The advantages of learning a language with a real native tutor
Each of us has a different learning style. Some learn better with visual aids while others like listening to lectures and hearing what is being taught. There are those who like to read and analyze before they figure something out while there are those who prefer to apply concepts taught in order to remember them. No matter what the learning style and the topic of the discussion, a real teacher is definitely an advantage to any type of learner.
Real teachers make learning for a student more interesting by the utilization of facilitation skills instead of spoon-feeding information that can be readily learned in online courses or modules. They can make the lessons more personalized depending on the type of learner and inject activities that allow application of the lesson learned. They can also adjust the pace of the lessons and just cover the ‘need-to-know’ topics if required. Also, if your teacher happens to be a native speaker, he or she can show you how to speak the language the native way. This way, the learner is able to appreciate the language even more and is able to understand why speaking another language is not just combining words and phrases.
The downside of audio CDs and language learning programs such as those offered in www.pimsleur.com and www.rosettastone.com is the fact that they only target specific types of learners, specifically the auditory or visual learners. Even if these software have speech recognition and provide feedback on pronunciation or intonation, nothing can compare to the comments of a real teacher. You are also able to immediately correct your mistakes and get more ideas on how to grasp and remember the topic better based on feedback from your teacher.
When you feel that you have acquired everything that you can from your self-paced lessons, the final test is for you to apply what you’ve learned by striking an actual conversation with someone who speaks your newly learned language. Most language learning software is not built for this purpose. Practicing what you’ve learned through interaction with your teacher is something that technology cannot replace, without a doubt.
Cost may also be a factor when choosing between self-directed learning and instructor-led learning. One good suggestion would be for you to invest in a school that offers lessons conducted by a real teacher and supplemented with online courses or self-paced topics. In this way you get to address all your learning needs.
In conclusion, learning a new language on your own using available resources can be beneficial, but when combined with interaction provided by a live teacher, you can definitely have the best possible learning experience.