to speak up in front of the class, which some people may find intimidating. Your trainer can make the online lesson interactive to ensure that you remain really engaged. They also might include interactive content such as quizzes or videos to enhance the online lessons.  

The Best of Both Worlds 

Perhaps the ideal way of learning for you would be a blended approach – combining both online and face-to-face classes. This flexible approach offers the best of both worlds – the engagement of enjoying learning in person, combined with the unrivalled accessibility of studying online. Simon and Simon offers blended language training that takes into account the busy schedules of modern professionals. You can enjoy personalised face-to-face lessons from either your office or at one of our language centres. Then you can supplement your learning with our interactive online sessions – benefitting from the strengths of both options.  

 

As the UK’s leading provider of business language training, we offer language courses delivered by trainers with at least five years’ teaching experience (with an average of sixteen years’ proficiency), and we provide tutoring both virtually (online) and face to face. We have over four thousand trainers all over the world. Do get in touch today to see how we can help you to achieve your language goals, whether in person or online.

 

 

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Whether you’re learning a language for the first time or are looking to develop your existing language skills, call SIMON & SIMON today on +44 (0)20 7821 0999 to discuss the best language training course for you.

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