Pros and cons of a one to one English course?
Studying English one-to-one offers many advantages to the student as well as the teacher. Not only does the student have the opportunity to practice and speak more but they also have the chance to ask more questions based on his/her understanding of the language and to cover specific subjects or grammar topics which at times can’t be taught in a larger classroom.
When learning a new language in a classroom of ten or more students, the teacher does not necessarily have the chance to get to know their students on a one-to-one basis. The focus is on group learning and introducing and teaching topics which are beneficial to the group as a whole. The teacher generally plans a lesson and teaches it step by step to the whole class. In the case of a student having difficulties understanding it, the teacher can’t necessarily dedicate the needed time to explain the grammar point in detail to that student. In other words, it is not a self-paced learning style but instead group-paced learning where all the students must advance on a similar path.
On the contrary, when a teacher is teaching on a one-to-one basis there is more flexibility to slow down or speed up depending on the student’s knowledge of the subject. If the student catches on quickly, a briefly summary can be done to make sure it is understood and move on to the next topic, whereas if the student has difficulties the teacher can dedicate more time to making sure the student understands the topic in its entirety. In other words, the student’s needs are the main priority in one-to-one classes and the teacher is used as a tool and a resource to ask questions and practice to develop fluency. The emphasis is always on interaction and making sure the student produces as much as possible.
In turn, the learner then also has more control of the aims and goals and the material of the class. He/she takes part in ‘structuring’ the class based on his/her needs and expectations which is something that can’t be done with larger groups. With larger classrooms, the teacher must work on balancing the mixed abilities of each student and try to maintain them all at a similar level while keeping up the pace.
With a one to one ratio, the student always has the undivided attention of the teacher. This gives the student the time to practice and produce a lot more and more importantly, it gives the teacher the opportunity to provide feedback on errors and fully understand the learner’s problems and needs. By conversing one-to-one with the student, the teacher can play close attention to any issues he/she may be having and be able to create a lesson on it for future classes.
Moreover, when you are teaching a group, the time spent with each student must be carefully divided. Therefore, the teacher does not have the time to ‘fine tune’ each one by one. The teacher only has the opportunity to give minimal feedback before moving on to the next topic.
Another benefit to one-to-one language classes is that the student can develop a real relationship with the teacher. Not only does the teacher learn about the student by engaging in real conversation, but the student in turn learns about the teacher and feels more at ease to approach the teacher and ask questions.
As the saying goes, “They don’t care what you know until they know you care.” When a teacher has only one student, they have more time to dedicate to that specific student’s needs and requests and when a student feels the teacher is taking the time to get to know them and teach them, it motivates them to succeed. Motivation is crucial when it comes to learning a new language. When a learner is being taught subjects or topics which they deem useless, they will not be motivated or feel the need to push themselves to learn, whereas if the teacher adapts the lesson to the student’s interests, the material will motivate him or her to learn.
Lastly, in the case of one-to-one classes the teacher doesn’t have to focus on different students’ abilities and learning styles. The teacher doesn’t have to adapt each lesson differently due to the fact that there is a mix of students who learn better with visuals or orally for example. The teacher can focus solely on the single student’s learning style and adapt and personalize each activity or class to those particular strengths.
MovingOn Courses offers intensive one-to-one English courses which are beneficial to the students and assure the learners the teacher’s undivided attention. Not only do students get to learn and practice their English in class but by sharing the accommodation with the teachers, the students have the opportunity to maximize their speaking time and develop fluency.