Will learning English Online with a Native English Speaker Benefit You?

Yes, absolutely! Having a native English speaker as your teacher will help you in many ways. Live online classes improve your communication skills faster than other virtual options. You’ll benefit from online group classes or online private tutorials. 

You may be hesitant on the overall quality of online English courses. But the best online English classes give you the chance to practice English with a trained native-speaking ESL instructor. Live online classes provide individualized guidance.

You learn correct English pronunciation that’s spoken by people in the real world, not by dictionaries on your smartphone. Thanks to instant feedback, you speak more clearly if you take online English classes.

You learn natural English grammar structures that are used by real speakers, not just by grammarians in textbooks. English classes online get you to speak accurate verb forms, use connecting words, and try out new vocabulary. An English teacher is right there with you, leading the way.

You learn useful expressions and idioms that help you make small talk for school, work, and daily life. An English course online improves your ability and confidence connecting with new friends on Zoom or other online environments.

Whether you need better Business English , Academic English, or Social English, keep reading for 5 big reasons to take English courses online. 

Benefit 1: Natural English pronunciation

One of the most challenging areas of the English language is its pronunciation. English is not a phonetic language. The way we pronounce words is different from how they are written.

Having a native English speaker will give you the auditory input needed to learn how to correctly produce the most difficult sounds. 

You will benefit from getting real time feedback about your pronunciation compared to watching and imitating a video on YouTube or elsewhere. 

Like a personal trainer, an online English teacher guides and inspires you to go from “ok” pronunciation to clear and confident pronunciation.

Benefit 2: English colloquialisms

A pickle relaxing on a lounge chair with the saying: cool as a cucumber.

Another challenging area of learning English is its use of colloquialisms. Idiomatic language is something that native speakers in English classes online are aware of and better able to teach. 

Dictionaries and apps often aren’t able to explain the meaning and usage of slang, expressions, and common sayings, especially if you have specific questions. 

Colloquialisms includes are sorts of difficult language, such as:

  • phrasal verbs = verb plus preposition, such as put off, get rid of, come up with, turn on/off…
  • idioms = phrases that have a special meaning. For instance, “break a leg” is an idiom that means “good luck.” For example, before your friends take the TOEFL test, you can wish them good luck by saying, “Break a leg!” 
  • slang = very informal idioms (dope = excellent, lit = cool or exciting)
  • acronyms = the first letters of words in a phrase that spell a word. For example, GOAT means the Greatest of All Time. Example: “former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is the GOAT – the best American football quarterback in the history of the game.

Benefit 3: Understanding culture in combination with the English language

It is especially important to take Online English classes if you plan to study or work in an English-speaking country.

When you practice English online with native speakers, you learn when, where, and why you use certain English phrases. English classes with native speakers teach you which topics are appropriate for small talk. 

You learn about US holidays, politics, music, food, family, and other cultural topics directly from the source: native speakers in an English course online.

If you plan on attending a US university, you need to learn about the academic environment in the US. You can practice active classroom participation, discuss essay revisions, and role play professor office hours in the best online English courses.

If you plan on working at a US company, you need to learn about typical business environments in the US. You can practice active meeting participation, discuss formal email and proposal revisions, and role play professional networking scenarios in online English classes for adults.

If you plan on living in the US, you need to learn how to meet everyday needs in a new environment. You can practice US-style small talk and role play daily scenarios related to shopping, health care, and meeting basic needs. By studying US culture with a native speaker in spoken English classes online, you can prevent culture shock and ease your transition to life in the US.

Benefit 4: Quick detection of grammatical errors

You may not catch your errors when you’re speaking or writing in real time. You may not be sure whether you expressed the meaning you intended.

When you take English courses online, you get immediate feedback about errors from a trained ESL instructor.

Instant error correction is great for common mistakes that you may understand in theory but forget in practice. Do you forget to use the past form of the verb when telling a story about yesterday? Do you drop an article a or the before a singular countable noun? Do you get confused about the preposition in phrasal verbs?

Online English classes give you a comfortable place to make lots and lots of mistakes–and fix them right away.

You don’t have to wait, wondering whether what you said made sense. In online English courses, your instructor provides gentle error correction either while you speak or right after you speak. 

When you learn English online with a native teacher, you also get to practice totally new grammatical forms and sentence structures. 

You want to use new grammar correctly from the start. You don’t want to learn it incorrectly and develop bad habits that are difficult to change later.

Benefit 5: Better use of verbs, nouns, adverbs, and adjectives

The basic building blocks of English sentences are first and foremost verbs, followed by nouns, adjectives, and adverbs.

Groups of people talking

It’s not enough to memorize definitions of new verbs and vocabulary. You need to be able to use the words in communicative contexts.

Spoken English classes online provide contexts for you to use vocabulary in dialogues, discussions, and presentations. 

Verbs forms are essential in English. There are a total of twelve verb tenses, plus various modal forms. With help from a native speaker in an online English class, you can improve your ability to form irregular past and perfect verb forms accurately, not to mention pronounce -ed and -s/-es endings clearly.

Furthermore, vocabulary usage goes beyond definitions in dictionaries to include connotations in context. The connotation is the feeling or idea of a word in addition to the literal meaning. 

Here’s a classic example of connotation: the words childish and childlike. The words have similar dictionary definitions. They look very similar. Without a native speaker at your side in an online English class, you may think they’re synonyms. But they’re not. Childish has a negative connotation, while childlike has a positive connotation. You might insult a grown person for acting childish but praise a poem for its sense of childlike wonder.

Online English classes with native speakers gives you a chance to master these finer points of English vocabulary usage. 

Final thoughts: Positive thinking

Last but not least, it must be mentioned that online English courses can boost your morale and motivation.

Studying English can be a frustrating, stressful, and lonely experience. It can be especially tough if you’re studying alone with books, apps, and videos. 

It helps to have a coach. A mentor. A supporter. That’s what you get when you have a trained native English speaker teaching you in an English course online. 

Positive encouragement from a native speaker in an online English class may be the secret ingredient to your success.  

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Bringing decades of passion as educators, at ILI Massachusetts we believe in open access to education for language learners around the world, regardless of race, religion, gender identification, physical and mental abilities, economic standing, documentation status, and educational levels.