Few years ago I was passionate to learn all the languages in the world.(I still am:)
I was just wandering through Internet trying to find some books that will help me to learn the language all by myself. As always ,my best friend Google helped me to accomplish what I had started. 😀
It helped me not only find numerous books but some really useful and helpful websites. At first I found < http://www.livemocha.com.First of all I created an account, filled in the info and there I go.I started to explore the website and different features it offered. The first thing I did was I chose the languages I wanted to learn.(Italian, French) I was so much excited that I could hardly resist the temptation of choosing all the languages available. During the learning process I had lots of fun.I really enjoyed it.I was learning. I was interacting with the community members(both natives and second language learners) of the website. I was commenting under posts, making my own forum posts about Armenia(in English). This was the first time I was engaged in a real interaction.I even made friends with some of the members.I was developing my English language skills and at the same time was learning another language.
What about http://www.busuu.com .I found it a bit later. I totally fell in love with that website 🙂 starting from its interface and ending with the idea of creating my own garden. Though I was spending hours in Busuu.com I was not getting tired at all.The time seemed to stop for a while.
What I appreciate in Busuu.com as well as in Livemocha.com is again plenty of opportunities to develop or learn the new language.Again a chance to interact with native speakers as well as with the learners of that particular language.(through chat, through checking exercises, etc)
Another important thing;in both platforms(Livemocha.com, http:/busuu.com.com) there is an opportunity for self-assessment, an opportunity to follow your own progress, to go back and recall what you have learned as many times as you needed.You are the owner of your time. you can organize and set the things so that it will be more convenient for you,
You are deciding what to learn,or how much time to spend on learning or how to learn something . Setting goals or time lines make you more responsible for your own learning.It`s something like a you competition with your own self, trying to convince yourself that you can do this or that in a definite course of time.
So what was the purpose of writing such a long description about my language learning preferences and experiences.
Certainly ,the idea of introducing distance learning. The introduction to these two websites was to give a better understanding about distance learning .These two websites are good.examples of distance learning. The blue highlights above represent the advantages that i consider important and to my mind serve as a basis for distance learning.
What about disadvantages.Some might say lack of real, authentic communication, feeling of isolation or focus on only individual working style.
Well I would partly agree. I would definitely choose to travel to my favourite country, to see its sights and to chitchat with some locals or just to study at some prestigious college or university in that country. Of course i would get more opportunities of using my knowledge and language skills in such an environment
But unfortunately me ,and the vast majority of population(especially students) do no t have that opportunity.They lack in finances,in time.What about emotional issues.Many people are just having cultural shock while leaving for another country, many of them aren`t able live in such situations,hey miss their loved ones, their friends.
Who said there is no interaction,no collaboration or negotiation?
Better go and discover the brand new world with much more opportunities for you:)