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The newer technologies, headsets and online telephone software such as Skype allow us to participate in distance studies and receive language classes and tutorials online. Admit one feels more special and focused when your you are sitting comfortably in your chair face to face with your teacher. The purpose of this article is to discuss some of the benefits of learning a language via Skype and internet, from a Swedish teacher's perspective. 1. Location Learning online means you can learn a language even though there are no teachers available locally where you live. To be honest it is quite a task to find a language teacher unless you live in the big city that has language schools available for you that have your chosen language. Flying to the country of the desirable language and taking a course there is another option, though not all of us can afford it financially. Regardless of your location you always have an opportunity to learn your favorite language just by going online. This option is even more valuable for those of the students who have chosen exotic languages that might not be available at the major cities' language universities. 2. Speaking and listening skills According to my experience it may be beneficial for the learner to learn the language in distance without the actual face to face contact. The attention of the student is tied to the listening of 'the music of the language. Therefor, the learner slowly builds confidence and stops relying on the body language that can often times happen with teacher's physical presence. In the situations were it can be beneficial you, of course, can also use the webcam. 3. Chatting Skype provides you with a list of options you can choose from in order to have you language lesson. In order to check your spelling and some other language aspects the chat box can be used by both learner and teacher. The chat box is often used to illustrate certain stresses of the words like in 'studerar' which can be illustrated as 'stu-dEEEEEErar'. Sometimes a full lesson can be spent in chat box training spelling and word order. I also use it every time I run conversational practice sessions with more fluent students, as I can type out new words as we go along and the learner can save the chat record to their computer after the session. 4. Giving examples, exchanging files, sharing links Having a lesson online while you are sitting in front of your computer gives you more freedom. Useful materials and links can be transfered and shared instantly if the tutor decides it is relevant.


Both learner and tutor can share links and use images to exemplify meanings and concepts. Sometimes it is far more effective to find a picture that illustrates your point on the internet than struggling to shape it in words. It also provides the learner with a more varied learning experience. This level of flexibility is not possible in face-to-face tuition. 5. Save your time. Online learning helps you save your time and money. Traveling cost is none. Perhaps, you don't eliminate you traveling time completely but you minimize it to however long it takes you to turn on our computer and wait until it starts running. I would recommend to give online lessons a try, unless you have a perfect language school right in your neighborhood with professional teachers that you feel comfortable to be in the same room.

The information above was presented by a native Swedish teacher Anneli B. Haake. She spesialises in online distance learning for adults and has taught over 1,000 hours.

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