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The Advantages of Teaching on a One-on-One Basis

The Advantages of Teaching on a One-on-One Basis | ITTT | TEFL Blog

The purpose of this essay is to discuss and dissect the advantages of teaching on a one to one basis. Multiple examples and cross-examinations will be used to further evaluate and possibly determine the disadvantages of the said subject matter. Group class methodology will be included to help push further discussion.

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

Individual Approach

First of all, one on one or private tutorship, as it is commonly known as, is an advantageous method of teaching. Most would say that the #1 reason for it being the best way for instructional purposes, is to give a personal and specialized lesson plan according to the student's needs as prescribed by the curriculum. I, however, would like to point out that before the personalization of the lesson plan, one must perform a standard, and overall "needs analysis" on the student. We as educators and/or instructors, cannot set forth a lesson plan without further examination of the student's limitation, strengths, and weaknesses. There are several ways one could perform "needs analysis", depending on the age and English level of the student. Once an analysis method has been chosen and applied, then and only then, can we apply a modified curriculum that would address the student's weaknesses and polish their strengths as we move forward here on out.

teacher with students

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Clearer Instructions

Secondly, one on one teaching and private tutorship is the best way to apply concise and detailed instructions, as opposed to group lesson plans. Within a group setting, the instructor address students with a general lesson plan as prescribed by issued textbooks, and approved curriculum. Teachers don't address individual needs. It's not because they don't want to, it's because they do have a limited timeframe and individual attention is limited by that factor. Also, depending on the size of the class, there's only so much attention to go around, especially in a huge class. I've personally been in high school classes as small as 30 students, and have also been in college classes that can fill a 500 seat auditorium. In 60 minutes, there is no possible way, an educator can address every issue and problem that a full college class of 500 presents. There will be a lot of things that will not align and connect based on the diversity of the student body.

Also Read: Can I choose where I teach English abroad?

All Attention to One Student

Lastly, there is a hidden factor that most don't account for in a group setting, that would further force favoritism towards private tutorship. Depending on the country and culture of the student body, there will be students that may be hesitant in stopping the lecture to address their problems. Also, some students might be ashamed to raise their hands, as they don't want to face the scrutiny (made fun of) of their classmates. Human emotion is a factor that is constantly changing and may present themselves at any given time, which further complicates things.

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In conclusion, one to one teaching does have several advantages as opposed to group classes. However, not to discount the value of group classes, I believe that a combination of the two will provide a better overall learning experience. Group classes can give initial vital information, and a later applied tutor can address the personalized issues and problems. If we can combine the two effectively, we can offer a better overall curriculum. If we do not offer a large class experience, then the student is left not being able to stand on their own and think on their feet, as individuals.

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