Online education helps students learn languages

The University of North Carolina (UNC) is demonstrating that online education has to potential to revolutionize how foreign languages are taught, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Academic leaders at the university introduced a Spanish class that is delivered exclusively online. Initially, UNC experimented with hybrid attendance models in 2009, where classes are delivered through a blend of online and classroom-based learning, before switching to a completely digital format last year. Despite the potential difficulties of teaching a foreign language online, faculty are adjusting well to how students learn over the internet.

"I use a little bit more English than I would use face-to-face, because they cannot see my body language," Anastacia Kohl, a lecturer on the course, told the news source. "But if we ever switch to webcams, that might change as well."

Increasing numbers of students are taking classes online. According to the 2011 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, more than 6.1 million students were enrolled in an online course this September, an increase of 560,000 from the previous year.

Would you consider taking a language course online? Have you filled out a college application for a school that teaches in this way?

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