Teach English in Zhailihe Zhen - Rizhao Shi

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Becoming an English language teacher means being able to tutor individual students and teaching a group of students in a class. I had been inspired to become an English language teacher and consider it to be my vocation and over the past few years I have had the opportunities of doing both, tutoring individual students and teaching classes and groups. If I were to answer the question and state my preference to one or the other I will first discuss the differences and some of the advantages and disadvantages of teaching one to one and those for teaching groups. In both cases of teaching individuals and teaching groups there are challenges and difficulties. One of the difficulties in teaching groups is the difference in the language levels of the students. When there is a mixed group of students with different capabilities ranging from beginners to advanced that creates a big challenge for the teacher. In teaching individuals the course can be specifically tailored to meet the student’s needs. However, teaching individuals can have drawbacks like the loss of the classroom dynamic and the impossibility to perform some activities that are designed for groups. One to one lessons are less formal and the teacher will often be the partner working with the student, prompting and helping him/her. Teaching one to one gives the teacher the opportunity to maximize on the student’s interests and experiences. One to one classes are less stressful to students for practicing their speaking skills while a group session can be off-putting to shy students who may not be willing to participate in front of the whole class. Individual lessons have a number of advantages for the teacher: there are no mixed levels, the students are usually highly motivated, and their needs can be clearly defined. Many teaching ideas and class activities involve grouping students such as a whole class or group debate, students working in pairs or threes, studying a text for vocabulary or a transcript to discover style of speech. As I mentioned, individual tutoring comes with a loss of the classroom dynamic but there are other suitable activities when teaching an individual student. Those can come in the form of a student and teacher discussion, reading articles from newspapers/magazines, and teaching language functions such as telephoning and negotiation. As there are advantages for pair and group work that make learning more fun for the student, the student will get more attention from the teacher than in a group setting and the teachers can focus most of their time and energy addressing the students needs and wants. In a one to one lesson we can teach around topics or situations that the student is familiar with and enjoys and the students can teach us about their interests, work, and experiences. In conclusion, both teaching groups and teaching individuals carry with them challenges and benefits and it is our duty to perform effectively in either situation. The classroom dynamic and student to student interaction is essential for the learning process so in my opinion I will not choose teaching one to one exclusively. Tutoring individuals will allow me to respond to individual differences in paces of learning and ability and will help the student become more self-reliant. Therefore I will choose to tutor students one to one who are absolute beginners to bring them to a higher level that they can then join a group and be part of a homogeneous class that I can then teach and raise to an advanced level. I would prefer teaching English one to one for beginners to get them to at least an elementary or intermediate level and then recommend they be put in a class of students with somewhat equivalent capabilities. Then I would feel more comfortable teaching a group and more effective in advancing their level further.