How eLearning Interactivity Can Determine the Impact of Your Language Training

I’m sure many of us have tried to learn a foreign language way after what researchers may define as the best age for it. Cornell Language Acquisition Lab (CLAL) research says that the earlier you learn a second language, the more quickly you will attain native-like language proficiency.

Unfortunately, as adults, we lose a lot of our momentum for mastering languages. While young children are hard-wired to unconsciously absorb languages, adults consciously learn them. A Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) study suggests that learning under immersive conditions may be more effective for language learning than typical classroom training. In other words, for adults, language training requires more active learning, which engages all the senses and not just listening or reading.

goFLUENT, a trusted language eLearning provider for global companies,  bases its methodology on four effective adult language training principles which maximize active, immersive learning. Many online language training programs today lack this type of interactivity required to learn languages effectively.

So, while highly dispersed work environments and continuous technological innovations paved the way for eLearning to penetrate the corporate language training market, not all eLearning programs are the same. eLearning comes with a range of levels based on the extent of its interactivity.

The more interactive the eLearning program is, the more engaging and motivating the experience is for learners. eLearning interactivity is proven to improve attention and activate long-term memory, which are essential to learning retention. When you are able to interact with your training program, active learning takes place.

According to eLearning Industry, there are four main levels of eLearning interactivity (from least interactive to most interactive):

 

1. Passive Interactivity

In this interactivity level, you have little to no interaction with your eLearning resources. The course development is linear, with a one-way presentation of the content. It is typically e-reading or e-listening, but it can also be video. It provides little to no practice or feedback, and you are merely a receiver of information. This type of eLearning program is usually used for procedural content and not effective for learning a new language, yet there are some language learning programs available in the market that use this method.

2. Limited Interactivity

With limited interactivity, you have some basic control over your course environment, which can include clickable items, multimedia, and menu navigation. It features some active learning elements, which requires simple and straightforward interactions from its learners in the form of basic exercises. This type of learning is more suitable for non-complex learning and maintenance lessons.

3. Moderate Interactivity

This level is where eLearning is more multidimensional and complex compared to the previous level, featuring branching scenarios. Here, you have more control over your learning experience, and are able to make decisions on and apply what you learn in the program. It provides relevant and targeted content, and it’s also how most online language programs are set up today.

4. Full Immersion

eLearning with full immersion interactivity provides you with an absorptive learning experience, activating all the senses you need to learn a new language effectively. It provides multiple paths and more complex, even customized, branching scenarios. This type of program can include gamification and interactive tools, and features better targeted, context-filled content through a higher degree of realistic scenarios that’ll help you reach your language training goals.

 

Keeping these four levels in mind will allow you to better assess your language learning options. Equipped with even just an idea of the range and variety of language training programs, you can avoid wasting your time, budget, and efforts on one that will not provide you any lasting results.

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