Online or Classroom: Which is Best for Business English Learning?

learn business English online

If you’ve decided that you need to improve your English for business purposes, then you may be wondering about the best way to learn. Do you enrol in the local language school for classroom-based lessons? Or, do you search online for a suitable course? Let’s consider the pros and cons of each option.

Online Learning

Technology has revolutionized our lives in recent years. You can do almost everything online, and that includes learning languages. It has opened up a world of possibilities from the comfort of your own home. 

What are the pros and cons of learning Business English online?

The Advantages

More Options and Greater Flexibility

Perhaps the greatest advantage of online learning is the flexibility it offers. With the world at your fingertips, you can find a variety of learning options from anywhere in the world, at a time to suit you. You can take your pick from online classrooms, private lessons, or learn at your own pace with a wealth of online resources, such as video tutorials or podcasts.

More Control

If you want to have private lessons online, many providers allow you to pick times which suit you, day or night. When something important comes up, you can reschedule at the touch of a button. So no need to miss lessons or play catch up on the work.

Access to Information When You Need it

With online learning the information is there anytime you need it.  For example, say you have to write an important business email in English and you need a little help, you won’t need to wait for next week’s class to get it.

Great For Busy Schedules

Online learning can be the perfect option for those who work full-time and want to fit in a lesson at a time that suits them. You don’t need to spend time traveling, you can just log in from your office, home or even while away on a business trip. No matter where you are, as long as you have an internet connection you can continue your language learning.

Greater Access to Qualified, Native English Speakers

Not all schools are able to hire native English speakers. This is especially true for small towns or rural areas. This is one problem that is completely removed when you enrol for online tuition. 

You can also find suitable business English courses led by native English speakers, who not only have English teaching experience but also have years of experience in business industries.

The Disadvantages of Online Classes

The Need to Be Self-Motivated

Some people benefit from having people around them to keep them motivated. If you aren’t used to working alone or don’t feel you have the self-discipline to keep you going, then this might be the harder option for you. 

However, it’s worth noting that many online courses provide chat functions, instant messages and forums. There is still an active language learning community for encouragement, it’s just online.

Scared of Technology

If you consider yourself a bit of a ‘technophobe’ then online classes may seem like a daunting prospect. Of course, it can take a little time to get used to speaking to someone halfway across the world on a small screen.

However, the majority of online courses are pretty straightforward, and there is always someone at the end of a phone, email or instant chat to talk you through any issues you may have.

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Classroom Learning

We’re all used to the traditional classroom setting. While they may differ slightly around the world, generally speaking, we all know where we belong in that setting. It’s comfortable, and we instantly enter into a learning frame of mind. 

Let’s look at the main advantages and disadvantages of learning business English the traditional way.

The Main Benefits of Classroom Learning

The More Social Option

Being surrounded by other language learners can feel comforting. You are all in this together and can help each other out. You also get to meet new people, and make new friends. Who knows, you may even strike up a new business relationship while you practice discussing your businesses together in English!

Face-to-Face Interaction

Being face-to-face with everyone can also be more comforting and engaging. The teacher is there in front of you, and you can easily interact with your peers sitting next to you. Some people prefer classroom-based learning because they believe that asking questions is easier and quicker when they are there in the moment.

Structure

While the flexibility of the online courses work for many business people, others prefer the set structure that a classroom timetable offer. Some people prefer to know ahead of time what their schedule is, and sticking to the same day and time works better for them.   

What Are the Disadvantages of Classroom Based Learning?

Timetables Aren’t For Everyone

A classroom based course happens at a certain time in a certain place, and you have to stick to the schedule. If it doesn’t suit, then you can’t attend, or you have a stressful time juggling your responsibilities to make it work.  

Travelling To and From Classes

Travelling from the office to your language school can also be a frustration dealing with rush hour traffic, or public transport. If you live in a place with harsh winters, it can be particularly unpleasant getting to class in the wind, rain or snow!

Keeping Up With the Class

A problem that some people have with classroom courses, is finding a class pace that fits with your learning pace. While every effort will be made to place you in a class with people who are at a similar level, this isn’t always the case. You may find yourself in a room with students who are faster or slower than you. Equally, if you miss a class due to a busy business day, or a business trip it can be difficult to catch up.

Which Option Is Right For You?

Of course, there are pros and cons to every method of learning, and it really depends on your personal preferences. However, I hope we’ve made your decision a little easier.  If you would like to know more about our what we offer at Business English Community, then feel free to contact us or sign up today!

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