Since the ability to do video conferencing has been a viable option for people (at least for the last 10 years for most), language learners have toyed with the concept of whether it’s truly desirable or effective. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was just an option, and often not the one of choice. If you lived in another country or too far to commute to a coach’s office, it could make sense, but it wasn’t the preference of most learners.
Fast forward to 2020, and we see online English coaching taking on a new meaning. Safety. Convenience. Comfort. In speech coaching of any kind, wearing a mask is not ideal since you can’t see your coach’s lip and jaw movement. Online, this is not a concern, but in person it is risky. Additionally, people who were not exposed to video conferencing didn’t really know how to use it, and even if they did, they didn’t usually use the video components. Often people would listen to a webinar while doing something else, but partaking in a full-on video session with recordings wasn’t the norm. So, if English Coaching was done over the net, it wasn’t easy for the learner. Too much to learn: how to use the online coaching tool AND learn English at the same time.
In 2020, the vast majority of people are computer users who use online conferencing tools (like WebEx, MS Team, FB Rooms, Google Meet or Zoom) regularly and comfortably for work and family and friend conversations.
With that, Speech Coaching, Online English Coaching, and Voice & Accent Coaching now seem like less of a stretch. In fact, there are a lot of advantages to Online English Coaching:
- Full video recordings are built-in; no need to hassle with setting them up when in person.
- People are less often late to the meetings. No traffic to navigate through; no need to dress up or deal with inclement weather (rain, hail, snow) or cold temperatures, causing delays and leading to tardiness.
- Fewer challenges around meeting at inconvenient times, like early mornings or late evenings or needing to reschedule with short notice.
- Ability to share in real time onscreen with notes and then watch it later when you play back the recordings for practice.
There are a myriad of benefits to Online English Coaching, and in 2021, chances are it will be the preferred type of coaching due to safety, convenience, and comfort concerns.