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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. 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. Generally speaking, it can be quite difficult to find a language teacher, unless you live in a major city that has language schools with your chosen language available. The other option is to travel to the country in question and do an intensive course, which is highly effective but may be on the expensive side for many learners. That's why regardless of your location you can always go online and learn the language you have chosen. 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. Your skills to speak and listen 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 'the music of the language' flows right in the learners ears that makes the lessons mainly auditory. This builds confidence for both speaking and listening, and it stops the learner relying on body language - which often happens when trying to communicating face-to-face. Of course, webcam can be used too, if there are situations where this would be beneficial. 3. Having the lessons in the chat. In Skype, there are other features that can be used during a language lesson. The chat box can be used n order to check the spelling and emphasize other aspects. In order to illustrate certain spelling or emphasis nuances the chat box can be used, like in the word 'studerar' illustrated as 'stu-dEEEEEErar'. Chat box can be sometimes used for the whole lesson to practice spelling and writing to each other. 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. In


Addition to the lesson the tutor can send you useful materials and documents that are relevant to your lesson. 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. At the same time it adds more entertainment and variety to the learning process. This level of flexibility is not possible in face-to-face tuition. 5. Don't waste your time Learning online saves time and money. Zero expenses on traveling. Traveling time is, if not completely eliminated, minimized to however long it takes to turn the computer on, or walk down the stairs to the office/kitchen/lounge, or wherever the computer is located. 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.

This article was written by Anneli B. Haake - a native Swedish teacher. Her specialty is learning adults online and she has held over 1,000 hours of distance lessons.

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Learn Swedish - An In Depth Anaylsis on What Works and What Doesn't  

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