Are you ready to learn about the best way to learn English?
If your answer was yes (which we hope it was), let us introduce you to the concept of hybrid learning.
So what is it? This approach is simply the mixture between guided learning, i.e. classes led by a teacher, and autonomous learning, i.e. studying on your own. A hybrid approach can be massively beneficial within a corporate company, or for individual students. If you are wondering how a hybrid learning approach may benefit you or your company, read on to find out!
As we all know, time is money.
An obvious benefit to a hybrid learning approach is how much time it saves us, as well as making the most of the time we do dedicate to studying. To begin with, technology-based learning allows you to access materials and resources whenever you want, so finding the right moment to fit in a little extra study should be easy. Furthermore, online autonomous learning means that you are no longer limited to waiting for your next class. You can simply continue learning on your own, no matter where you are, or whatever you’re doing. It’s that easy!
Similarly, a hybrid approach allows you to start and stop learning whenever you’re in the mood for it. Rather than being forced to spend 4 or 5 hours a week in class, you can engage in 1-2 hours of teacher-guided learning, and the rest of the time can be divided up as you see fit. For example, you may prefer to carry out a week’s work in one sitting, or maybe you’d rather divide it into bite-sized chunks, taking 15 or 30 minutes out of your day to practice. Having this flexibility is hugely beneficial as it allows you to learn at your own pace and fashion.
Too often, classroom dynamics can be strained due to an incompatible mix of learning style and pace. This can make it frustrating for both you and the teacher. Although guided lessons are equally important, autonomous learning provides a healthy amount of independence for you to work in your own way. When in control of your own timetable, you can easily slot English learning into your calendar, without having to give up your weekly cinema date or your evening run!
Another positive factor in a hybrid approach is that you will typically experience a higher level of motivation. Autonomy is one of the largest drivers of motivation and that self-regulated students are most likely to succeed academically. A huge factor behind this is the desire to put your learning into practice, and show off! If you have the time and resources to study autonomously, you will feel that class time is a unique opportunity to show off your newly acquired language skills. For example, have you ever learned a new idiom or saying, and waited eagerly for your chance to ‘test it out’ with a native speaker? It’s a great feeling to use what you’ve learned in a real-life scenario!
When interaction with the teacher is limited to once or twice a week, you will typically feel more motivated to seize this opportunity. You’ll also be able to show the teacher the effort you’ve been making. Not only that, but you can also check one or two points that you’ve been struggling with, e.g. a tricky tense conjugation, or a difficult pronunciation.
Another factor is the simple fact of being wholly responsible for your own learning. When you realize that you have control over the success of your learning, especially when provided with the right tools, guidance, and resources, you will feel highly motivated to push yourself. The possibility of independent exploration is a huge motivational factor, as you can access new information without limits, becoming more and more confident in the language as you do so. Of course, when motivation seems to be lacking, for one reason or another, this is when we can see the benefit of the teacher-led section of hybrid learning, where the teacher can encourage and stimulate you to continue with your efforts, by offering praise, support, and real-time feedback. It’s a win-win!
Another upside of hybrid learning is the level of engagement that it inspires, encouraging increased participation. The self-learning aspect of this approach will drive you to explore the language for yourself. On the other end, you’ll also have the necessary help and assistance of a native teacher. It’s impossible to avoid a high level of engagement when equipped with a permanent online platform filled with countless resources and materials to work with, like the one at Everywhere English. Material can be made more engaging by content diversification, such as implementing videos, podcasts, readings, exercises, etc. This can be provided by your teacher or sought out by you, the student. In particular, having some sort of self-assessment to test your knowledge will increase your engagement and motivation hugely!
Of course, this at-home participation should be equal to the engagement seen in teacher-led sessions. When in class, you should be engaged with the material, and responsive to the teacher’s guidance. This is usually the case if you’ve been working closely with the provided materials. You will feel eager to show off your knowledge in class. Similarly, when specific material is provided in preparation for the following class (e.g. a podcast that will be discussed), you are far more likely to be engaged. Of course, this is only when you have been given adequate time to dissect and understand the given content. This can sometimes be more successful than surprising students with brand new material. Normally, they do not yet have the language skills to discuss, or simply feel unprepared or unable to talk about.
Watch yourself grow!
When utilising a hybrid method of learning, there is a bigger sense of achievement and reward. You can take responsibility for your own growth and development. This ‘feel-good’ factor is beneficial when it comes to staying encouraged and motivated. You will have a strong sense that you are bettering yourself on both a personal and professional level. This, in turn, will help you to remain driven to continue learning. Online platforms like ours provide modes of self-assessment, feedback, and suggestions for improvement. They’re amazing motivators for you to push your development further. This is reinforced by the teacher-led sessions as they can discuss these aspects with you in detail.
Implementing a semi-autonomous learning strategy will help you to develop many transferable skills. Skills that you can use in both professional and social settings, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and skills of reflection. Of course, you can see this growth and development clearly when you have access to a native and qualified teacher. They can confirm your progress, and say “Yep, you’re definitely improving!”. Consistent classes will act as a weekly opportunity for you to check your progress and monitor your growth.
This blog has hopefully shed some light on the benefits of hybrid or blended learning. The blend between self-study and teacher-led learning is definitely the new way forward! When learners have access to both qualified teachers and their own materials, the possibilities are endless. Taking this approach, you’ll feel a sense of both stability and motivation while also having the freedom to learn at your own pace. It’s truly the best of both worlds and the best route to your bilingual future! Talk to a team member today at Everywhere English to start your learning journey.