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Private Tutoring or Group Teaching: Which Teaching Mode to Choose?

Private Tutoring or Group Teaching: Which Teaching Mode to Choose? | ITTT | TEFL Blog

To understand the difference between teaching one to one and groups this essay aims to provide a discussion of the factors which exert influence on choosing one of these types of teaching or learning according to their advantages and disadvantages. Nowadays teachers and students often ask themselves a question: “What should I choose: individual or group studying?” There are a lot of things they need to bear in mind for making this decision.

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

Benefits of Private Classes

The first section illustrates the popularity of one to one education, which increases every year. Both teachers and students find this type very convenient, as much more material may be assimilated by learners during such lessons, and all the teacher’s attention focuses on one only student. It does not matter what is the main goal of studying: teaching Business English for adults or helping young learners of different ages. All of them may choose face to face or online classes, as it is very common for individual education nowadays. Presented type is good for a teacher because there are no mixed levels of knowledge, students are normally highly motivated to study, it is much easier to follow their needs and establish rapport with them.

Also Read: Can couples or friends teach English abroad together?

Drawbacks of Private Classes

Nevertheless, there are some disadvantages in this way. An example of this is the lack of possibility to use a lot of different activities to make the lesson dynamic and varied. Also, students may become bored from talking with only one person – a teacher. As far as I have learned from this experience, the described process may be less organized than teaching a group. In other words, students are often late, they may change the time, cancel the lessons or even disappear with no explanation if we talk about adults. Young learners are motivated by their parents, so teachers may lean on their support and do their best to make the lesson enjoyable and successful.

students writing

Also Read: Can I get a work visa to teach English in Mexico?

Group Teaching

Building on from the idea that one to one teaching has its benefits and drawbacks, this section demonstrates the same about teaching groups. To begin with, there are different types of groups such as small or large, adults/kids/mixed groups, monolingual/multilingual, groups of varied purposes, for example, preparing for exams or learning English for traveling. Moreover, every group consists of students of different levels, so the teacher should prepare a lot of activities to satisfy all their needs and interests. Also, it is more difficult to build a relationship with the whole class and get to know every student closer.

However, the lessons created for a group of students may be more interactive and dynamic by including different moving activities, interesting games, role plays, tasks in pairs and mini-groups, discussions and so on. Also, schools, where teachers work, usually provide all the materials for the lessons, for instance, course books for teachers, colored flashcards, recorders, interactive boards and a computer with a printer, and others. Additionally, the company may offer the prepared program, which can be improved by the teacher according to students’ demands. There are always colleagues who will share their experience and techniques, tutorials and courses for teachers organized by the school to help them to be updated.

Also Read: 2 Sample Lesson Plans to Incorporate Storytelling in the EFL Class

Final Thoughts

We can see that these two ways of teaching and learning have obvious advantages and disadvantages. To choose the best type students should think about the following factors. What is the main goal of the course? If they need to improve speaking skills, there are more chances to do it in a group with a lot of people to participate. If the aim is to prepare for an exam and work on individual language problems, it seems to be better to find one to one teaching program. Business English is also usually learned individually, because there may be a special area to work on and a limited period. Speaking about timing, when learners need to complete the course as fast as possible, probably the best way is to study one to one, because they will not have to wait until other students are ready to continue. Finally, students may have a difficult schedule or issues, so they need special treatment.

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In conclusion, I want to say that there is never the best solution or answer for different kinds of situations and questions. Each student or teacher decides according to his or her goals and interests. Even though the difference between one to one and group studying is obvious, both of them have an educational purpose aiming to improve the student’s skills and knowledge.

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