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How Teaching Privately Differs from Teaching a Whole Class?

How Teaching Privately Differs from Teaching a Whole Class? | ITTT | TEFL Blog

In recent years, more and more English learners demand one-to-one lessons. Students feel that the course can be more specifically geared towards their own needs and wants than a group course could. Individual lessons have no mixed level, teachers could highly motivate the students, the requirements can be clearly defined. And teachers are easier and faster to get close to the students.

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

There are some teaching methods below for one-to-one lessons:

  • At the initial meeting, completing a needs analysis form with the students or students’ parents.
  • Finding out the students’ English level and problems. Then according to the exact situation of the students to arrange the lesson plans. For group lessons, in the first class, it is more difficult to establish rapport with every student. But the teachers still need to know the basic situation of each student.

Beginning of the lesson

Both teaching one-to-one and groups all need to wrap up the students at the beginning of the class, the methods are different since the range of the classes is different. For one-to-one lessons, the teachers could use more conversations with the students. And for group lessons, some games and songs probably are more suitable and effective.

Also Read: My Personal Experience Moving to Beijing to Teach English

Choice of activities

During the main classes, all the interesting activities can be used practically for both one-to-one and group lessons. But how to play activities is a vital problem. For one-to-one lessons, the individual students have no partners to work with, so the teachers need to play as partners or competitors with them. So it is easier for the teachers to find out the students’ English problems or mistakes. For the group lessons, pairs or group practices are more fun and effective for the students. Since the students normally prefer working with the ones who are on a similar English level. The students could feel less anxious during the interactions with other students, but their English problems or mistakes are not obvious for the teachers.

Also Read: English Teaching Qualities


After class, the teachers need to provide feedback to the students or students’ parents. For the one-to-one lessons, the feedback or post-course report is more specific and accurate. But usually, the teachers put more focus on the mistakes the students have made than the correct English they have used. For the group lessons, the improvement of the students sometimes is more obvious, since the teachers always can compare with other students.

Managing the classroom

There is also one important and inevitable problem for the group lessons, which is the management and class discipline. The more students the teachers have in one class, the more difficulty the teachers have with management and class discipline. Sometimes the teachers cannot get all the students’ attention. So it is hard to tell how much the students absorb in one class. On the contrary, the one-to-one lessons are easier to control, and the teachers can catch the students; attention longer.

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In short, there are several advantages to one-to-one lessons, but also there are many benefits to group lessons. And the teachers can always find out the problems from both one-to-one and group lessons. So how to teach is the principle, and is the question the teachers need to focus on.

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