In the fast-paced world of business, there is one undeniable fact that holds true: employees are the key to success. Their commitment and expertise propel organizations towards their objectives, which is why investing in a learning culture is essential. The advantages are numerous and include improved staff retention, increased productivity and the goal of higher employee engagement.
7 tips for learning English online
Learning English online is very different from studying in a physical classroom, and there is not always a teacher looking over your shoulder. And more often than not, you have to motivate yourself and keep yourself on track.
In this blog, we’ll share seven tips to help you learn English online – including how to set goals, create a study schedule, and stay focused. Let’s explore:
1. Set SMART goals
Lots of students wonder how to learn English online. And we know getting started is often the most challenging part. So before you begin studying English online, we recommend setting some SMART goals. These are goals that are:
Let's say you:
- Have an ultimate goal to get a high score in an English language exam (like PTE Academic), so you can study abroad.
You’ll need to plan how to reach this. An excellent way to start is to begin planning your short and medium-term goals. For example:
- Short-term goal: Learn ten words each day
- Medium-term goal: Improve practice test scores by 5% over the next month
2. Make a study schedule
Creating a well-thought-out schedule will help you to study English online and stay organized. It’ll also mean you dedicate enough time to each language skill – speaking, reading, writing and listening:
- Pick times that work best for you – You may prefer studying at certain times of the day when you have more energy, or after doing something energizing like working out.
- Stick to it – Once you’ve set a regular fixed time, stay with it to ensure it becomes a routine habit.
- Make time – Give yourself as much time as possible to finish each task (especially in case life gets in the way) and some time to relax.
3. Create a comfortable learning space
Where you study can impact your cognitive performance. For example, sunlight can lead to better learning outcomes. Temperature and noise can also affect the way you learn. If you can, make sure that your learning space is:
- quiet (and private if possible!)
You might also want to decorate your study space, perhaps with an indoor plant – they can improve concentration by 15%!
Also, before you start, do you have everything at hand? Do you have water? Is your coursebook close by? And is your computer fully charged? Having all your supplies on hand will help you stay focused – and learn English online faster.
4. Eliminate distractions
To learn English online, you need to eliminate distractions. Logging off your social media accounts and anything else distracting you until you’re done studying is good practice. If you find yourself logging back in, you might want to use a focus app (like Leechblock, which can block up to thirty websites).
If you can, turn off your phone altogether and put it away and out of sight. If you’re tempted to pick it up again, ask yourself why. Sometimes, there’s no good reason, and it’s best to keep studying.
5. Try the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to break your studying into manageable chunks, which will also help you stay focused.
- Set a timer for 20 minutes
- Each time the timer goes off, write a tick on a piece of paper
- Take a five-minute break
- Continue to set the timer for 20-minute intervals
- When you've got four ticks, take a 20-minute break
This time management system works well because it gives you frequent breaks to look forward to and helps you concentrate. You can use this time to stretch, have a snack, take a walk – or do anything that gives your mind a rest.
6. Use self-study resources
There are lots of English learning materials available online – including worksheets, mock tests, games and grammar exercises. There are also various games and quizzes available online.
7. Find a study partner
We all know studying online can get lonely! That’s why we recommend you find a study partner. With a partner to work with, you can practice speaking and listening. You’ll have someone to check over your work. But most importantly – you’ll have someone to hold you accountable and help you stay motivated. Perhaps you know a friend or family member who is also studying English, and you can work with them. You can sometimes find local study groups or clubs depending on your location.
If you're unable to find a local study group or an in-person partner, there are many places to find a study partner online – for example, Mooclab or dedicated social media groups. You might also want to try out silent Zoom meetings; students and professionals keep each other focused by simply working together on mute.
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You may have heard the term learning management system (LMS) at work or perhaps during your time in education. For many, this throws out images of clunky, outdated systems that clumsily distribute course materials and are tough to use. But that is no longer the case. Modern LMS's are far more user-friendly, and it's time to relearn what you thought you knew about these tools.
In this ultimate guide, we will look at everything you need to know about learning management systems and why they are so beneficial.
What is a learning management system?
The idea is that these LMS platforms offer one central place for users to manage and access courses and learning materials. Depending on the user, this could be anything from self-paced e-courses to classroom training.
