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Group Teaching or Private Lessons?

Group Teaching or Private Lessons? | ITTT | TEFL Blog

First of all, there’s a great difference between teaching one-to-one and groups. Some teachers prefer teaching one-to-one as it gives teachers a better opportunity to focus on one student rather than giving attention to many students. Also, there are differences regarding the classroom of each type. For example in teaching groups, classrooms are more formal. That’s why there would be more discipline in classrooms of groups. On the other hand, in teaching one-to-one, the classroom can be anywhere either in the student’s home if lessons are private or even in the teacher’s home.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Omnia A.

Lesson planning

As for choosing curriculum, teaching one-to-one gives the teacher more freedom in choosing a curriculum that is more specific to the student’s needs. While in teaching groups the teacher is usually bound to a specific curriculum chosen by the institute he works in which cannot be suitable for every member of the group. For example, some students may be good in vocabulary but bad in grammar and others may be the other way around. The responsibility of adapting the curriculum to students’ needs would lie with the teacher.

Also Read: 3 Key Strategies for Teaching Young Learners

Student-centered approach

Basically one of the great advantages of one-to-one classes is that the student gets more chance to practice the language. Moreover, the teacher can easily tell the strengths and weaknesses of the student. They can work together on reinforcing the strengths and dealing with the weaknesses without caring for other students by the teacher and without the fear of competence that students might feel towards each other. They would further experience practicing the language as in real life situations regardless of the time as there’s only one student. In fact, the student has the option to choose how to learn and which material is used in the classroom.

Also Read: Top Qualities To Teach Kindergarteners

Establishing rapport

Also, the relationship between the teacher and the students varies hugely. For instance, the relationship in teaching groups is more rigid and dull while in teaching one to one, it’s more intimate and similar to friends’ relationships especially if they are close in age. Having such a relationship with students has advantages and disadvantages. Some of these advantages are that it makes the learning process more fun and acceptable by the student but it has disadvantages too. It can make achieving discipline quite hard in the classroom if the student lacks self-control. Therefore it’s crucial for the teacher in one-to-one classes to set boundaries and maintain order during learning time.

Also Read: How to Establish Rapport with Students

Choice of activities

When it comes to class activities, it can be quite hard in one-t- one classes as there won’t be pair or group work. This can be a disadvantage as the student may feel bored due to lack of activities. So it’s better in group classes as students encourage each other and learn from each other in class activities. This can be overcome by adapting some activities to suit only one person. For example, trying role play between the teacher and the student where the student has the greater opportunity to reflect what has been learned and use the new vocabulary while the teacher only uses a small role just enough to encourage and motivate the student.

Also Read: How can the lack of cultural sensitivity negatively impact students learning?

Learn group and one-to-one teaching techniques on your TEFL course

At last, each of the teaching styles whether one-to-one style or the group style has pros and cons however it’s possible for the teacher to adapt to each one of them and modify the materials and activities to suit each style of teaching.

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