Travel, Teach, Live in Japan
If you have been looking into learning Japanese, you may have noticed that a few online courses have started popping up in the last few years. You may have also be wondering whether they're worth the money and how they compare to the more traditional classroom courses. To be honest I was a little sceptical at first due to the lack of feedback you tend to get from a computer screen.=) So originally I would have put them in the same bracket as the 'do it yourself' books, DVDs etc. Ok for a supplement to a proper course or if you just want to learn a few phrases but not if you really want to be able to speak the language. But after checking out a few of the better ones out there recently, I realised they really have a lot to offer. So I decided to put together a list of the pros and cons of learning Japanese online. Here we go.
* FREEDOM/ FLEXIBILITY- The most obvious benefit of an online course is that you get to choose when and where to do your lessons. With most courses giving you option of transferring the audio, video and written lessons to your ipod, mp3 player etc. you can even study on the train or in your lunch break.
* PRICE- There a couple of really good online courses going for under a hundred dollars at the moment (with 30-60 day money back guarantees) which is significantly less than you will pay for any decent classroom course or book/DVD/CD deal. And when you think about the fact that unlike a classroom course, you can re-do the lessons as many times as you like, you definitely get more value for your money.
* PACE- With online courses you get to set the pace that you want to work at and can go back and repeat anything you didn't get the first time round or skip over parts you may already know.
* FEEDBACK- The main (and possibly only) negative aspect of an online language course is that you don't have a teacher sitting with you as you go, correcting your mistakes and giving you advise and encouragement. Although a couple of online japanese courses have recently added a 'live video lesson' aspect to their packages to counteract this, some people may prefer the guidance of an expert on hand at all times.
PRO or CON?:
* CLASSMATES- The last one really depends on the individual as to whether it falls into the positive or negative side of the table. Some people may prefer the company of other students during the lesson for the purpose of feedback, comparing notes or just simply the social aspect of a group lesson. On the other hand, a lot of people prefer to study by themselves, finding it easier to concentrate and less distracting than being in a class full of people.
The final decision can only be made by you but if I were to have my time again, I'd go with learning Japanese online because of the flexibility and pace issues. Of course, if you really want to get yourself on the fast track to speaking Japanese fluently you could always do both!
Adam has been living in Japan for twelve years and runs his own school teaching both Japanese and English. For more FREE LESSONS and articles, please visit http://bestwaytolearnjapanese.blogspot.com or check out learn-japanese-online.info for the best online Japanese course: http://learn-japanese-online.info
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- Learning Japanese Online - The Pros And Cons -- Adam J Johnson