Opportunities for language learning in distance
education are diverse, and include various
permutations of media use, interaction and support.
Examples of current diversity
• satellite-delivered classes to several sites with medium-sized
numbers, augmented by print materials and weekly computer
• print-based courses with CD-ROM and real-time chat
broadcast TV, supplemented by print and audio materials,
and some chat facilities
multimedia courses, combining a range of synchronous and
One taxonomy of online courses was developed by McGreal of
TeleEducation New Brunswick.
He makes a distinction between: Online correspondence
courses: make use of print, audio and video tapes and e-mail
and probably some computer-based training courseware.
CMC courses: may have a similar element to online courses,
including written texts and possibly audio/video tapes and
Enhanced communication is possible through discussion
packages, listservs (an e-mail discussion list) or bulletin
boards. World Wide Web courses: can be followed on the
World Wide Web and can take advantage of links to other
These courses can be either text-based, or can include
graphics and animation. This grouping includes synchronous