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Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Education in The ESL Classroom

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Education in The ESL Classroom | ITTT | TEFL Blog

There is no doubt that it is the Information Age people are currently living in. And it is cannot be ignored that online education is one of the fastest growing teaching and learning methods in recent years due to different reasons and needs, which takes the advantages of the Internet and save both teachers' and learners' time and energy that has been spent on the distance and traffic. Among that, ESL online learning gets a great acceptance from the ESL learners. And here is a discussion about the advantage of ESL online education.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Xue L. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.


Flexible Time

Compared to traditional teaching mode, there is no time limitation in ESL online education. In the past, if the learners want to take the class, they have to especially make the time for the class. No matter the students at school or the workers, they have to take a day off or sacrifice their weekends to have an English class. I personally have been ESL online teaching in China for six months, and my students are varied from 5 years old to adults. Most of my online classes have been held during the time from 5:00pm to 11:00pm- the time after school or after work, which is actually beneficial for both the teachers and the ESL learners.

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No Region Limitation

We all agree In a traditional offline English class, teachers and students have to be in the same city at least, not to mention the same country. Otherwise, both learning and teaching activities could not happen in the first place. However, in the same area is not necessary for online ESL Class. For example, I have been teaching online classes, and my students are from all over China who want to improve their English for work and some of them are still taking classes with me even they are on their business trips. Some of my friends from US and UK are just like me as well, they do online ESL teaching, and they have students who want to learn English as their second language from China, South Korea, Japan, and other countries.

Lower Cost

Lower cost is not only for training institutions but also for ESL learners. For traditional training institutions, they spend a lot of money on renting the places and making classrooms, in the meanwhile, these rents are shared equally among the students' tuition fees. However, ESL online education can definitely help the training institutions save the rent and learner's tuitions will get adjusted as well, which is a win-win mode.

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Learners Centered

The traditional teaching model is centered on training institutions. The training institution decides which class and which teacher the ESL learners will be assigned to. But online ESL education is centered more on students, learners can choose classes with different topics based on their own interests, and of course, they can choose the teachers with the teaching styles they preferred, which plays a significant role in Students' autonomous learning.

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Of course, the disadvantages of Online ESL Education cannot be ignored. First, compared to online ESL class, Offline real class might have a great opportunity to have better interactions between students and teachers. If an online class keeps lacking good interactions between students and teachers, the learning effect would be greatly reduced. Second, learners would not get direct feedback from online teachers about homework or other practice after class. Therefore, the learners would lose the opportunity to help them review, practice and enhance what they have learned. The last but not the least, if the teachers could not successfully attract students' attention, the learners would easily get distracted by their cellphones or other things that might happen at their home or place.

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All in all, online education has a great influence on ESL teaching. In my opinion, the advantages of online ESL education overweigh the disadvantages. Instead of keeping only traditional teaching mode, ESL educators could make great use of the Internet, developing more effective teaching methods and designing more interesting activities for ESL Online Education.

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