This can help facilitate a range of training, studying and skills development, as well as assessments, exams and certification management.
Who uses LMS's and why?
There are many great uses for learning management systems but these are used primarily by businesses and educational establishments. Here are some of the most common use cases for these platforms:
HR and management - The HR and management team might implement these across the business to help with learning and development and make sure that organizational goals are being hit
Employee onboarding - Those starting a new job may be given training via an LMS; this can make the onboarding process much quicker and simpler
Compliance training - Lots of roles require compliance training, for example health and safety training, and this is a great way for businesses to stay up to date and ensure everyone complies with regulations
Customer support - Some businesses use learning management systems to onboard customers or clients. This might include sharing user manuals and product guides. Plus, sales professionals might also use them to train new partners or clients in using their services or platforms.
Classroom learning - Lecturers and teachers can create and share course materials and align content and tests from one place. These can also be used to put a twist on traditional classroom learning.
Blended learning - Schools, colleges and universities may use these for online lessons and blended learning, particularly for remote students
Volunteer training - Charities and non-profits may also use an LMS to educate volunteers and keep them motivated about the cause
Of course, these platforms can and will be used in other ways, but these are some of the most common and beneficial uses for LMS's.
Who has access to LMS's?
In most cases, learning management systems will have two primary user groups: administrators and learners.
Administrators are the people who create, manage and deliver e-learning. They may use these platforms to upload their own learning materials, or they may select courses and materials from an existing list given by the provider.
On the other hand, learners are the professionals or students who will use these platforms to train, study and gain new skills. Many modern LMS's allow multiple learners to train or access materials at the same time.
However, there is a third and final group that we have yet to mention: the parents of students using LMS's, particularly outside of school hours. In some cases, parents may have access to these systems to support students, track their progress or look at feedback from the teacher.
Key features in modern LMS's
There are a variety of learning management systems out there and some are more advanced than others. That being said, many modern platforms will share similar features to ensure they stay competitive. Some of these key features may include:
Authoring tools that allow administrators to upload or build their own courses
Access to subject matter experts who can contribute to learning and development activities
Automated workflows that allow for the creation of personalized learning journeys
A resources library that holds all relevant learning materials, such as guides, video clips and courses
Quizzes and surveys for a more fun and engaging way to assess learners
Compliance features, such as automatic reminders that notify learners when it is time to retrain
Certificates and diplomas that give learners recognition as they study and meet their targets
Insights and analysis for individual progress and results, allowing administrators to identify gaps or areas where support is needed
Compatibility with mobile devices for studying on the go
Integrations with other internal systems and software
This is by no means a complete list and different platforms will have different functionality. However, these are some of the most common and beneficial features of many modern LMSs.
The benefits of using learning management systems
Saving time and money
First and foremost, an LMS can be an excellent way for businesses to save time and money on training.
Of course there is an initial investment in the platform, but training can be expensive and time-consuming, particularly if it must take place in a location outside of the workplace. Therefore, this can be the more cost-effective solution. Not to mention, the materials are quick to access and can save time and effort.
Ensuring compliance training is completed
These platforms are an excellent way to ensure that all mandatory training is completed on time and to the highest standard. For example, industry-specific training such as fire safety or cybersecurity training.
Provide accurate data
Administrators can access data and insights into their employee's learning. This can be a great way to see where more support is needed and to identify any skills gaps that need to be filled. Similarly, teachers can get to grips with how well their students are doing and if they need extra help in any subjects or areas.
Improves the learning experience
Whether in school or the workplace, LMS's can be a great way to improve the learning process. It allows users to study and access learning materials from one accessible location. Plus, through a multimedia approach, they can use guides, videos and more to help them learn. This can ensure they engage with the materials and stay motivated.
Finally, an LMS can make communication between students, teachers, employees and employers far simpler. For example, automated reminders keep everyone in the loop and ensure all training is completed on time. But more than that, there is one central place to communicate, review feedback and access the same materials.
In a previous blog, we shared some strange English phrases that might have left you with some questions. The English language is full of peculiar phrases that can even confuse fluent speakers. In today's post, we'll take a look at a few more such phrases to help you expand your repertoire.