The recent wave of busy people studying English online is reshaping the way we learn languages. With instant access via platforms such as Skype, the possibilities for studying any aspect of English are endless. However, old-fashioned study habits still rule when it comes to making the most out of your online English classes. Here are a few points to remember:

Take notes. We mean “real” notes, by hand! Studies have shown that students who take notes by hand, writing things down the old-fashioned way, will retain information faster and longer.  So whether you are watching your teacher via Skype or sitting in a lecture hall, taking notes is a great way to reinforce and retain what you are learning.

Set aside time to avoid distractions. Many people take online classes because they need to have a flexible schedule. However, even if you are taking online classes at the most convenient time possible, you still need to be true to that time and set it aside just for learning. Would you try to watch your favorite TV show, do paperwork from your job, or text a friend while you are sitting in-person in a classroom? Of course not. You don’t want to be distracted from what the teacher is saying. Therefore, the same rule applies online. Set aside time just for your online class and focus on that class. Do not try to multitask and do other things.

Be an active learner! It’s easy to be “anonymous” online and sit back to passively learn. However, you will not be getting the most out of your class if you are too passive. Ask and answer questions in class. Be the first to volunteer an answer to the teacher’s question. Take advantage of every opportunity possible to speak up in class and practice English. Whether it’s in person or online, practicing English and speaking up in class will take you far in learning English.

Applying “old-fashioned” study habits to online learning combines the best of both worlds, enabling students to thrive using technology to its fullest potential.