That’s why we’ll always do things on your terms. And if your work schedule’s so busy that you can only commit to evenings or weekends, that’s not a problem. We’ll just conduct our lessons remotely, via Skype! It also means that you can have your lesson virtually anywhere and keep the same tutor if you are moving around.
When done right, learning a language on Skype can be every bit as effective as learning a language by any more traditional means.
But there are a few steps you should take to ensure that your Skype language lessons are a success:
- Familiarise Yourself with the Technology First
If you’ve never used Skype, make sure you know how it works before your first lesson starts.
You could arrange a practice call with friends, family, or colleagues, just to make sure that you understand crucial elements such as what to click on, where to look, and how loud to speak.
The same goes for the hardware. Even if you’ve used Skype before, if you’ve bought a new headset, microphone, or headphones for your training, get comfortable using them before your sessions begin.
Make sure your equipment is working and that your internet connection is as good is it can be.
- 2. Find a Suitable Space
To get the most out of your Skype language learning, your lessons must be conducted in a quiet, well-lit space that’s free from distractions.
So if you’re going to receive your Skype language training whilst at work, it’s probably not a good idea to do it at your desk. Instead, see if you can find a private space, such as a small meeting room, where you won’t be disturbed, and where you won’t be distracted by phone calls and co-workers.
Similarly, if you’re going to receive your Skype language training whilst at home, do so in a quiet room where you won’t be interrupted by family members. Also, make sure that the room’s well-lit – your trainer will need to be able to see you!
Some people find using Skype to be a little unnerving. But if you’re not able to relax, you’ll find learning a new language much more challenging than it should be.
Remember that this isn’t a job interview. Your tutor isn’t here to judge you. They’re here to help you. Your tutor will do everything they can to make you to feel at ease. But if there’s anything you can do that you know will help you to relax, do it. Whether it’s burning some incense, drinking some camomile tea, or wearing comfortable clothing, the more comfortable you are, the more successful your sessions will be.
One reason why so many people find Skype learning to be off-putting is that most Skype conversations feature two video windows – one of your contact, and one of you. Some people can’t get over the self-consciousness that comes with being able to see yourself speaking. So if that bothers you, why not just put a post-it note over your video box?
- Agree a Plan Beforehand
At Commercial Language Training, we always structure our lessons to suit your specific requirements. But when learning over Skype, it’s particularly vital that we establish your language learning goals in advance.
We can cover any areas you wish to focus on whilst avoiding those that are perhaps not so important. We can also make a point of including all the specialist vocabulary and terminology needed to conduct business overseas in your specific sector.
Our aim is to structure the lessons to teach you everything you need to learn but also to adapt them to suit the medium.
- Make Use of Skype’s Unique Features
As well as the flexibility, learning a new language over Skype offers a range of unique opportunities.
You and your tutor can make use of some of Skype’s native features to really make your lessons a success.
For example, at any point during your session you can ask your trainer questions using Skype’s instant messaging function. These can then be reviewed after the session.
Similarly, your trainer can use this instant messaging function to provide you with subtle hints and tips during the session. They can give you pointers on vocabulary and pronunciation without interrupting your flow.
- Study your notes
Don’t just switch your computer off after the Skype call has ended. Go through your notes to remind yourself what you have learned and what questions you have as a result. Spend 10 minutes practising what you have learned so that you don’t forget it all straight away.
For more information about our flexible business language courses or our Skype sessions, give us a call on +44 (0) 1629 732 653.
Alternatively, fill in our online enquiry form.