Learning languages is an essential part of the life of many people and, as many other things in the present time, it has seen some big changes in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The crisis, or more precisely the restrictions connected to it, have given online learning, in general, a great boost. Not surprisingly, language studying, in particular, has been booming due to the drastic drop in international travel.
For example, the demand for learning Chinese online has increased significantly due to the very strict restrictions and limited entry options to China, which have made it almost impossible for foreigners to visit the country.
The Importance of Learning Languages
“Learning a language means having more than one window through which you can look at the world”. This Chinese proverb explains perfectly why it makes sense to study foreign languages, even more so in an increasingly globalized world.
Learning languages broadens people’s horizons. People learn a lot of new things about themselves, and get a new look at their own thought patterns.
Furthermore, language skills are a core competence on the job market in today’s world. More and more companies place great value on international relationships and want to address customers from different parts of the world.
It must also be noted that learning languages has a positive effect on people’s memory skills, as they learn vocabulary and memorize sentences and situations in which they apply what they have learned. This training of the brain also helps in other areas of life.
Speaking about the brain, the parts of it responsible for creativity are also responsible for language. People develop their emotional intelligence by learning a foreign language. When you speak another language, you subconsciously develop a feeling for the underlying structures of the language, which influence people from other cultures and at the same time are a mirror of them.
Learning Online: What’s the Deal?
As the world continues to develop, adapt and come up with new innovative ways to handle situations, the field of education is changing as well. This has been also speeded up by the difficult past couple of months in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The education industry is changing radically and a massive shift towards a more personal, flexible, authentic and effective online world of student-centered learning is currently in the process.
Language learning, for its part, is experiencing its fair share of changes. In this context, the demand for learning Chinese online has skyrocketed in the past months. However, many people still have doubts whether online education can fully replicate the “personal” experience.
The truth is, it most certainly can and in many ways, it can even do better. Online learning has many advantages that suggest that the concept is here in the long run. For example, flexibility. With online learning, people can study anywhere, anytime.
Students can be at home or at work. They can study on the weekend, at night, in the morning or during the lunch break. They can use whatever device they prefer. It’s enough to have an internet connection and they can be connected to the world.
Moreover, the students can personalize their learning experiences. They can choose whether they want a teacher who is strict with grammar or who is more talkative. Perhaps somebody prefers a two-hour lesson once a week and someone else might learn better with 30-minute lessons per day.
And experts estimate that these benefits will help the online education sector grow even more in the future, with people set to invest more time and money to educate themselves and others.
Chinese: The Language of the Future
And this is exactly where the rising popularity of learning Chinese online fits in. The desire to study Mandarin is growing rapidly, with Duolingo reporting it as the 8th most popular language on the app.
Also, as per reports, over 70 countries have integrated Chinese into their education systems, with about 20 million people learning the language outside of China.
It is also worth noting than 2 million people from 170 countries are using the Global Chinese Learning Platform app launched at the end of 2019, showing the increased desire to study Chinese online.
The trend is clear and with the rise of influence of China as a country, it is inevitable that Mandarin will also become more important on a global scale. While it will likely not become the lingua franca of the world, it will surely be an important tool for future communication.