The internet today allows people to access information, gain knowledge and socialize with great ease. One of the most popular communication tools is Skype. It can be extremely effective when it comes to learning a new language. Gone are the days when people spent hours in traffic jams on their way to classes. Gone are the days when you had to travel to another part of the globe just to meet a native speaker teacher. The internet has changed the way people interact with each other and Skype is a perfect example of that.
Skype is downloadable free software that gives its users the ability to make voice and video calls, chat and transfer files between the people on the user’s contact list. It takes seconds to download the program and open an account. Its free features, good quality of picture and sound and ease of use makes Skype a widely accepted tool particularly for learning and practicing foreign languages.
First of all, Skype is easily accessible from any mobile device such as laptop, iPad or a smartphone. Simply install it on all of your digital devices and it will automatically synchronize all the information such as messages and files sent and received by you. Most of Skype key features are absolutely free: Skype users can make unlimited voice and video calls among each other while a Skype Premium account allows Skype-to-phone calls and group video conferences.
Another reason for Skype being useful is that it enables making video calls. Eye contact between a teacher and a student is very important in the process of language acquisition – it helps the student better follow the subject and try to understand foreign words not only by listening, but also by watching the movement of the lips and the face. Being able to actually see the person you are talking to, creates a live-class atmosphere.
Using Skype for learning eliminates constraints such as time, money and distance. Cutting down travel expenses and not wasting a minute on driving to a language school or a tutor’s house is essential for busy people.
And last but not least – taking language classes via Skype means flexible hours, personally adapted to study rhythm and a real class atmosphere whether it is one to one or group classes. Learning a language from the comfort of your own home has never been easier.
Gabriele is a dedicated language teacher and a language learning article writer.