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Individual Learner Differences PDF Print E-mail

Language learners are very different in terms of their aptitude, flexibility, needs, availability and learning styles.In a traditional language classroom slow and fast learners, complete beginners and those with prior knowledge of the language are grouped together.The former lot usually get discouraged and tend to drop out.Also the requirement that one attends class at a particular time may prove difficult to the adult learner whose office, business or home schedule may not fit with the class timings.If he misses 2 to 3 lessons he tends to lose track and abandon the learning all together.

In an e-learning environment a busy adult learner is not mandated to attend class at a particular time or day but only when it is convenient to him/her.The learner decides when and for how long to learn per day.The learner is also able to move at his/her own comfortable pace as it is possible to set the speed of pronunciation of words and phrases.The learner can also select only the lessons he/she requires at the moment (e.g. travel, currency) and learn others later.The computer being a tireless workhorse can repeat words and phrases endlessly until the learner is able to pronounce them just like a native speaker.This is unlike a traditional teacher who ordinarily would get irritated at having to repeat a twanged Chinese word the tenth time.

Most foreign language learners are inhibited and shy about speaking the language being learnt.Some students may feel embarrassed at trying to pronounce foreign words and phrases in a class with other students.Many never really get to converse in the language they are learning.In e-learning the learner speaks interactively through a microphone to a non-judgemental virtual instructor and gets assessment and feedback.This prepares him/her for conversing with real people in her native country or in foreign lands.

 

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