Speaking a foreign language is one of the best skills to acquire today given how interconnected the world is now. Whether you plan to move to a foreign country in the future or your job requires you to work closely with foreign-speaking expats, being able to understand and converse in a different language is advantageous in many ways.

For the most part, people interested in learning a new language enroll in foreign language classes. With the rise of technology and the Internet, however, online language courses are now becoming a popular way to learn Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, French, and other widely spoken languages. Why is this the case? Here are some of the main advantages of taking an online course:

Learn at Your Own Pace

Everyone learns things at a different pace. Some people understand certain concepts faster than others and vice versa. This can be a problem when trying to learn a new language in large groups because there is a chance that some people might not be able to keep up.

Online language courses allow students to learn at a pace that best suits them. In the event that they find one lesson difficult to grasp, they can spend more time practicing, allowing them to move on to the next lesson after they’ve mastered it. This places the focus on actually learning instead of making “learning” a competition.

Interaction Yields Better Retention

Many online language platforms, such as the ones offered by The Study, use technology and creativity to make lessons more interactive. This interactivity is important because it encourages students to apply what they’ve learned in a practical manner. The result? A study by the Research Institute of America showed that online language students are able to retain more information for longer periods of time. This ability to retain what one has learned is incredibly important, especially when learning languages that use a different “alphabet”/set of characters.

Easier to Fit Into Your Schedule

Life can get busy for many foreign language students. This is especially true for those who have regular jobs. Online Mandarin classes and other foreign language courses allow these students to study at a time and place that is most convenient for them. This is a significant advantage because it ensures that students are always in a mental state that is conducive to learning, instead of being distracted by other goings-on in their lives. At the same time, online platforms help fill in “idle time” (long commutes, etc.), allowing students to stay productive.

Of course, this is not to say that face-to-face language courses are irrelevant today. Classroom sessions still play a vital role in learning a new language thanks to the interactions between students, helping them feel more comfortable when speaking conversationally. However, if you find yourself not having enough time to actually attend in-class sessions, know that learning through online platforms is also a very effective and efficient way to reach your goals.