Computer Assisted
Language Learning

Computer assisted language learningComputer assisted language learning is becoming increasingly popular. There are several different types of computer assisted language learning:

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All Tenses

Language learning through software

Language learning through the internet

Language learning through a company and lessons created for you

Each type of learning has its advantages and disadvantages.

Language learning software

From the beginnings of electronically assisted language learning, with records, tapes, and then CDs, we now have computer assisted language learning software.

One of the best known companies in this field is Rosetta Stone ( who offer courses in a number of languages, including English as a foreign language.

Like many companies who sell computer software to help you learn a language, the courses consist of:
  • Language elements, including vocabulary and grammar

  • Games to help learning 

  • Mobile elements that you can load onto mp3 players and use at any time.
Rosetta Stone also includes practice with native English speakers.

Advantages and disadvantages

The advantages and disadvantages depend on the specific software you purchase, but the advantages may include:
  • You can work at your own speed and whenever suits you
  • You know exactly how much it will cost you. You won't have extra costs to extend the course, or take extra classes

  • You can learn anywhere you want

  • You can be sure the materials are written by expert and experienced professionals

Some of the disadvantages include:
  • You will have little interaction with other students

  • The opportunities to speak English in real situations is limited

  • You will only hear a limited number of voices and accents

  • The opportunity to ask questions is often restricted or not available

  • Sometimes the courses can be expensive

Using the Internet for computer assisted language learning

There are many sites that are very useful for learning English.

The advantages and disadvantages are broadly the same as for language learning software, although the websites are sometimes free, and the standard of instruction will vary.

Really Learn English (this website) has many useful sections for English learning, such as:

English Vocabulary Activities

Easy English Grammar

English Word Pronunciation: Improve that Accent!

Learn to Write in English

English Reading Practice

Freebies – Learn English for Free!

ESL eBooks

In addition, here is a list of some useful English learning websites that can help for self-study (for both American and British English):

LearnEnglish | British Council

Learn English Free Online

English Club

ESL Gold

Englisch Hilfen

English Grammar Online 4U

ESL Desk

English Page

Computer assisted language learning through a company

There are a number of language schools which offer computer-based learning programs. These generally include lessons via Skype (or similar software), exercises to complete, and links to websites with extra resources.

These can be a cheaper option than classes, and are a great solution if you do not live anywhere you can take classes.

They are more flexible than language learning software or websites.

Getting the most from computer assisted language learning

Whichever method of computer assisted language learning you choose, it is important to practice as much as possible, and to use any other methods possible to complement your learning.

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