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Group Teaching as Opposed to Individual Teaching

Group Teaching as Opposed to Individual Teaching | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Teaching English as a foreign language can be done one of two ways: teaching a group of students or by teaching on a one-to-one basis.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Xiaobing W. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Teaching students in groups are very common in most classrooms.

On the contrary, one to one teaching is made more special by the fact that many teachers have to develop their strategies, approaches, and materials. One-to-one courses are, by definition, tailor-made courses.

There are some advantages to teaching one-to-one courses.

On the one hand, the teacher not only has a greater opportunity to engage in real interaction and to learn. But no need to worry about the problems of large groups- mixed ability, group dynamics, early finishers, late arrivals, etc. On the other hand, the learner has the undivided attention of the teacher. This means more opportunity to engage in real communication, more feedback, and a better understanding of the learner’s needs. Second, the learner often has more control over the aims of the class, the pace, and the materials. Third, the learner has more opportunities to use the teacher as a resource – to ask questions, to see models of language, and to practice skills. Moreover, the learner can develop a real and productive relationship with the teacher. Last but not least, the learner’s needs can be addressed more fully because there is more flexibility in timing and structure.

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For teaching large groups, it can be made easy if you adopt the right teaching activities.

Through using choral repetition all class members can not only contribute to the class but the teacher can also correct basic fundamental mistakes in pronunciation, which cannot always be done on an individual basis due to time constraints and group size. The teacher can also use group works effectively to give students the confidence to contribute without the pressure of having to perform in front of the class or the teacher. It also enables every student to practice English in large classes effectively. And many learners feel more comfortable practicing new language – and making mistakes - in a group dynamic rather than in front of a teacher. But one of the biggest problems that teachers face is a group where the students are at varying levels. If the school has a competent entrance level testing procedure, the chances of this happening will be reduced but not prevented totally. Some students learn more quickly than others and in classes that started at the same level, gaps can start to appear.

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In the case of one-to-one teaching, classes can be physically and mentally exhausting for learners and teachers.

The class may become boring if the teacher does not find new approaches or the learner does not respond to the class. There are no opportunities to interact with other learners, develop a group dynamic, and to receive support. There may not be enough time given for the learner to do silent study – important in the processing of a new language. And the teacher may find it difficult to find suitable materials and activities and to structure an effective syllabus and to measure the learner’s progress or level without the framework of a syllabus or other learners to compare with. Also, the teacher may feel that they do not have the experience, training, or resources necessary for this kind of class and that they are only effective in working with large groups. 1 -1 lessons are usually less formal and the teacher will often be the partner of the student, helping/prompting/working with him/her.

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In conclusion, I think one-to-one teaching is more suitable for the members of society, it can help them achieve their goals easily. Group teaching is a good way for the students in the school.

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