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Nowadays, language classes and tutorials can be received from a distance by means of online telephone software such as Skype, headsets and access to internet of course.Some learners can feel a little bit sceptical to the idea of learning a language through Skype, and feel more comfortable with the idea of sitting face-to-face with their language 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 Even if there are no language teacher in the place you were born via means of the internet you can always surf and find one. 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 Regardless of what some say about the inability to learn the language face to face with a teacher, my experience shows the opposite results. The learner automatically focuses more on listening to 'the music of the language', and the experience will be mainly auditory. 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. Having the lessons in the chat. In Skype, there are other features that can be used during a 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. 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. Giving examples, exchanging files, sharing links


Sitting in front of your computer means more flexibility. 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. 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.' It also provides the learner with a more varied learning experience. The face-to-face tuition does not provide you with that kind of flexibility. 5. Saving time Learning online saves time and money. No expenses on traveling. 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 has taught over 1,000 hours and specialises in online distance learning for adults.

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