Our Spanish classes have played host to Elena Aiupova for quite a while now. This student of the Spanish language also teaches English and Russian by Skype and she tells us about her experience in both fields.
Elena, what has your experience as an online English and Russian teacher been like?
I am an English and Russian teacher, and I have spent many years now teaching students of different levels and ages. I have experience in both face-to-face and Skype classes. However, in this point in time, almost all my classes are online. When I first started my career, I never imagined that I would be able to teach classes in any other way but face-to-face. But my experience has taught me that studying over Skype is very comfortable, and I am very happy to have this opportunity.
What advantages and disadvantages does teaching online bring?
It cannot be doubted that just like everything else in our lives, there are two sides to the coin when it comes to teaching online. On the one hand, there are a few disadvantages. Most important of them all, is the doubts that students who have never studied over Skype have. Some students are not very convinced about the effectiveness of the classes. They can’t fathom being able to practise everything they would need to learn to successfully master the language over Skype, such as watching videos and doing the listening, etc.
Luckily for us, current technology lets us do all this without any problems. Internet and Skype allows us to study in exactly the same way as we would in face-to-face classes. But the most important advantage is the possibility of studying a language without leaving where you are and wasting time commuting. Above all, this method benefits people who do not have enough time to go to face-to-face classes as well as those who prefer to have individual classes.
From my point of view, this method of studying brings with it so many advantages that it is not surprising that more and more people are deciding to study online.
Imagine how comfortable and easy it would be to learn a language when and where it suits you, and perhaps with a warm cup of tea to boot.
Do you believe that studying online can help complement our Spanish students’ face-to-face classes?
All the advantages of online teaching notwithstanding, I believe that the best way of learning a language is to be in the country where it is spoken, as is the case of the students of the Schools and Courses schools. In this way, we are able to study the language in a context of total language immersion, and be at the center of the cultural happenings.
I think that if you want to learn a language from scratch and reach an advanced level, you should aim to study for at least a year, but unfortunately, most people are not able to leave their jobs, family, and daily routines and study in another country for such a long time. Therefore, I think the best solution is to combine regular visits to a country where the language is spoken with frequent classes back at home.
In my opinion, Skype classes can benefit both the students and the teachers. I have a feeling that in the future, online classes will seem as natural and normal as face-to-face classes. I am sure that the students of the Spanish language who attend Schools and Courses schools will be very happy to be able to complement their studies with online classes.
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