Web-Based Language Learning VS School-Based Language Learning

It’s true that school-based learning has always been great simply because it’s the foundation of education. If the so-called internet learning doesn’t exist, it will remain as the greatest method of learning for as long as there’s human existence.

But let’s admit it, changes are necessary so that we don’t stick with the same one repeatedly. In order to create the next high-minded, intellectual and quality generation, we need the greatest platform. It’s like choosing which one do you like best – your teacher using chalk and talk, read from the textbook method or using a projector or any other modern tools method? Put aside the “it depends on the ability of teachers to use it and the extent of its effectiveness” for a while.

There are reasons why God creates yes and no, good and bad, male and female, left and right and many more. It’s called CHOICES. We are allowed to choose the best of the best and make a decision. Same goes for students. Each student has their own preference. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of both methods.

The Environments

Every student has a different level of understanding. I agree if we don’t understand something we should ask our teacher. However, it’s a bit uncomfortable to keep Raise Handsasking during the lesson, fearing that it would disrupt the teacher and not to forget other students may feel irritated.

It’s not like we can’t go to the staff-room and ask individually – that’s not the problem. In class, there’s no room to repeat today’s lessons. While web-based learning has that option. Some of us have a short-term memory and repeating lessons every day helps a lot.

Students have unique personalities. There are the active ones and the shy ones. If I can’t be the active one in class, the least I could do is be active in a virtual classroom without having to worry what the others are thinking about my sudden change 🙂


It’d be true to say that most people prefer face-to-face conversations when they interact with their friends. In terms of learning a new language, it’s even more important because it really builds your confidence knowing how your friends react when you speak to them in that language.

Traditional classroom learning offers face-to-face conversations, for instance public speaking and doing presentations in front of your classmates. It gives you meaningful experiences and memories you won’t forget.

Online learning however, offers face-to-face conversations too, but not presentations. Doing 1-on-1 conversation is nothing compare to public speaking in front of many people. Would you still have the same confidence then?

Learn At Our Own PaceWrite Slowly

I’m one of those students when it comes to certain subjects, I’m quite slow. When the teacher moves too fast I’m slowly falling behind and ended up losing interest. Catching up is another problem.

With online learning, I can learn at my own pace. It doesn’t matter if it takes weeks to understand so long as I don’t lose my interest and not having to worry about causing trouble to anyone and stress-free from pressure.

Instant Feedback

When in doubt, we tend to want the on-the-spot answer. In school-based learning, during the lessons we can ask our teacher if we need clarification or immediate answers on certain topics. Sadly, we can’t do the same with online language learning.

Although there are some online language courses or platforms that have instant feedback, it doesn’t have the can-you-elaborate-more-on-this option (provided that you’re not using Skype or have a 1-on-1 interaction).

Easy To Access

Traditional learning allows you to learn on certain days and times. When it’s time for school or semester breaks and holidays, you can’t gain access to it because your teachers are on vacations. Any question that needs immediate answer has to put on hold.

Easy Access OnlineDifferent with web-based learning, since it’s an online program and accessible through computers and mobile phones, you can access it at anytime and anywhere you want. You can set your own day and time with it.

Reality speaking, some students don’t have access to internet connections even though they have devices. Some do have both but don’t have knowledge on how to use them thus, it’s quite useless too. So, go back to the school-based method.

Social Interaction

One of the many reasons why school-based learning remains effective is because of the we-are-in-this-together environment. In a classroom student do their tasks together such as doing classwork, taking tests and exams together etc. They have a group of friends with them.

While online learning, we pretty much do every single thing alone. But if you’re self-motivated and self-directed type of students that like to do your work alone, no disturbances or whatsoever, then this is perfect for you.


People who’s isn’t native in their second language tend to have an accent – not all but some. I had many English teachers during high school and college; local teacher, African teacher, American teacher and Kiwi teacher. And yes, all of them have an accent.

I honestly loved my American teacher and especially my Kiwi teacher because of their accent. I always tried to follow the way they speak. I loved the way they pronounce certain words. Ok, enough about that 😀

At school, we don’t really have the option to choose our language teacher. I’m not saying I had a problem with my English teachers but like I said earlier everyone has their ownGo Home Teacher preference and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

When it comes to learning a new language, it’s good to have a native speaker/teacher of that particular language. I believe many people out there will most likely agree with me on that.

The best thing about online language learning is it offers you to choose your own language teacher out of many teachers out there. The advantage of having a native teacher may influence your speaking skills because you’re used to watching and hearing the way your teacher speaks.

Same Interest, Different Culture

Most schools offer English as their second language and add that to the list of compulsory subjects. The thing is, not all students interested in learning English. They learn it simply because it’s compulsory.

To learn something you have to have an interest. Without that, it’s merely just an obstacle to go through to the next level. Let’s say you pass your English, but the fact is you know nothing about it. Why? Because you memorize everything in the textbook and don’t give a damn about what’s it about let alone to understand it. It’s supposed to be “I learn this or that because I want to and it’s my passion” don’t you think?

“I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker.”- Stanley Kubrick

The other scenario is you do interest in English, but your classmates don’t. So, whenever you want to discuss and/or practice English with one another, you just can’t. That’s why it’s always good to have a friend of the same interest. It makes language learning fun and happening!

With online learning, you meet with lots of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and stories but all have the same interest. It’s fascinating, isn’t it? While learning their languages, you indirectly expose yourself to the cultural differences. One thing for sure you won’t be able to this at school because you most likely share the same culture with your classmates.

Make Your Own Homework

Did you protest when your teacher gave you homework? I bet you did (maybe a little) – I did too sometimes (depends on the subject though 😀 ) I know the importance of homework. It strengthens your Chalk And Boardunderstanding of today’s lessons. 

With web-based learning, you’re responsible for your action since it’s your “passion”. The best thing about it is you got to make your own homework in a way you like because no one is going to do it for you.

However, sometimes it’s good to be pressured while doing something because it motives and challenge us to complete the work given the specific time. Besides, life without a challenge would be boring, don’t you agree?

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm” – Willa Cather

In my opinion, it doesn’t matter which is one better because, at the end of the day, it’s the student that matters. Even if both types of language learning methods have teachers that have years of experience and skilled at what they’re doing, but somehow the students don’t feel motivated then you know it’s none of their fault.

Phew! This is quite a challenging topic. Do you agree or disagree with the points above? Have you ever heard of the term Blended Learning? What’s your view on that? Would it be good to blend both types of learning together? Let me know what you’re thinking. Share your opinion below.