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  • Writer's pictureMargaret Nelson

Differences Between Online Classes and Live Virtual Learning

At ReDefiners World Languages, we’ve seen how Live Virtual Learning has impacted our students. We’ve been able to bring high-quality language learning courses to students all across the country. Our students have gained knowledge of English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Arabic, and they’ve gained a greater understanding of the world around them.

This is a picture of two people shaking hands in front of a globe against a white background. Only their hands are visible, and the globe shows Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
Language learning increases cultural awareness.

Unfortunately, many are skeptical about the benefits of online learning. Some view it as a poor substitute for in-person learning. Others have had stressful experiences with online learning, and they’ve never experienced well-run, organized classes. The vast majority know little about it, and they often use the terms “online classes” and “live virtual learning” interchangeably. While they have many similarities, it’s crucial to understand the differences between these terms and why Live Virtual Classes are better for learning a second language.

This is a picture of a girl sitting at a desk, in front of a desktop computer. She's on a video call with an adult woman and four girls.
Live Virtual Learning provides educational opportunities at home.

With online classes:

  • Students typically have a teacher or a professor who organizes and directs the class.

  • The teacher/professor uses an online platform to upload information, such as lectures, readings, assignments, and tests.

  • You might or might not interact with other students.

  • You might or might not have group assignments.

  • You likely won’t interact with the teacher/professor unless you contact them first.

  • Grades and feedback often come days or weeks after a student submits their work, making it harder to correct their mistakes.

  • There are no set dates and times where the class meets. If there are no specific times to meet with your teacher, it can be harder to get feedback and ask questions.

  • Students are responsible for meeting all deadlines. However, as long as you get everything turned in on time, you might be able to work ahead.

Online classes have their pros and cons. If you’re an organized, disciplined student who needs flexibility, online classes can be a good option. However, online classes are not necessarily the best option for foreign language learning. With foreign language learning, students need to practice speaking with native speakers, and they need immediate feedback so that they don’t develop bad habits.

With live virtual learning:

  • Classes are similar to those conducted in person.

  • Students meet with their teachers at specific times each week.

  • Students often join the class on a video call platform, such as Zoom or Skype. This type of platform gives them the opportunity to interact with each other and the teacher.

  • Students often do the same things they would do when they’re in an in-person class, such as group projects and in-class activities.

  • You can ask other students for help.

  • Your teacher can provide immediate feedback, making it easier to correct your mistakes.

  • Students typically have to go at the same pace as everyone else.

Live virtual learning has unique advantages for foreign language learners. It allows the opportunity for immersion-based learning. Immersion enables faster progress, meaning that students can speak sooner. It also provides opportunities to practice with the teacher and other students. The more a student practices, the faster they will make progress. It’s for these reasons that ReDefiners has created live virtual learning opportunities for our students.

This is a picture of a young girl sitting at a table in front of a computer. She's writing on a notebook with a colored pencil.
Sign up for a ReDefiners class today!

If you’re interested in more information about our live virtual learning classes, visit our website. We offer courses in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Arabic. In all of our programs, students learn how to speak the language and navigate unfamiliar cultures. If you’re ready to learn a new language, take a class with ReDefiners.

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1 Comment

sabrina collins
sabrina collins
Mar 22

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