Learn Free Online vs. Pay for Professional Teacher - 6 Big Differences
When there's so much free stuff online, why should one pay for language lessons?
Having worked for 6 years in the Self-Lerning Center at the University of Marburg, me and my colleagues often wondered: "Why do students prefer to pay for a class instead of using the completely free materials the center offered, with the flexibility to learn what they wanted when they wanted?"
USE THIS LIST WITH FREE GERMAN RESOURCES
for self practice selected carefully by my colleages and me in order to SUPPLEMENT your learning*: http://www.uni-marburg.de/sprachenzentrum/selbstlernzentrum/links/oldaf *DISCLAIMER: There is no single website or self-learning program that will teach you the language entirely. Chose from the listed categories based on what you want to practice.
Today, be it from the perspective of a language learner or from my experience as a professional teacher, the answer is CRYSTAL CLEAR.
The difference is in the outcome you're looking for.
The question is:
Are you interested in learning German or are you committed to do so?
Here are 6 BIG DIFFERENCES:
1. REAL RESULTS VS. RANDOM INFORMATION
When you pay for a whole programm or a service, you usually pay for the results they promise you to provide. There's a neat outline of what you can expect to learn and there's a clear path of how you get there.
You-Tube videos or free online websites, no matter how awesome they might look at first sight, often focus on random topics and it usually takes you longer to figure out if that's helpful or not instead of focusing on learning what you actually want to know.
At the end, they are not quite free if you consider the valuable time you LOSE while trying to put the relevant stuff together and filter all the useless "noise".
"People don't buy information, they buy results"
-- Marie Forleo
In any learning situation, having the raw material and piles of information is NOT ENOUGH. You have to portion it correctly and put it in the right order.
In an order that not only makes sense, but it's also motivating you to stay on track over a longer period of time.
Many students get excited to start learning immediately and try to fill up their heads with as much information as possible. But that's not only difficult to digest for the brain. It is overwhelming and after those initial 3, 4 or 5 hours of "motivated learning", they don't come back for a month. This is not how you learn a language. An experienced teacher who cares about your progress will help you understand what you really need to learn and formulate realistic learning goals. They will help you achieve them in the most convenient and relevant way for you, considering your learning preferences, style, time and interests.
Who's actually excited to undertake a huge internet research safari every single time when they want to learn something? And to face each time different people with often conflicting opinions and sometimes questionable credibility?
No? No one? Even if it's for free? Enough said.
When you pay a professional teacher to guide you through the process they might also recommend you some free resources or other tools that will accellerate your learning. However, those are not just random resources but carefully chosen ones. Something that they personally tested and have evaluated before.
Even when they research something specific online, a professional knows the technical terms that s/he's looking for and can figure out much quicker what resources are helpful for your specific situation.
An expert doesn't seach for general things like "German grammar exercises" or "Dativ-Präpositionen", but something more specific that will teach you WHAT you want to learn in the CONTEXT you need to learn it. Not with random sentences on 5 different websites.
5. ACCOUNTABILITY & MOTIVATION
Think about why you sign up in a fitness studio vs. training on your own.
Like it or not, most of us are more likely to get MUCH MORE VALUE out of a service we pay for than doing something on our own for free. It just feels different when we register or buy something, because that shows our commitment and readiness to continue on a regular basis.
Free things are never as urgent or important, therefore seldomly prioritized as the things we pay for. SO ARE THE RESULTS.
Plus it feels AWESOME to have someone who genuinely cares about your progress and is there to answer your questions and support you through your journey.
6. YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH A REAL PERSON
We don't learn a language for our own sakes, but in order to CONNECT TO OTHER HUMAN BEINGS. It feels grate to build a personal connection to a teacher or a mentor who's going to teach you not only the mechanics of the German language, not only some successful strategies and shortcuts, but their personal stories, their experiences and advice beyond the technical terms.
To have someone who's going to introduce you to the culture and guide you in a way that is inspiring you and keeping you interested and growing is a crucial piece of your learning success. Don't underestimate the POWER of having a REAL CONVERSATION with someone who actually cares as compared to someone who doesn't know you at all. Someone who can answer quickly your specific questions and explain again something you didn't understand. As compared to someone who gives you a list of vocabulary to learn or some free examples to struggle with on your own. The difference is HUGE. Plus, have you ever asked yourself WHY free stuff is free?
Why is free stuff free?
Well, probably because nobody is ready to pay for it. Cause it's not worth it? So, WHY would YOU spend time with something that is not worth it? To be fair, sometimes you might find learning materials with good quality. But then why haven't you learned the language already just by using them?
Who do you trust can really teach you what you need?
If you were a professional in an area where you spent years in learning and improving, would you just go on YouTube and give away your skills with the consistency and system with which you'd do it if you were paid? Wouldn't you wanna be appreciated and valued as an expert? Remember:
"The best things in life may be free, but some of the best things online are not"
-- Marie Forleo
"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest"
-- Benjamin Franklin
So let's honor your efforts and serious intentions to improve and may you achieve the results you are looking for. The question is:
Are you interested or are you committed?
Halt die Ohren steif,