Online Language Learning Platforms vs Traditional Learning – Which Is Better? – Guest Post

Online Language Learning Platforms

In an age of globalisation where people are exposed to cultures worldwide, the growing interest to learn languages keeps increasing every day. According to Duolingo’s Global Language Report 2020, languages like English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Chinese were the top 10 choices worldwide. Now a days, students love online things, like Harvard Referencing Generator.

According to a 2017 report, only 20% of students enrolled in language classes in the US at the K12 level. However, the number dropped to 7.5 per cent in colleges. Thus, the lack of support at the K12 level has led students to look for other alternatives.

What Pushes Students To Opt For Online Language Learning Platforms? 

According to the Modern Language Association, colleges have lost 651 foreign language programs from 2013 to 2016. Meanwhile, the University of Wisconsin has announced plans to scrap 13 majors due to financial difficulties, including language courses in English, French, German, and Spanish.

Due to such a lack of support from traditional learning institutions, students have shifted their focus online. This is apparent in the increased percentage of paid subscribers on language learning platforms. For example, in the fourth quarter of 2021, Duolingo Inc recorded 2.5 million paid subscribers – a 66% increase compared to the previous quarter.

Other popular websites to learn languages are:

  • Rosetta Stone
  • Babbel
  • Memrise
  • Busuu
  • Live Mocha
  • com
  • Lang 8

As e-learning becomes a fast-growing trend amongst students worldwide, boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of access to traditional learning opportunities, you’re bound to wonder –

“Is learning a language on an online platform better than learning in a traditional setting?”

Pros and Cons Of Traditional Learning 


Online Language Learning Platforms  

Traditional learning comprises learning in a classroom with a teacher and approximately 20-50 students. You can find such classes at private language learning institutions, schools, colleges and universities as well as algebra calculator. However, there are many advantages and disadvantages of such a traditional setting.

  • Pros of learning a language in a traditional setting:
  1. You can count on support from your peers

Learning a language as an adult is comparatively more challenging than learning at a young age. The ability to absorb information lessens right around puberty. So, if you’re signing up for a language course in college, you’d need to work harder to overcome this challenge. You can count on your peers to provide you with mental support during such moments.

  1. More opportunities for interacting in the language

The best way to hasten the process of learning a language is to speak it regularly. This becomes easier when you’re learning in a traditional setting as the teacher would pay special attention to your speaking skills. The more you interact with your mentor and peers in the language, the easier it becomes to grasp the nuances.

  1. Direct mentoring from professionals

The most significant advantage of mastering a language in the traditional setting is being able to ask your mentor to clarify a doubt immediately. When learning, you’re bound to have several questions running around in your head. Therefore, it is crucial to know the answers to them ASAP.

  1. Increases confidence as you compete with peers

Learning a language is pretty difficult. Hence, comparing your progress to your peers’ can give you a better idea of where you stand in the class. For example, if you notice you’re falling behind, you can put in more effort to diminish the gap. Or, if you see you’re well ahead of the rest of the class, it can stroke your confidence and push you to do better.

  • Cons of learning a language in a traditional setting:
  1. The course fees are too expensive

When you’re learning a language from a professional, you pay for their experience, expertise and guidance. Furthermore, language course books, CDs, notes and dictionaries can be pretty expensive, depending on the language you wish to learn. As a result, you have to pay approximately $50+ per hour for in-person classes.

  1. Travel expenses can add to the financial stress

Traditional learning usually occurs in a fixed location. Therefore, if you don’t live close enough, your travel expenses will accumulate. It adds to the already expensive course and makes traditional learning a less sustainable option for students with financial struggles.

  1. Wastage of time in travelling

On top of being expensive, travelling to and from the institution eats up your time. Since language learning institutions are few and far between, you might have to travel for hours to reach the location for your classes. Such prolonged travelling time can become a problem when you have other responsibilities to attend to.

  1. No flexibility in classes

Traditional learning is not favoured amongst most students because of its inflexible structure. For example, if your health takes a turn for the worse and you miss a day’s class, there’s no opportunity for you to repeat that class. Furthermore, you have to attend the classes on a fixed day and time and cannot push them around if you encounter any inconvenience.

Pros and Cons Of Using Online Language Learning Platforms 

Online Language Learning Platforms

Online language learning platforms are the perfect option for students who want to master a language from the comfort of their homes. As of January 2021, Statista reports that almost 59.5% of the global population has access to the internet. Therefore, it doesn’t take students less than a second to hop online and find a language learning course suited to their needs.

  • Pros of choosing an online language learning platform:
  1. Opportunity to learn at your own pace

All students can’t learn at the same pace. While some catch on quickly, others require more time and patience to master something as complex as language. Therefore, slow learners prefer an online learning platform where they can take their time to grasp the concepts instead of hurrying to catch up with their peers.

  1. Cheaper than in-person learning

Online language courses are much cheaper than in-person ones, with prices ranging as low as $15 per hour. Moreover, if you’re learning a language for fun, there’s no need to spend any money. You can use most apps like Duolingo and Memrise for free, though with limited features.

  1. Customization options available

Most of the online language learning platforms have customization options available where you can adjust your level. For example, if you’re struggling to complete a particular stage, you can lower the difficulty or choose hints to help you out. Furthermore, you can learn more than one language at once.

  1. Fewer opportunities for an interruption

When you’re learning from the comfort of your home, there’s no need to worry about thunderstorms, floods, snow, the scorching sun or lack of transport. Additionally, you don’t have to miss classes because of other responsibilities.

  • Cons of choosing an online language learning platform:
  1. Cannot ask questions to the teachers directly

Mastering a language online requires more effort than in the traditional format, as you don’t have the opportunity to consult a professional at the drop of a hat. Instead, you’ll have to search for the answer yourself using available resources.

  1. No peer support to push you through hard times

Learning a language is no child’s play. It requires hard work and effort on the student’s part. However, the progress isn’t always a steep incline. Therefore, when you struggle with a language alone, it becomes challenging to motivate yourself.

  1. Less immersion in the language

The mentor usually speaks and teaches in the language you’re learning in a traditional classroom. As a result, hearing how they use the words and construct sentences can help you understand the fundamentals quickly. But, unfortunately, you’ll have to depend only on audio CDs in online learning.

  1. Easier to lose motivation and interest

It can be tiring to master a language, especially when you don’t have a peer group for support. Therefore, it’s not surprising to see most students give up after losing their motivation without interactive sessions.

Summing it up,

Learning a language is fascinating, regardless of whether you follow the traditional method or choose an online language learning platform. There are pros and cons to both options, and it depends on the particular student to figure out which suits them the best. So, feel free to explore your options after going through the points in this blog.

Author bio:

Dwayne Santner is a PhD scholar working with to provide students worldwide with the best assignment help. His hobbies include going stargazing or fishing on weekends.

Comments are closed for this post.