03 Jul 2023

Comparing language classes with self-learning

Comparing language classes with self-learning

Though learning a new language can be fun and exciting, choosing an approach that suits you best is vital. Some may sign up for language classes while others may prefer self-learning. This article will pinpoint differences between the duo, helping you select the most suitable option in achieving your language learning goals. Listed below are some distinctions to note:

1. Resources of Learning Materials

Having a wide range of learning materials supports language acquisition. Specifically designed for their language proficiency level, workbooks, textbooks, online resources, audio recordings, supplementary materials and more are often provided in language classes. Additionally, language classes also offer access to language laboratories, multimedia resources, and language learning software. This abundance of resources exposes students to a structured and comprehensive learning experience.

On the other hand, self-learners may need to seek learning materials themselves, whether from online resources, books, language learning apps, or other channels available to the general public. Though self-learning offers greater flexibility in choosing resources, curating a comprehensive and cohesive set of materials is still required. For instance, an individual who wishes to learn Vietnamese may have to look for audio and video lessons themselves across a variety of online sources, based on their proficiency levels.

2. Learning Pace

Language classes empowers structured learning, typically following a predefined curriculum with a set timeline. This ensures a clear progression path, benefitting those who prefer a guided and systematic learning experience. In contrast, self-learners have the flexibility to set their own pace, allocating time for language study, while accommodating personal schedules and commitments. On top of that, they also have the freedom to concentrate on areas they find most challenging or interesting. If you are learning Thai or other languages on your own, having self-discipline and motivation is the key to consistent learning routines without procrastinating.

3. Professionalism

Apart from a structured classroom environment, the guidance provided by qualified instructors is another distinctive trait of language classes. These professionals possess expertise in language instruction and can guide students through the learning process. They also explain grammar concepts, provide feedback and correct pronunciation. Furthermore, students are able to learn effectively through group discussions, interactive activities, and language practice.

Conversely, self-learners need to leverage their own study skills and self-correction abilities. Compared to language classes that allow for immediate clarification of doubts and personalised guidance, the self-learning process requires identification and correction of mistakes without external guidance. Self-learners can bridge this gap by maximising online language communities and language exchange platforms to enhance their linguistic understanding.

Deciding between language classes and self-learning very much depends on the resources available, individual preferences and learning styles. Both approaches come with their merits. Ultimately, the resources available, your personal preferences and learning style decide your preferred learning style. Despite the approach chosen, consistent practice, dedication, and perseverance are essential in achieving effective learning outcomes.

Whether you are looking to learn Mandarin in Singapore, or develop solid linguistic skills, Stanford Language Center makes for the ideal choice. We offer basic conversational courses for languages through a holistic and all-rounded approach. Call us today to check out our class availability.