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Access to internet, headsets and online telephone software (e.g. Skype) has meant that more people than ever before can engage in distance studies and receive tutoring online. Admit one feels more special and focused when your you are sitting comfortably in your chair face to face with your teacher. In this article we will be discussing the advantages of learning foreign language via internet and Skype, from a Swedish teacher's point of view. 1. The place The benefits of learning a language online is that you can find a teacher on the internet even when there are no teachers available in your area. Finding a foreign language teacher can be a real challenge sometimes, unless you live in some capital or major city with language schools and a wide range of foreign languages to choose from. 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. Some of the less common languages might not be found even at the major cities' universities, that's why it is even more important to study via internet. 2. Listening and speaking 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. The speaker and the listener both build more confidence and the student stops relying on the body language of the teacher that happens on a face to face class. If you feel comfortable enough to showing your face to your distance teacher the webcam can be used. 3. Chatting Skype provides you with a list of options you can choose from in order to have you language lesson. Both learner and tutor can use the chat box in Skype in real-time, to check spelling and to emphasize other aspects. The chat box is often used to illustrate certain stresses of the words like in 'studerar' which can be illustrated as 'stu-dEEEEEErar'. Chat box can be sometimes used for the whole lesson to practice spelling and writing to each other. The chat box is also a very useful tool to run conversational practices with more fluent students, it allows you to type in new words and the student has he opportunity to save in to the chat history. 4. Sharing links, exchanging files, giving examples Having an online lesson means that you have more flexibility. The tutor can instantly transfer files or documents that can be useful in addition to the lesson material. Links and images can be used


in order to simplify the meaning of certain concepts and ideas. A picture can be more effective in showing the point of the teacher or tutor, as they say 'A picture says more than a 1,000 words.' This method keeps your student from falling asleep and provides him with a valuable experience. These kinds of experience can not be reached in a face-to-face tuition. 5. Saving time Online learning helps you save your time and money. Zero expenses on traveling. Even if you can't completely eliminate your traveling time, you minimize it to however long it takes you to get to your computer. Of course, you can attend classes at your language school, but unless it is a perfect language school or a tutor in your neighborhood, I would recommend to give online lessons a try.

The information above was presented by a native Swedish teacher Anneli B. Haake. Her specialty is learning adults online and she has held over 1,000 hours of distance lessons.

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