The Disadvantages of Learning a Language Online
There isn't much you can't learn online these days; the internet offers lessons in pretty much everything. One thing that many people are learning online is a foreign language. There are a lot of good reasons to learn this way but there are some disadvantages. The disadvantages of learning a language online shouldn't stop you from doing it; you just need to be aware of what they are. This will help to make sure that you choose the appropriate course and the appropriate learning method for your needs.
The biggest disadvantage of learning a language online is that you have to actually do it. This is a far bigger problem than most people realize. Everybody who starts out to take a course online does so with the intention of completing the assignments and getting the course done. In reality a lot of people are going quit long before they reach the end. The biggest problem with all online learning is that there is nobody there to push you to do the work. It turns out that most of us need somebody to push us to get our work done or we simply won't do it. In order to be a successful online student you need to really be able to motivate yourself. This is in area that most people struggle with so you are going to have to realistically assess your motivation and your likelihood of success.
The other big problem with learning a language online is that there is little to know interaction with the teacher. The internet is a lot better in this regard than older forms of distance learning but it can still be a problem. Learning a language is an interactive process and although this can be partially simulated on the internet through the use of video and audio files it is not really an adequate replacement. The biggest problem is that there will be nobody there to tell you when you make a pronunciation error. Most of us aren't very good at being able to determine if we are pronouncing things correctly especially in a foreign language. This is where an instructor can be a huge help, unfortunately there isn't one when you take a course online.
Online students don't have classmates, at least not in the same way that students at a traditional school have them. This is especially problematic for language students since they won't have anybody to practice with. Students at language schools routinely practice their new language skills on each other; this obviously isn't possible if there are no other students. Unless you know somebody who speaks the language you are learning your opportunities for practice could be severely limited. This will really slow down your progress. This is a major disadvantage of learning a language online and something that you should have a plan to deal with if you plan to go this route.