The Benefits of Learning a Language Online

The Benefits of Learning a Language Online

The world is turning faster and faster and the more countries a company seals deals with, the more likely is the achievement of economies of scale, through access to a larger market and an increased geographical expansion. It is obvious that the piece of the cake is going to be much smaller in saturated markets, which is why companies have begun targeting and expanding into the emerging economies that will be dominating the world in the future: India, Brazil and China. Nothing can be achieved without mastering English and ideally the language of the targeted country, however, and that is where companies seek the help of e-learning specialists that will help them understand, manage and administer foreign employees, legislations and customs.

The advantages of e-learning vs. traditional language courses

The packed schedule of many employees and managers does not offer any gaps for visiting a language institute. The internet has offered a more flexible and less time-consuming way of learning a language. Time has become a more valuable resource than money and e-learning is the ideal way of saving time and money, as lessons can be taken directly from home or from the office and expensive language courses abroad are no longer necessary. E-learning companies offering language courses online have sprung up like mushrooms in the last few years. By means of communicational tools such as Skype or e-learning software like virtual classrooms and virtual conference rooms, businessmen and individuals are able to learn the language of their choice in an online environment without having to travel unnecessary distances. In addition to that, people have discovered the benefits of learning a language with a native speaker rather than a teacher that teaches his/her second or third language and will most likely have an accent when speaking.

How does it work?

The most popular tool for learning a language is Skype. Skype offers you the opportunity to speak to your teacher based in any desired country for free. You simply need to sign up and create your account and you are ready to go. It is recommended to have a broadband internet connection, a headset (the best ones are the ones with a USB connection) and a quiet learning environment to make the fastest progress. A webcam offers you the possibility to see your teacher and observe the way he/she talks and uses gestures to reinforce and emphasize his/her speech. Another useful tool for learning a language online is a conference room or virtual classroom. The teacher can upload files containing audio, videos, grammar exercises, activities and games into the virtual classroom where the student and the teacher can see the same screen. Virtual classrooms also provide a chat window which teachers can use to write down new vocabulary, expressions and anything that might be useful for the learner. The contents of this chat box can be copied and pasted into a word file which can later be emailed to the student. The student and the teacher can activate their webcam inside the virtual classroom which will make the learning experience more intense and real.

Which are the best e-learning companies?

On VerbalPlanet you can select the teacher based on experience, number of lessons taught, price of lessons, age and rating. MyWebAcademy provides interactive online German courses for all levels and ages with a native speaker in their advanced virtual classroom. Learnship is a German company that offers language courses that are conducted in an advanced virtual conference room with interactive learning material based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, produced by the Council of Europe. Gofluentis a French company that offers English courses via mobile learning, e-learning, lessons over the phone and e-writing.

Which language should I learn?

While English has been the most sought after language for decades, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian are currently among the top favorites against the background of Brazil, Russia and China becoming one of the world’s leading economies and offering high potentials with GDP grow rates of up to 9%. It might be hard to believe that Portuguese is spoken as a native language by approx. 178 million people and it has become the 7th most widely spoken language on earth. Besides, Portuguese is an official language of the EU and the MERCOSUR. Russian is the 8th most widely spoken language worldwide with 144 million native speakers and it is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. The most spoken language of the world, however, is Mandarin, spoken by 845 million native speakers. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Learning German might also be a wise choice as German is the most widely spoken language in Europe and Germany has the 3rd strongest economy. German is also the second most commonly used scientific language. You will find great opportunities to study and work in Germany with a great number of scholarships being offered and special visas for skilled workers. Nevertheless, English remains to be the most important language in the world and in many countries English is the first foreign language studied at school. English is mostly the only connection there is between two people that do not speak each other’s native languages. Spanish is also an important language as it is spoken in more countries than any other language. It is estimated that in the future there will be more Spanish than English speakers in the United States.

It is time to start e-learning a language! Choose your favorite language and give it a try. You will not regret it and you will be amazed by the results you can achieve in a very short time.



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Banking Online Education Learning

It’s budget time, how much will it cost me?

Is e-learning the solution for companies who want to train or retrain their employees during the financial crisis. If yes then the recipe for success might be to find a good e-learning provider, acquire an easy to use learning management system, steal the learning content and then pray. However, I’m only mirroring what is probably being muted in every major company in North America and Europe at this point in time. It’s budget time and from now until Christmas managers will be attempting to forecast their revenue and expenditure streams for 2010. One of the revenue streams, Oops, I mean capital investment streams, oh ok expense streams, will be employee training, The dilemma for these managers and their counterparts in the training and development department is what percentage of the training budget should be allocated to traditional stand up seminars and how much money should be allocated to e-learning solutions, e-learning content development, e-learning providers, or invest in e-learning tools. Perhaps, e-learning is not the whole answer, perhaps certain employees will need to have access to multimedia learning on specific workstations in a purpose built training room. Quite a dilemma and one that many of you face at this time of year. In a previous life I was Head of Training and Development North America for Swiss Bank Corporation. I had the same dilemma and quite simple I had to prove to my bosses and the budget committee that the bank would see a decent return on their investment in training.

Who is involved in e-learning UK?

Actually it’s not that simple but perhaps the information below on what’s currently going on in the UK and what are the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning learning will help your budget presentations.

