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Can an app replace a teacher to learn a foreign language?

With the advancement of technology, it is much easier today to access courses and documentation to learn a foreign language. With an app, you can for example translate words, learn pronunciations, synonyms, etc. But is an app worth a real physical teacher? Explanations.

A teacher assesses, corrects and improves your learning.

Apps are fantastic tools, very easy to use and accessible at any time. However, to learn the basics of a foreign language, nothing beats a teacher. Apps will teach you new words, their meaning, their significance, but a teacher will teach you when, how, and how to use those words. Language teachers are not there to listen to you repeat words after them. They also evaluate your level, correct you, and suggest improvements.

A teacher reacts and communicates

Successful language learning is based on practice. When we talk about practice, we mean conversations, but also reactions, non-verbal language (tone, emotion, body language). Discussions with teachers are spontaneous, can be interrupted by movements, gestures, jokes, laughter, emotions that you can only experience at the moment. With an app, you can’t have this kind of non-verbal communication. You have an automatic robot, programmed, to answer or to make you repeat words and sentences.

A teacher offers personalized content

A teacher establishes a learning program according to the objectives and learning level of these students. Each tutoring session is tailor-made and adapted to the needs of the student. This is not always the case with an application that offers structured content, by subject, by level of difficulty or sometimes by alphabetical order.

A teacher motivates!

There is nothing more motivating than an encouragement from the teacher to go forward in learning a foreign language. Of course, an application can congratulate you when you have reached a milestone, reached a level or passed an exam. But a teacher congratulates you, encourages you, and advises you on how to improve. His expressiveness and reactivity are enough to give you motivation. Moreover, the simple fact of seeing a face to learn a language every day is enough to give motivation.  Is an application worth a teacher then? It is definitely not the case!

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