Polski via Skype – Learning Polish via Skype? Posted by Anna on Apr 18, 2009 in Grammar
Thank you once again! I’m sure that your answers to my question in the last post are going to be very helpful to any readers who are still not sure whether to sign up for a Polish language class or go it alone. And as a few of you noticed, sometimes there’s no choice – it’s self-study or nothing, because Polish classes can be hard to find in some places.
That brings me to another point I’d like to know your opinion about. What do you think about the effectiveness of learning via Skype with a tutor? A couple of you mentioned this way of studying Polish and this is something I’d like to know more about from the student’s point of view.
You see, I am myself helping a couple of Polish learners via Skype and from where I’m sitting, it looks like a wonderful way to study a foreign language. It can be a quasi-language course, and a quasi-private class with all the convenience of doing it in your pajamas.
But how effective is it, really? Do you think that it can replace a structured “in-person” language course and offer the same learning benefit? To be honest, this is something I’m not sure about, and as a tutor I may be shooting myself in the foot here, but I have to say that Skype is not for everybody. It requires the same discipline and dedication as independent self-study. And it requires more concentration and attention than working one-on-one with a tutor face-to-face – for both the teacher AND the student. Myself, I find it more challenging than working with a student in real life.
But those of you who use this option, do you think you get out of it what you want to get? Are you happy with your results and the progress you are making? And how do you deal with the time difference if you and the tutor live in different time zones? Who stays up? Is it you or the teacher? Do you think this method can be used alone, or is it best in conjunction with something else?
I think Polish is a very challenging language to teach via Skype. A simple conversation lesson about, let’s say, ordering beer, almost always ends up as a very involved grammatical explanation of, let’s say, noun cases or numerals. However, what I think might be vastly different from what you guys think.
I know that quite a few Polish tutors read this blog, and I know your answers will be very valuable not only to me, but to anyone who teaches a foreign language on the internet. And that in turn should bring better results to our students.
- uczyć się polskiego – to learn Polish
- uczyć się – to learn
Remember when we talked about “się” and how it can change the meaning of a verb completely?
Here’s your chance to review:
- Ja uczę polskiego. – I (am) teach(ing) Polish (“language” is implied and understood). – This is what I would say about myself.
- Ja uczę się polskiego. – I (am) learn(ing) Polish (“language” is implied and understood) – this is what you could say about yourself.
But if you want to direct the first sentence to me, what would you say?
- Ty uczysz polskiego. – You (are) teach(ing) Polish.
And if I want to direct the second sentence to you, what would I say?
- Ty uczysz się polskiego. – You (are) learn(ing) Polish.
Ok, next time we will take a look at the many different English tenses this one Polish sentence can be translated into. Yes, it’s grammar time! Oh joy, oh joy!
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