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4 ways to tell if an online language course is right for you

February 11, 2016 by Mandy Byrd |


So you’re thinking about taking a foreign language course online, but it seems so, well, foreign from what you remember of high school Spanish. There’s a good reason for that – it is different, but that’s not a bad thing.

Online courses are a great option if you’re looking to learn a new language, brush up on one you studied years ago, or simply get those foreign language requirements out of the way. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you weigh your options:

  1. Is online learning for me?

    If this will be your first online course, it’s important to make sure you’ll be comfortable with the online environment. But how do you know what to expect? UNCG has created a website to help you decide if online learning is a good fit. Visit the Ready to Learn site for a quick self-assessment and tips for being successful as an online student.

  2. How does the university support online students?

    Check out the university library’s website to see what resources are available to online students. At UNCG, for example, online students have access to all the resources that on-campus students have. Need a book that’s only available on campus? A librarian will ship it to you, free of charge. (For an overview of the other services offered, watch the Online Library orientation video.)

  3. What’s available for foreign language students?

    Aside from general support for online students, you’ll need specific resources for the language you plan to study. UNCG offers a research guide featuring a variety of free resources – such as access to Tell Me More, a popular online language training program – and a librarian who specializes in foreign languages. And don’t forget about your professor! He or she can guide you to resources specific to your language.

  4. How much time can I devote to this course?

    If you’re taking a 3-credit course online, plan on spending at least 8 hours per week studying the course material, practicing your pronunciation, and working on assignments. Think about how that will fit with your work or family obligations. Summer Session can be a great time to study a language online because you can focus on one course and work around summer travel plans. 

Enjoy the convenience of studying online

Whether your goal is to be fluent in French or to succeed in your second semester of Spanish, online courses can take you there – from the comfort of your home. Foreign language study can complement a variety of online degrees offered at UNCG. Visit to explore your options.


Photo courtesy of Death To Stock.

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