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LANGUAGE LEARNING METHODS

main language learning methods

4

Below we outline and compare four main language learning methods.

They are:

  • traditional classes

  • one-on-one online tutoring

  • immersion

  • comprehensible input learning

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ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

TRADITIONAL CLASSES

ADVANTAGE

ADVANTAGE

ADVANTAGE

 Easy to take from the school system

- Cheap prices

- Adopt a qualified learning system

- With peers

- Easy to take from the school system

- Cheap prices

- Adopt a qualified learning system

- With peers

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DISADVANTAGE

- Long time span but ineffective

- Need to travel to the centre

- Inflexible time arrangements

- Strict academic settings (homework, exams, materials)

Can be boring

- Passive participants

- Learn in a competitive environment with little cooperation

- Focus on error correction leads to fear of mistakes and loss of confidence

- Exam stress

IMMERSION

ADVANTAGE

ADVANTAGE

ADVANTAGE

- Immerse in a language environment

- Learn about the native culture while understanding the language

- Make friends with native speakers

- Intensive learning

- Learn the most relevant language to your lifestyle

- Easy to take from the school system

- Cheap prices

- Adopt a qualified learning system

- With peers

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DISADVANTAGES

- Requires a certain level of language (language threshold)

- Air tickets, visas, and other travelling costs

- Need to adapt to the local culture (e.g. find a host family)

- COVID travel restrictions

- Time commitment

- Requires a large change in lifestyle and flexibility of responsibilities to go away for a long time

- Can lead beginners to guess meanings

- Can be quite scary for beginners

1-to-1

ONLINE

TUTORING

ADVANTAGE

ADVANTAGE

ADVANTAGE

 - Relatively cheap prices

- No travelling cost

- Flexible time

- Might find better tutors if there is a lack of local tutors

- Easy to take from the school system

- Cheap prices

- Adopt a qualified learning system

- With peers

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DISADVANTAGES

- No systematic teaching materials

- Teaching skills (and price) might vary greatly, quality not guaranteed

- Might encountered frauds

- Lots of potential tutors/teachers to choose from

COMPREHENSIBLE

INPUT LEARNING

ADVANTAGE

ADVANTAGE

ADVANTAGE

- Natural and Beginner friendly learning method

- Online so flexible times

- Taught by experts

- Cultural exchange opportunities

- Small size classes

- Lays foundation for later immersion programmes

- With peers

- Easy to take from the school system

- Cheap prices

- Adopt a qualified learning system

- With peers

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DISADVANTAGES

- Requires qualified teachers

- Focus on speaking/listening rather than reading/writing

- Not in-person

- Involve little direct technical grammar instructions

Download the article here

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