Online English Courses VS Live English Lessons: Which Do You Need?

You need to improve your English but you aren’t sure which class type is right for you. Online English courses or live English lessons using video chat. Each is good for its own reasons. I’ll talk about the pros and cons of each and provide a little quiz so you can determine which one is best for your situation.


Typical Online English Course


  • Great for those who are busy and don’t have time for scheduled lessons. Study at 2 am or for five minutes at a time.
  • Good if you're in a difficult time zone.
  • Offers a lot of “bang for your buck.” They include a lot of content for, usually, a low price.
  • Very structured (this could be a pro or a con for you)
  • Lots of grammar explanations and reading opportunities. If these are weak areas, you’ll learn a lot with an online course.
  • Great if you aren't confident in your speaking skills yet.



  • No speaking opportunities.
  • No class environment. You miss out on friendships, discussions, and the sense of community of fellow learners. So it can be lonely and difficult to practice on your own.
  • Little every day conversation. They usually follow textbooks which can be a little stiff. You can’t practice the conversations you’d use the most.


English Scene by Scene solution: With my online courses, I offer an online forum to connect to your classmates and other English learners. I also post challenges and discussion topics to keep you engaged and never feeling alone. Lastly, my online courses include a serious of video lessons so you still benefit from listening to a native speaker. I also use movie and TV clips which help to solve the problem of listening and practicing everyday conversation. Although it’s not exactly like a live class, I’ve tried to offer solutions to common cons of online English courses.


Live 1-on-1 Online English Lessons



  • TONS of speaking opportunities. Sometimes you'll watch their screen or chat too.
  • Immediate corrections. Your language is corrected instantly and you can ask questions when you have them.
  • Fairly lose structure. Since the class is live, the structure isn't always set in stone. This means you’ll practice more everyday conversation and less “textbook” conversations.
  • More customized lessons. You build a friendship with your teacher and they can tailor their lessons to you and what you’d like to learn. Many times the lesson can be up to you. You tell the teacher what you want to learn, questions you want answered, and what you want to talk about.
  • The only way to reach advanced English levels if you are outside an English-speaking country.


  • Can become expensive. Although they improve your English greatly, they can be pricey.
  • Timezone and schedule restricted. You must also be available in your timezone as well as at a specific time. This can be challenging if you are in a difficult time zone or have a busy schedule, especially if you are a parent.
  • You must be confident and ready to talk to a stranger. Don't worry, they aren't a stranger for long.


Online English Course vs Live English Lesson Quiz

Where do you live?

A. In Asia or Australia

B. In the US, South America, Europe or Africa


How busy is your schedule?

A. Busy - Very busy - I have children and a busy job

B. Not busy - Fairly busy  - I work part-time, don’t work, and don’t have children


How much can you afford for lessons?

A. I need as cheap as possible

B. I can afford quality lessons


What area do you need to work on?

A. writing/reading, grammar

B. Speaking, fluency, confidence


Do you like structured lessons or flexible lesson?

A. Very Structured

B. Somewhat flexible


Do you want a classroom or individual attention?

A. I like the community of a classroom

B. I like individual attention


Mostly As - Online course

Mostly Bs- Live lessons

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  1. Mya Hnin Wai

    I wanna join this course

    1. Shelby Morrison

      Hi Mya,
      Glad to have you! You can sign up for my English courses by clicking the Online Courses link and clicking Unit 1.

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