While some schools have reopened and others struggle with the debate whether to open for in-person learning during the COVID pandemic, there’s one educational segment that’s been doing just fine during the COVID pandemic.
Online language learning is soaring.
For example, enrollment for online language learning at Berlitz Calgary Learning Centre has increased by 20 percent since the pandemic began, said Domingo Lumanog, the centre’s director.
Other language centres are also experiencing rapid growth.
Overall, online learning is also expected to keep growing, almost 19 percent from 2020 to 2027, exceeding $21 billion, according to a report by Meticulous Research.
“Success of the students has really been so awesome during the pandemic,” Lumanog said during an interview with CTV Calgary. “Individuals have been excelling at different language levels and achieving their goals, but we’re also really seeing a trend of people just wanting to learn more while they’re cooped up at home.”
While some online language learners are continuing in-person study, others are using this COVID downtime to increase their knowledge and challenge themselves.
Madeleine Wakefield is one of these.
“It’s kind of like a period of exile,” she told CTV Calgary “When you go into exile you can see that as a waiting period or as a time when you keep progressing, so even at this stage in my life I wanted to progress.”
She is reviewing French and learning Korean online from the Berlitz Calgary Centre.
Language learning can do more, however, than keep someone productively occupied during the pandemic restrictions. Multiple research studies have confirmed the undeniable benefits of language learning on health by exercising your brain.
People who learn and speak more than one language develop improved memory, along with critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This has been determined to delay the onset of dementia in some people and results in improved concentration and listening skills.
Another benefit, particularly for older adults, is the opportunity to increase interaction with others. Not only are people taking language lessons online, but they are using their new knowledge to communicate digitally with people around the world and learning about their cultures and practices, particularly during this difficult period.
See CTV News footage showing how Calgarians embrace new languages as way of connecting during COVID-19 pandemic.