German language course online – Pros and cons
With the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we all wanted to make use of the extra time on our hands to learn a new skill. I love learning languages and had thought about improving my German, a language I studied at school, but which had neglected in recent years. The opportunity arose to study German online with BiCortex Languages, was I ready to take up the challenge? Read on below and find out the advantages and disadvantages you need to know about learning German online.
Drawback of signing up for a German language course online
I have to say I had my doubts about taking a course online. I’ve studied languages in bricks and mortar schools before and one of the enjoyable aspects of those settings is being able to chat with classmates after lessons. It’s an opportunity not only to practice ein bisschen Deutsch but also to network and form lasting friendships.
I was also unsure about the level of interaction with the teacher within an online class – will they be able to hear me properly and correct my pronunciation, what if the connection fails?
But as face-to-face lessons were ruled out anyway I decided to give it a go.
Benefits of signing up for a German language course online
My scepticism was quickly laid to rest. BiCortex uses its own virtual classroom created specifically with teaching in mind. It’s download-free and it includes high quality audio and video, as well as a chat function, meaning that teachers and students don’t have any problem engaging with one another. There is also a whiteboard and students are able to write on it and also annotate any documents uploaded. I found that in many ways this was a much better experience than the face-to-face classes because everyone is highly focused on the same materials at once in a way that is more difficult when you are spread across a physical classroom.
Being online also has other advantages – our great teacher Alex fully made use of this medium by incorporating digital materials as well as videos and games and jokes from the web. We were also able to move into breakout rooms and being encouraged to use humour and also work in small groups meant that as students we had plenty of opportunity to get to know one another better.
In addition the teacher made use of other digital spaces such as Google Classroom to share useful documents such verb tables and grammar explanations, allowing us also to upload homework and view corrections.
Comparison with In-person German course
I would still like to take up an in-person German course at some point in the near future, not just because of the social aspect but also the field trips and other activities that allow one to put language skills into practice more easily. Fortunately BiCortex also offers in-person courses too, so that shouldn’t be a problem!