The Benefits of Teaching One-to-One
One reason that I support one on one teaching is that it is a student-centered endeavor. All aspects of the created environment that become the one on one classroom are fashioned for, and in a way dictated by the student and their individual learning needs.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate James D. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Advantages of the Approach in ESL Teaching
In teaching ESL students, who are often hesitant to participate in a large classroom, the one to one time that they receive can make a substantial difference. One on one teaching is made up of innumerable advantages that make the learning process highly beneficial for both student and teacher. I believe that one to one teaching is so beneficial to ESL students and so effective as a style because the student is able to choose general areas of focus while dictating the pace of the experience, the teacher is able to cater to the individual needs of his/her student and both the student and the teacher are able to share a professional relationship with real-life application.
Despite the efforts to never let a student fall behind in a class or to allow student’s potential to be hamstrung by the required pace of the class, these things happen all the time. With a group class, there are methods to best address these issues but not solve them completely, a task that is often not entirely possible. Perhaps the most alluring part of one to one teaching is that the student receives 100% of the teacher’s time and energy in the classroom. Rather than gearing a lesson towards a variety of skill sets, the teacher can address just one level of English, at a pace that effectively eliminates student stress, anxiety, and discouragement. Solely the time one on one teachers can lend to their students suggests infinite more chances to review relevant material at exactly the right time and take a break as to not induce boredom.
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Challenges of Teaching Large Groups
Often in large classrooms, even teachers who are motivated and bring tons of energy have issues establishing rapport on the individual level. This rapport or relationship is often very important to a student’s feelings of motivation to learn. Being part of a large-class system can often be tedious and disingenuous to the individual learner who in some schools, stays in the same seat in the same classroom all day as teachers filter in and out periodically.
Relationships in the Group
When a teacher can cultivate a more personal relationship with a student there can be positive and life-changing results. Students who have grown up and have achieved some feeling of success in life often source their past teachers as their inspiration or life coach. There is no doubt that this happens more frequently with students who can reach out to their teachers or teachers that can establish individual rapport with a student. The power of this rapport is in getting to know an individual’s quirks, oddities, and unique learning habits. Like a tailored suit, a lesson can fit the individual student’s needs perfectly in a one to one teaching environment.
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ESL students and other students alike experience difficulties daily surrounding the question of “When/Where/How am I going to use this information in real life?” These questions can be hurtful to a student’s motivation if they remain unanswered. Unfortunately, in large classes, while information is processed in large quantities, answers to these questions for an individual can seem obscure or unhelpful or remain unanswered.
One to one teaching, while allowing for a more personal relationship between student and teacher also allows for that relationship to develop professionally. A teacher may realize a student’s motivation and hard work and be able to direct the efforts of the student towards an array of professional interests. In my opinion, this is often how some of the most gifted minds can expand and affect the world. If a student is given enough encouragement and helped to realize his/her greater potential or passion from someone who they trust and respect, the results can be astounding.
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I would like to say that praising the world of one to one teaching and its benefits by no means signify that group classes are ineffective or cannot be made effective. If anything I’m saying that they are more of a challenge for teacher and student, and challenges are often what breeds great accomplishment. Lastly, I’ve been tutoring a young Vietnamese woman around my age the past few weeks teaching her basic English. I find it rewarding for myself and motivating as a teacher to teach someone that cares about the content and the learning experience.
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I believe this is because of the options created by one to one teaching and the fact that I can tailor her learning experience to her level of comfortability thus eliminating stress, unwanted material, and creating a fun learning experience.
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