Updated: May 15, 2022
This is a very strange and difficult time for everyone and I can tell with no doubts that all of us want to be back to normal as soon as possible. The uncertainty that the COVID-19 global pandemic has brought to the whole world has been challenging. But this is also a very unique time and we’ve had many opportunities to enjoy and learn from them. Online lessons are one of them. I know they are not the same as in-person classes, but they can be great as well and online learning is an amazing, beneficial and very useful option. In addition, studying online has become a global experience since last year.
There is a very wise and true quote that says:
”Online learning can be a lifeline to those who have obstacles, such as geographical distances or physical disabilities.” - Paul Levinson
In my blog post, I’m going to write about my experience of taking online English classes and at the end I will compare them with my in-person classes that I used to have before the COVID-19 pandemic started.
When and Why I started taking Online Lessons
I started taking online English lessons one year ago. I decided to do that because I wanted to practice and improve my English. I knew since I started taking online lessons that it was the best opportunity for me to keep learning English. At that time, I didn’t have any other option. I don’t regret making that decision. My experience taking online English classes has been a positive influence in my life and I’m very grateful to my teacher Albert Vargas (the founder of Alvademy) for giving me that opportunity and for being a perfect, respectful, understanding, encouraging, and supportive teacher.
At the beginning, I was a little bit stressed out because I didn’t have any experience taking online lessons and I didn’t know what to expect from that kind of education. When my stress was gone I was able to fully enjoy my online classes. But my stress didn’t last for a long time because my teacher made everything easier and all of his classes were well-planned and organized. I very much appreciate his effort and hard-work which he puts to all of our online English classes. He is always willing to help and support me in everything I need and I’ll be thankful to him forever.
Honestly, I expected that I was going to learn much less in my online classes than in my in-person classes. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case because now after having online classes for one year, I can truly say that I've been able to learn as much as I did or even more than what I learned in my in-person classes.
I’m very glad I’m still able to learn English despite the fact that the pandemic is not over yet and taking in-person classes is still very difficult or even impossible for many people.
Why it is good to learn English online
Online learning has become an important part of education. I know and understand that many people who don’t have any previous experience with online classes can think of them as useless, but they are not. They are in fact the opposite.
Using modern technologies while studying can develop skills that can be used at work later. Online courses will look great on your resume. It will show your potential employer that you are willing to learn and get some new knowledge and skills.
Not having the opportunity to have in-person classes gave me a chance to try online classes which have given me more knowledge and helped me improve my English language skills. I feel I have not wasted my time during this pandemic. Online classes can give you not only a higher degree of flexibility but also a higher degree of self-discipline and self-motivation. Also, the geographical barriers and distance are not an issue anymore. You can have your classes no matter how far you are from the teacher.
As you can see, learning English online is very useful and beneficial. Isn’t it great that you can learn English from almost anywhere at any time no matter what the situation may be?
I was also able to have my online classes at the time when my family and I had COVID-19. We all had to stay in quarantine and I was still able to take my English classes because they were online and that way I didn’t pose any risk to my teacher. I was very fortunate to keep having English classes despite the fact that I was in mandatory quarantine and I couldn’t be around anyone except for my family who I live with. If I’d had in-person English classes, I wouldn’t have been able or allowed to attend my lessons and I would have lost some parts of my education and in some cases even money.
Likes and dislikes about my online English Classes
I can honestly say that I love my online English classes and there aren’t many things that I don’t like. All of my classes have been very interesting, valuable and effective.
What I like about my online classes
The distance is not an issue and it gives me the opportunity to learn English with an amazing teacher even when we live on different continents and we are separated by thousands of miles.
They give me more flexibility and also make me more responsible and independent.
I can study from almost anywhere.
I can agree with my teacher on rescheduling our classes when something unexpected happens, so that way I don't lose my education or money.
They give me full control over my learning process and I’m able to study and learn at my own pace.
There are fewer distractions so I’m able to fully focus on my lessons.
They give me more flexibility so I can plan my schedule more effectively.
They require me less time to get ready for them. There’s no need to commute. I can log in to my online classes from the comfort of my own place. They save me lots of time and I can use that time for studying and acquiring more knowledge.
What I don’t like
It's frustrating and sad that it's not possible to have a physical face-to-face interaction or communication with the teacher.
There are sometimes issues with technology so we need to deal with them more often. But don’t get scared because they won’t ruin any of your classes.
There are different time zones over the whole world and it can sometimes be difficult to agree on an acceptable time for both the teacher and the student to have classes. For example, I live in Slovakia and my teacher in Miami Beach, USA. In my country, it is six hours ahead of Miami so my teacher and I need to agree on a time when it’s comfortable for both of us to have our classes.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Classes
Everything has advantages and disadvantages and online classes aren’t an exception. E-learning has grown so much since COVID-19 started and I can confidently say that it's the new normal. Although online learning is one of the major things that has been changing the education system and our global society, I still believe that this is one of the best times to embrace the opportunities that we have.
Online classes are more efficient and productive. The teacher and student can use all the new technology tools. They are also very good and helpful to teach and study.
Online courses are less expensive and more affordable compared to in-person classes. Online courses eliminate the costs of transportation, accommodation, etc. Most of the class materials can also be found online and that saves lots of money too.
No limitations by geographical location
As I mentioned before, online learning allows not only the student but also the teacher to access and have their classes from almost any location.
Online classes can be taken from home or almost anywhere. Therefore, there are very few reasons for students to miss their classes.
Targeting your learning style
Everyone has a different learning style. Online classes are good because they target the most appropriate learning style of each student.
Developing new skills
During online classes, students don’t learn only about the subject of their course, but they also develop new skills on how to use modern technological devices and software and work with them.
