After deciding to start Japanese classes, the next step is to choose a form of it. Technology gives us complete freedom of this choice, and the area we live in is no longer a limit. Both studying online and in a classroom have their benefits and drawbacks.
Japanese is difficult, but learning it can go smoothly both in class and online. There is also no difference in results. It has been confirmed by many years of my experience in teaching the language. What to choose – Japanese classes online or in a classroom? Find out about advantages and disadvantages of both ways of studying.
Contact with the teacher and in-classroom studying
When learning a language, communication with a teacher is tremendously crucial. Some teachers find it easier to focus on the work and the progress of their students when they are in direct contact with them. Because of being in the same room, they pay a lot of attention to students’ progress. Especially when the group is bigger. I have never felt any constraints in communication with students when teaching online. However, undoubtedly, meetings in person can often bring benefits for both a teacher and their students.
Also, from my own experience, I know that it is much easier to conduct Japanese calligraphy class “in real life”. It allows to show a student how to write characters properly and verify their skills. Although I use a ZOOM app to conduct online classes, I have a special tablet to draw on it. My students rather use computer mice, and drawing is not that easy for them. On the other hand, handwriting is slowly losing its popularity, and it’s not the most important skill in studying Japanese.
Japanese classes online = convenience
A lot of people value the convenience and the possibility of not going out from home. It’s no different in the case of language lessons. For some people, the possibility of attending online Japanese classes can be a perfect solution for the problem of transport. Additionally, the vision of studying a new language in your room without losing time for commuting somewhere might come out as a marvellous idea. What is more, during online lessons, the teacher-student contact might become a bit more individual, especially in smaller groups. During such lessons, a student might get a feeling that the teacher is talking both to the whole group and to each student individually through the headphones, directly to their ears.
The drawbacks of in-class learning
The main drawback of in-class learning might be the commute. For some people, this factor might be crucial when giving up on classes. When commuting takes too much time, it would be natural to choose the online option. Additionally, when speaking of studying Japanese, direct contact with the teacher doesn’t have to be a necessity. Nowadays, teachers are well-prepared to conduct classes both online and in real life. When a student gets ill, they lose a class. Especially today, it might happen more often. What can also be considered a drawback of in-class learning is the lack of flexibility. Online courses, especially individual ones, are fit into our schedule by ourselves. Thus, we don’t have to follow the school timetable.
The disadvantages of online classes
Some people find it hard to stay focused at home. Numerous things might be distracting, such as other people at home, a loud TV, lack of privacy or pets. Sometimes, even the Internet connection is an obstacle. At online classes, we don’t have direct contact with other participants of the course. It might be a drawback to some people. After coming back to in-class lessons in Rzeszow, I also spotted a discouragement among young people that are simply fed up with studying at home. On the other hand, adults choose this option more willingly, since they simply gain more time for themselves.
A summary – Japanese classes online or in a classroom
Both forms have their benefits and drawbacks. That’s why the choice is an individual issue depending on preferences, possibilities, and willingness. Deciding to go for one option doesn’t mean that the choice is better or worse, but more suitable for student’s needs. Learning Japanese takes time, and it’s our decision whether we want to learn every aspect of it at home or in a building under the tutelage of a teacher and along with other students with similar interests.
I, as a teacher, love online studying, because as a teenager who wanted to study Japanese, I had to wait a long time for a language school to be established in my town. When I started studying at university in 2008, the Internet didn’t give us such opportunities as it gives us today, online studying was only a dream. Nowadays, we have these opportunities, and they are worth using. Even if we live in a small city, we can attend a course. At the same time, I understand every person that prefers studying in a classroom since it gives a number of benefits. I myself willingly came back to teaching in a classroom in Rzeszow.
Whichever option you choose, I encourage you to go through my offer of language courses. A new school year is coming, and that means a new intake. Be up-to-date following WordPassion’s fan page and my Instagram account.