The Lingo Ledger

What Role Should Technology Play in Language Instruction?


A successful language learning program is rooted in the relationship between teacher and student. Technology plays an important role in the process, facilitating this relationship and providing a platform for live language instruction, however it is not what’s at the core of the model.

Connecting People Around the World

Creating a one-to-one relationship between student and teacher is the most effective method for adults to learn a new language (see our post 3 Key Elements of Lingo Live's Language Program). Technology enables this approach and provides the platform for increased connectivity. Whether you’re using Skype, Google Hangouts or another application, without the limits of location, people can be connected anytime, anywhere. This means the best teachers can be paired with students in need no matter where they are. The ultimate goal remains to foster a strong relationship between the learner and instructor.

Network of Teachers

When it comes to language instruction, the best models are customizable. Lessons plans that can be tailored provide a more engaging experience and students can develop precisely the skills they need. In this type of model it’s important for teachers to be able to communicate with one another, exchange resources, and ask questions.  The relationship that develops between teachers and students should also be fostered among instructors. At Lingo Live we believe in the importance of community and our global teacher community would not be possible without technology.

Visibility & Performance

Transparency is very important these days, no matter what the business model. People want to know what’s going on behind the scenes, they want access and reporting that can be easily digested. When it comes to language learning, it’s critical that all stakeholders have insight into each individual’s progress. Technology makes it easy to track feedback on skills, grammar, engagement etc. This type of data shows students where they’re succeeding and where they need to improve and it helps teachers prepare for future lessons. Visibility is an important motivator for students and leads to an increased level of accountability for all parties.

Learning a new language is more than just memorizing vocabulary. To truly become fluent you must understand the culture behind that language and how it is used by the native population. That’s why the most successful teaching models involve live instruction by an expert in the desired language. Technology enables these types of lessons, but it can’t teach the nuances of how a language is used.