Perfect way of studying for introverts
Some people don’t like to speak or ask questions in class because they are afraid of being judged by their classmates. Some people are also shy or even afraid to present something in front of the whole class. Online learning can help introverts get rid of their fears and be more open and comfortable in class.
Being Protected From Viruses, Bacteria and Diseases
During the pandemic, it's better to have online classes rather than in-person classes where you are in contact with other people and risk your own and other people's health. Being with a group of people in class increases the rate of any kind of infection. Having online classes will keep you safe from getting infected.
Technology has grown so much in recent years, but there are still some issues. For instance, the internet connectivity or speed. It happens sometimes that the internet is slow or it stops working and that issue can interrupt your class. That’s why it is important to have some technology knowledge and keep learning about it so these issues can be resolved by you.
Isolation and lack of social interaction
Socialization is a very important part of our life. Everyone needs to have an in-person connection and interaction with their teacher, students and/or classmates. In online classes there is no physical interaction between teachers or students. Therefore, this is one of the reasons many students prefer in-person classes.
Body language from the teacher and student is very important. When you are learning a foreign language, body language facilitates the understanding of certain words especially if you are a beginner. In e-learning we can’t fully use our body language. Therefore, this can be a challenge for some people.
Lack of Focus
It's easy to get distracted by a lot of things while you’re having your online class. You can get distracted by social media, phone calls, texting, work, projects, food, etc., and sometimes the last thing you pay attention to is your online class. Therefore, online classes are not made for easily-distracted people or for people that don’t take their classes seriously. However, it depends on each student’s attitude toward their classes and education.
Online classes vs. In-person Lessons
Since I have experience with both online and in-person lessons, I can truly say that I really love both of them and they are great. However, my online and in-person lessons have been different. One of the main differences is that I have been taking one-on-one online English lessons and my in-person classes have all been group lessons. But I like and enjoy both of them very much.
My online and in-person teacher
A very good thing is that my online English teacher is one of the teachers who I used to have in-person lessons with and I really love all of his classes because he always makes them enjoyable and amazing. The world really needs more incredible, talented, and determined teachers like him, who loves his job and has such a positive impact on his students’ lives.
My online classes are one-on-one and I really like them because these classes have always been based on my needs. That has allowed me to gain more knowledge, learn at my own pace, and practice the things I need to improve and focus on. My private online classes make me feel more comfortable to ask my teacher questions about things I don’t understand without worrying about being criticized by other people in a group class.
Some people can think that private lessons are boring because it’s only you and the teacher. Well, not my classes. They have always been wonderful and I enjoy all of them. I still have so much fun with my teacher in our classes and we both joke around and laugh a lot together. I believe it's very important to have some fun while studying.
I'm also very grateful to have the opportunity to work on the projects with my teacher Albert. We’ve produced some motivational, educational, interview, and trailer videos. Our interview videos were recorded while having classes.
If you are interested in watching our videos and knowing more about our online English classes and how they are conducted you can find and watch all of our videos and interviews by clicking on the next link: www.alvademy.com/our-videos.
All of my in-person classes were great and I have wonderful memories of all of them. Like I mentioned before, they were group classes. I had many teachers when I took these classes and I loved all of my teachers. They were great and made their classes very interesting and students always looked forward to having their lessons. I also loved my classmates because I had great ones and we all, including the teacher, were like a big family. All of us were willing to help each other whenever someone needed help.
There were some very special moments that I really miss the most. Especially, I miss the times when my friends and I hung out together after our classes and had a great time. It was very good. Those moments are priceless and I look forward to meeting and hanging out with my friends again.
I also wrote a blog post that is called “Review of Albert’s classes, the founder of Alvademy.” This blog post is about my experience with my in-person English classes when I studied English in Miami.
If you want to know more about my in-person classes, click on the next link: https://www.alvademy.com/post/review-of-albert-s-classes-the-founder-of-alvademy
Don’t be afraid to start taking online courses
In our current global situation, online lessons are very beneficial and effective. They are the best way to interact and enhance our learning. Fortunately, new technology has made online courses possible and so much easier. I know some people who have taken online courses and developed their passion for the subject they are studying since the moment they started. I’m also always excited and looking forward to having my online lessons.
Since I started taking online English lessons, I’ve learned so much not only about English but also about myself and my abilities. I’ve grown so much and also developed many new skills. I can truly say that I’m more confident now. Thanks to my teacher Albert I’m able to do things I always thought I would never achieve. He always believes in me and never gives up on me even at those times when I don’t believe in myself. He pushes me to do my best, supports me and keeps me motivated. So I finally found courage in myself to do what I love, enjoy and want to do, and I realized I was just afraid to show that to other people. He saw something in me that I couldn’t see in myself and he always reminds me to never give up, to follow my dreams, and also that with hard-work and dedication I can accomplish anything I dream of. I feel very happy when he is proud of me. He makes me feel that I can be successful and everything I do in my life is worth my time and effort. Like he said to me, “practice makes perfect”, so I know that I can be better each day if I keep going and don’t quit. Seriously, without Albert's positive influence and help, I wouldn’t be sitting in my room writing this blog post. Two years ago, if anyone had told me that today I would be sharing with other people something that was made by me, I wouldn’t have believed them because I would think that they were completely wrong and also that I would never be able to get rid of my fears and insecurities. Now here we are and thanks to Albert's help, I was able to start writing blog posts and share them with other people. I know I will succeed because I have someone very wise and smart in my life who already believes in me and my work.
If you want to start taking online courses but you don’t know whether they are effective or not, I can assure you that they are very effective and it's worth it to start studying online. You never know what they will bring to you.
If you are interested in learning or improving your English, Spanish or French go ahead and enroll in one of the courses at www.alvademy.com. I’m sure you won’t regret it.
Saúl Albert Vargas
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