Yes, apparently the onward march of apps on mobile telephones and tablets and ever faster broadband will soon remove the need to visit places like the VICI Language Academy in Newbury…
Au contraire… to coin a French phrases adopted by the English-speaking world! Without a doubt technology is going to make language learning more accessible to the many and some of those will find they can learn in this way.
However, if removing the human element from learning a language was so easy then why haven’t the every burgeoning sales of language CDs, DVDs and online courses led to a multi-lingual world? Absolutely some people can learn from these, but eBay is bursting with ‘as new’ and ‘hardly used’ example of this approach for learning.
People like the idea of learning a language is a easy way, when the reality is that like any skill worth learning, it takes time and commitment to succeed, which is where the personal touch of attending a language academy can make all the difference.
It is so much more than the personal touch or the human interaction; indeed our native speakers can offer cultural insight and the interactivity between our students as they learn together is often part of coming to VICI that is most popular. Our language teachers can respond to the individual needs of students far more than technology ever can. Remote learning requires the student to assess their ability, not a qualified language teacher.
The nuances of the language can also be lost on other learning methods, indeed out sister company VICI Language Dynamics is specifically brought in to help with the nuances of language where even a proficient speaker can find profits are being lost in translation.
Which highlights another important reason why language learning is far from endangered. The globalisation of business is making it ever more important to recruit bi-lingual or multi-lingual staff and the demand for talented speakers of a wide range of languages is increasing and it will be a rare candidate indeed who is proficient in a second language from only learning online or listening to CDs.