assisted language learning is becoming increasingly popular.
several different types of computer assisted language learning:
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learning through software
learning through the internet
learning through a company and lessons
created for you
Each type of learning has its advantages and disadvantages.
From the beginnings of electronically assisted language learning, with
records, tapes, and then CDs, we now have computer assisted language
One of the best known companies in this field is Rosetta Stone
(www.rosettastone.co.uk) 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
- 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
- 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
- The opportunities to speak English in real
situations is limited
- You will only hear a limited number of voices
- The opportunity to ask questions is often
restricted or not available
- Sometimes the courses can be expensive
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:
Improve that Accent!
to Write in
Freebies – Learn
English for Free!
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 Grammar Online 4U
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
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.