Shannon Leal ’14
Different languages are spoken all over the world; so why stick to just one? This idea has occurred to many. Students are wanting to learn more and different languages. This is why multiple language classes are now offered online, including Latin and German.
Many students have heard about online language classes; however, they don’t know much about them. Students involved in the online language experience share their thoughts.
“It’s a win lose situation,” states Allyson Marvel ‘16, online Latin student.
Other students, as well as teachers, agree with Marvel’s statement. They believe that there are benefits to the online classes, as well as drawbacks.
“[A positive is that] it’s all about you. You don’t have to worry about a big class,” states Allyson Marvel ‘16.
Many students prefer having a one-on-one teaching style.
“You can go at your own pace,” says Michael Cooper ‘13, online German student.
Instead of students falling behind in a classroom when they don’t understand something, they can take their time learning the material better and proceed at their own pace.
While these components make taking an online language class beneficial, there are drawbacks to online language classes as well.
“You don’t have a teacher there to help you,” explains Cooper. “It can take a few days to get one [question] answered,” he continues.
Teachers also can see the flaws in this set up.
“The opportunity to speak in real-life situations [is lost],” states Spanish teacher, Mrs. Tanya Ramm.
Instead of walking into a classroom that speaks the foreign language every day, students walk up to a computer that shows them the foreign words and reads them from a recording.
“[Students] lose the spontaneity of language in a classroom,” says Spanish teacher, Mrs. Virginia Valentine. “We use language to communicate with one another. Online, there is no [person],” adds Valentine.
“If the Internet is down, [students] can’t go to their class, [and] if they don’t save an assignment the right way, their work will be gone,” states Mr. James Streeter, Associate online teacher.
There are both pro’s and con’s to taking an online language class. Knowing these facts, students can decide if the online language class is for them.
“If you are thinking about [taking an online language class] because you think it might be cool, gather information before signing up,” suggests Streeter.
As Ramm says, “It might be better than nothing, but there is no replacement for being in a class where [the language] is spoken every day.”