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Teaching the Individual: One-To-One v Groups

Teaching the Individual: One-To-One v Groups

By Kyle Cullinan

Table of Contents

Although group lessons are enjoyable, one-to-one lessons are satisfying for teachers and students alike, offering unique advantages in language education.

Understanding the Dynamics of One-To-One Teaching vs. Group Teaching

In the realm of language education, the choice between one-to-one and group teaching settings carries significant implications for both educators and learners. Group classes, while fostering social interaction and diverse perspectives, often present challenges due to varying language levels among students. This diversity complicates the task of planning and delivering lessons that effectively cater to the majority. Conversely, one-to-one tutoring offers a focused environment where grammar concepts can be deeply explored, speaking and listening skills can be finely honed, and personalised attention can be given to each student's unique learning needs. This introductory overview sets the stage for exploring the nuanced advantages and considerations of both teaching approaches, guiding educators in making informed decisions that best support student engagement, comprehension, and long-term educational success.Groups Add ComplexityGroup classes bring about a mixture of language levels, each with their own obstacles to overcome. The complexity adds to difficulty planning and delivering a class that will meet the needs of the majority of students.

# Grammar Teaching: A Comparison

When it comes to grammar, the volume of work covered by students each lesson is reduced without the extra attention of one-to-one tutelage. However, the depth of understanding and retention of grammar concepts tends to be higher due to the focused attention provided in individualised teaching sessions.

Talk Time: Group vs. Individual

Speaking and listening skills are much easier to practice in a one-to-one lesson. Having the time to ask questions and check for understanding is gauged more accurately through personalised teaching. Improvement in speaking and listening skills is more evident when teaching one-to-one.Resource Management: A Cost ComparisonGroup lessons require additional materials and resources to be distributed around the class. Coursebooks, printed worksheets, and visual aids are necessary to keep the attention of the group. Teaching one-to-one means less material, less need for storage and reduced costs.

Homework: Accountability Matters

Group students tend to be less likely to complete assignments, often relying on classmates who have done the work to provide answers during class. However, when working with individual students, there is no opportunity to depend on others. Consequently, individual students are more engaged and involved in completing their homework tasks.

Tailoring personalised learning

Lastly, the individual attention to the student in terms of their personal learning needs is far more greatly addressed in an individual setup than in a group class. Time can be spent with the individual student focusing on their difficulties, reviewing work where needed, and adapting the lessons to their possibly evolving needs in the workplace or in their daily life.


Choosing between one-to-one and group teaching depends largely on educational goals, student needs, and resource availability. While group settings offer social interaction and diverse perspectives, one-to-one lessons provide focused attention, enhanced accountability, and personalised learning experiences. Ultimately, the decision should align with maximising student engagement, comprehension, and long-term learning outcomes.*The opinions expressed by the author are solely their own and do not necessarily represent the views of ITTT or the training programs offered. The information shared is intended for informational purposes only. Readers are encouraged to exercise their own judgement and discretion.

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