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The benefits of learning English online (or maybe even Portuguese…)

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

Learning English online (or Portuguese …) can offer several benefits when compared to traditional classroom learning.

< Discover the benefits of learning languages online

Like millions of people all over the world I have been at home for several weeks now. Work has stopped. I have time on my hands.

But it’s a fine balance. Whilst having very little to do may be some people’s “cup of tea” (nice idiomatic phrase for you!), it can be a nightmare for others. If people don’t have anything constructive to do, they can get bored and quickly lose motivation.

My own project?

I’ve been using these weeks at home to go online and improve my Portuguese. I would say that I have progressed from “strong beginner” level, to a “confident intermediate”. I can’t wait to start practising on the streets of Lisbon, or Rio de Janeiro, but for now, I can really say that I have discovered the benefits of learning a language online.

Languages are Great for Studying Online

It may seem strange to say this, but languages are perfect for online study.

Of course, when you learn online you don’t have the “full immersion” language learning experience you get when you travel to a country. You don’t use your listening and speaking skills to solve problems in the same way you would do if you were buying a ticket on the London Underground, for example, or living with an English family. You don’t get to practise in the typical English pub!

But in many ways online learning, above all when it is combined with online lessons with a mother-tongue tutor to help with speaking and pronunciation, actually offers students more benefits than learning in the traditional, formal classroom environment.

Learning online has many benefits over traditional classroom learning

If you think about it, to learn a language well students need to invest large amounts of time outside the classroom: time learning new vocabulary and memorising it; time improving listening skills by watching films or listening to music; time doing written homework. These are all activities that can be done online, without direct supervision in a classroom.

Learning Languages Online = Convenient

I always think that learning a language is a bit like learning an instrument. You should try and practise (listen to, read or speak) a the language you are learning for at least 30 minutes a day.

So every day after lunch I’ve been watching the news on Brazilian TV for about an hour. The programme is called Fala Brasil, I CAN EVEN UNDERSTAND IT NOW! I’ve also been reading Portuguese newspapers online and listening to podcasts on Spotify – just when I get some free time.

< FALA BRASIL – my favourite TV programme during lockdown!

The point is, when you learn a language online you have access to a range of different media on a range of different platforms, and you can study for however long you want, when you want, from the comfort of your own home.

Save Money and Help the Environment

OK, so by studying online I don’t get the full immersion experience – no trams in Lisbon, no Rio carnival – but actually if I had to fly to Portugal every time I wanted to improve my Portuguese, I’d soon run out of money.

Another benefit of doing language classes on Zoom or other similar video-conferencing software is actually a whole lot more economical and ecological than getting in your car once or twice a week and driving to a school.

You Have Control

In actual fact, when you study online, it’s a lot more flexible than having to do a course in the traditional style – same place every week, same time, you need to drive there, maybe you need to leave work early, maybe you get home late without eating, if you miss one lesson you lose it and have to catch up … No! Times are changing.

When you study online you don’t have the same limits, you can change lesson times because no classrooms have been booked at a school and most new software packages will allow you to record lessons and listen back to them at your convenience.

With an online course, you can even take some time off if you need to, without losing money!

< Learning online allows you to access a wide range of materials

Don’t forget Conversation and Pronunciation – regular online classes

Having said all this, the one language skill that you can’t practise online is speaking.

Although I am happy with my progress in Portuguese, I am still not sure if people will understand my pronunciation, if I can understand them during a conversation, or whether I can build sentences confidently that aren’t full of errors.

So right now I’m looking for Portuguese teacher for 1-to-1 conversation lessons.

(And actually, believe it or not, it’s not easy to find Portuguese teachers. There aren’t so many people who want to learn it – even though it is a really cool language).

My point is, studying online is a great way to learn a language – you can access a wide range of material to practise, you can go at your own pace – but the key is to combine everything you do with regular online classes, that check your progress, check your pronunciation, and prepare you for speaking to real people.

If you are interested in learning English online / online conversation classes with COMUNI-CO, call us now on 0044 7922 454487 or email

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