A decade ago, I may have agreed vehemently with this. Since a couple years ago, though, I have to disagree. The evolution of language training software is among the most impressive I’ve seen for any type of educational software. I’ve been to beginner-level training in both software and classrooms. In terms of material, they’re just as good. In terms of helping you learn quickly, the flexibility of software tools edge out classroom instruction easily.
On the contrary, I’ve met a lot of serious language learners who use software. In fact, the few times I’ve enrolled in classroom training, almost half the class were bored professionals who were there because their company required them to. Seldom have I seen people training with a language software do so begrudgingly.
While this could be true to some extend, it could be equally true for classroom learners. Practice is seldom integrated in classroom teaching, most of which is spent teaching vocabulary and pronunciation. For the most part, students will be responsible for their own practice, which is why we encourage people to either join or form a language club.
This was true of early efforts in language training software. These days, however, there is plenty of variety in the kinds of approaches language learning title
If software-based learning is so inferior to classroom instruction, we would have seen it die off after the first few training materials came out. Instead, more and more people are opting for language training software, instead of classroom instruction. If that’s not a good indication of their comparative effectiveness, I don’t know what is.
Fortunately for you, modern language programs have progressed far from the days of robotic instruction. If someone mentions this as fact, remind them how much technology has advanced over the last ten years.
Language software is “easier” than classroom training. Don’t expect to cruise through language software lessons. Learning, regardless of the medium, will never work like magic. You’ll have to work your ass off acquiring language just like everybody else who now speaks your target language fluently.