So what is the e-learning news from the UK at the present time? Who is using e-learning solutions for their training needs. For a start over 80 colleges and universities are using some form of distance education learning much of it as blended learning integrated with traditional methods of learning. In addition 44 FTSE top 100 companies and 29 government departments are using e-learning. No wonder therefore there has been a plethora of some 92 e-learning providers as well as some 33 e-learning consultants. An interesting fact is that even though the UK is coming to the end of an economic crisis companies are already gearing up for life after the crisis and investing in training. So what are the drivers for e-learning strategies?

Locations for e-learning

The beauty of e-learning is that it can be accessed wherever there is an internet connection to:

the home

the desk top

a learning center on site

the laptop


Research conducted by KPMG consultants in the UK found that UK companies that implemented an integrated e-learning solution had improved their top line revenue by 0.5%. A phenomenal achievement. They managed this through reduction in time to market in conjunction with improved productivity of sales forces.

Cost Savings

$7.5 million per annum top for FTSE 250 companies

IBM saved $200 million per annum putting 70% savings on line

BT trained 40,000 employees on internet protocol

Today’s drivers for e-learning

One of the chief drivers of course is that training becomes more accessible to the learner. Thus training in theory becomes more efficient in terms of cost ($per employee) and in terms of retention. With e-learning technology it is not necessary to send employees away to expensive hotels for several days on seminars or on training courses. Employees can now learn in their own time at their own pace and repeat the learning until they have retained the information. Direct training costs are reduced dramatically, as well as indirect training costs such as travel, hotel, transport and food. Training can be delivered quicker and more efficiently by exploiting the company’s intranet and internet facilities, be it at the employees desk or in a custom made learning center. A company that has developed company wide e-learning delivery systems can deliver a much wider range of content on demand (driven by the user) more efficiently than for example a traditional classroom training center. Finally, a compelling driver for any management team is that e-learning training if designed by professional instructional designers, can improve top line revenues. Content is king and within industry segments competition is high. Highly trained employees should have an edge over the competition and therefore have a positive affect on top line revenues.

How e-Learning transforms businesses

By blending traditional instructor led courses with internet enabled, learner centric education, businesses are able to combine on-line learning with knowledge management and internal communications. This tailored mix of technology and strategic change management improves the efficiency of learning by reducing more than 8 hours of classroom learning time to 3 to 4 hours of learning time with e-learning. Training can be accessed without travel by both instructor and learner and training time is shorter, more targeted and of course immediate. By developing a sophisticated learning management system e-learning can be tailored to the learner by topics such as learning to research bank routing number information from different sources online. Specific behavioral or technical feedback can be delivered through testing and database management on the basis of optimum customer responses.

Retention rate

Studies have shown that interactive learning can result in an enhanced retention rate of between 30% and 90%. Why is this? Learners are more likely to remember training which is targeted to immediate needs and to retain information which is put to immediate use. Interactive e-learning presents a diversity of ways for the learner to learn, such as sound, text, video and animation. Feedback is targeted to the learners performance and therefore the learner is able to target their learning needs. If designed well, e-learning delivers a harmonious message which is conducive to helping the learner learn. Recent research by Xerox Corporation has indicated that within 30 days there is a loss of retention if the learning is not applied in the workplace. Just in time e-learning addresses this very issue and prevents retention loss.

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eLearning Photoshop

Photoshop training for the virtual classroom

I love the way that people can connect over the Internet today. I have had many different types of learning experiences, from traditional classroom instruction to the newest elearning methods-and a taste of nearly everything in-between. I also have 15 years of experience teaching English as a foreign language in Mexico. And of all the teaching methods I have seen, I think that elearning holds the most potential as a system for Photoshop training.

When I first started hearing about virtual classrooms, I didn’t like the idea very much. In my mind I probably associated elearning with traditional distance learning programs like television and correspondence courses. I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to find out how wrong I was. Most people react negatively to new ideas the first time they hear them. That seems to be a fairly universal product of our education and socialization. It’s a wonderful thing when we are able to break down the barriers that cause us to rsist new ideas.

When I had my first opportunity to participate in elearning, I realized almost instantly that I had been very wrong in my opinions-it’s easy to see why now. I didn’t like traditional television courses because they were even less interactive than traditional classroom instruction-communication was one way, instructor to student, without any technology to allow students to ask the instructor questions during a class. And traditional correspondence courses were even more frustrating in the days when snail mail was the only mechanism to facilitate communication between instructors and students.

The component that makes elearning so completely different from traditional distance learning systems is the interactivity that elearning not only allows, but encourages, empowers, and invites. Interactivity is the key element, the motor that drives the explosion in online training today. Students who are too timid to speak up in the traditional classroom environment now have in their hands a powerful tool for overcoming their shyness.

Another thing I love about elearning is that you have more freedom to practice what you’re learning. If you’re taking a Photoshop training course, for instance, your practice field is right at home on your computer.

As a teacher of English as a foreign language, I have always noticed that successful learners often learn as much from their classmates as they do from the teacher. I think that teachers in physical classrooms understand better today than ever before that connectedness in the classroom helps every student learn more. And now the Internet shows us how to take maximum advantage of the benefits of connecting to others-we can connect to anyone else in the world if the two of us have an Internet connection.

I’m excited about how elearning is changing the way we learn. If you’re an amateur photographer or videographer who wants to get more out of your photos and online videos, sign up for Photoshop training today and discover how elearning can help you be all that you can be.

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