Hello. I'm a teacher who currently struggles to convince students that apps cannot replace teachers. Do you also face this kind of problem? How do you convince your pupils that those are tools?
I'm not a teacher, but I'm going to put a twist on your question. Are teachers necessary for learning languages? Imo, although they can really facilitate the process in some cases, they aren't absolutely necessary. I like to learn languages mostly on my own, and the only times I use teachers are when I want "expert" conversation practice.
In Thailand now. Next up Tanzania and Philippines.
Actually I tend to be self-taught too! But I've been exposed to languages ever since I was a little kid, in Brazil the reality is very different, though. Specially when English is the issue, besides belonging to another root (Spanish, Italian are obviously easier for us), English is seen as a huge value, associated with "civilization", I could say! I feel aproaching the language itself is an obstacle for most of people, and this is the moment the teacher has a main role.
Leo may have a point here. Are teachers always necessary?
Personally, I don’t believe that’s the case. In my opinion, teachers are best suited for less experienced learners, kids, people who are about to learn their first foreign language or those who aren’t all that interested in language learning but need it because of their job or life situation.
Language enthusiasts and self-taught individuals are a different breed and many of them might not find traditional language lessons all that useful. I happen to find myself in that category and, given the nature of this site, most of the answers you get will probably follow the same line.
If you study more than one language you eventually start to get a sense of what are the methods, materials, and resources that you find the most effective for you personally. At that stage, you will probably feel that language lessons offer diminishing returns and the cons start to outweigh the pros. You have to follow someone else‘s directives (who may or not be using up-to-date methods and materials), the teacher adapts to the group, not the individual, you are constantly exposed to broken speech from other students, and then there’s also the costs in money, commute time, etc.
I'm more comfortable learning new languages on my own so I don't think a teacher is necessary. Helpful but not necessary. Of course there are times when there are complicated sentence structures that may be limited to understand using an app. These are the times we may need a teacher for learning. For me though, there are lots of materials on the internet and websites like this than can help us learning the language that we want and that's all the help I need for now.