Why do students learn English online? It fits their time, pocket and is tailored to their needs

For students there are many advantages and disadvantages to e-learning and many of these involve motivation. 

There are a variety of reasons why a student chooses e-learning over a traditional route and could be due to where they live, cost, being at college or university, unable to access a traditional classroom due to illness, looking after small children or working full time.

E-learning is often a great way for students to gain a qualification in further or higher education.  Within EFL many students are also studying within another organisation, but recognise that 'speaking English' can't be achieved by speaking just twice a week within a classroom with 20/30 other people

In order to achieve their goal students want something that is flexible, that fits into their schedule and also contains the information that they want to learn.

Something self-paced is ideal for them so they can study their chosen subject as many times as they like until they fully understand it.

However, as we all know, it is impossible to learn to speak English and hold a conversation without practical practice, which means that the student, at some time, must join a classroom.  That is where e-learning works well, as the content is provided for the student to have a balance between independent learning and planned learning.  By providing  teacher-monitored speaking and writing classes 24 hours a day and providing a range of topics and levels, the student can learn to speak every day, instead of just the standard twice a week available in traditional environments.

Unmotivated students do not engage and will not benefit from the e-earning that is being offered, so for a teacher keeping your students motivated is an important, and occasionally difficult, part of being an online teacher.

Lack of face-to-face contact can mean that the teacher can not necessarily read the frustration, boredom or confused cues that are being given when a lesson is not being engaging.  These non-verbal cues are key in giving the teacher an indication of whether to speed up, slow down, explain a concept or even introduce something new.  Whilst many online classes have emoticons, an unmotivated student often won't use them, so the teacher must always remain more vigilant and listen to small changes within a student's voice.

The tools within a classroom are easy to use and are becoming more user friendly at every upgrade, meaning that e-learning is not only an option for the more technologically minded, and provides the teacher with the opportunity to create some interesting lessons using a variety of different mediums.

Remember students are signing up to learn and good quality and quick feedback is vital in maintaining motivation.  Providing feedback during the class, where possible and written feedback within one hour of the class finishing, is essential.