Computer programs have changed the way we learn (we talked about it extensively in our first post). This is ever so evident in the way we can learn languages. Previously there were two ways to learn a different language.
In a classroom
Sit in front of a teacher and let an individual teach you the language. This was a pretty effective way of getting the language across. The person that was teaching you was trained and their was a fairly structured course to follow. There were drawbacks, with the main one being price. Because it need classrooms and a teacher it is expensive. You are also limited to what times you can learn. You had to fit in with the times they wanted.
With a language book
This was the cheaper option, but does lack the efficiency of the learning in a classroom. For one it will help you with a lot better with reading, but not very well with pronunciation. Without hearing the language you will never get a full understanding of how it is spoken. Also without a teacher it is hard to specifically tell you where you are going wrong, or have someone to go to if you are having a problem.
But this was the old way and while they will still have their usefulness (particularly the classroom method), there are now far more efficient and cheaper ways to learn a language. Now with the growth of computers and the internet you are given nearly endless ways to learn that language you always wanted. The majority of the reasons that learning a language is more effective on a computer are covered in the first post mentioned before, but there are a couple more.
There may be a community to help
Some language programs actually form a community so that you can help each other. It’s basically like a massive classroom and they are your classmates. You can find people who are at the same levels as you and help each other study. A great example of this is Rosetta Stone Japanese, who have an online community to help you learn Japanese. Rosetta Stone also have several other language they can help you learn.
You can go back
When learning a new language you may want to go back to an earlier lesson if you are struggling with something. You can’t do this if you are in a classroom. But with a computer, you can just go back and reload lesson 2.
With data space now being so cheap it’s possible for these online courses / computer courses to cover the entire language. It’s basically like a 10,000 page book. There is nothing that isn’t covered and honestly I believe that trying to do it any other way is both ineffective and more expensive.
Go out there and buy yourself some language software. You won’t be disappointed.