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G. Helguero-Balcells

Walden University (UNITED STATES)
Many Colleges and Universities are offering online courses in order to generate revenue and also to accommodate the needs of students; as a result language courses via distance learning have been steadily increasing. One needs to make a differentiation in the acquisition of the language in a general sense and that of Specific Purposes which has been also increasing momentum in modern language departments. Virtually every language course has a component that lends itself to utilizing a variation of online techniques that will engage the learner. What remains an enigma is how effective is this alternative to gain a proficiency level that reaches an intermediate benchmark? Is there a difference between holistic acquisition versus Language for Specific Purposes? Are students gaining the same amount or more via technology in acquiring not only the language but also cultural dimensions? These questions are posed to begin the dialogue on how to approach distance learning for language acquisition in all languages in addition to the special purpose needs which are being driven by the societal and global changes/markets.