There are many positive and negative attributes to teaching students in groups. Teaching groups of students allows the teacher
more flexibility with the activities that he/she can use with the group during the active stages of the class. The teacher
is able to use role-playing to get a point across or to develop the students' conversational skills on the specific topic, or to help them understand the lesson more clearly. The teacher
is able to use the group of students to break up the lesson into pair or small group work. This allows the teacher
to get the students talking with each other, using students with varying levels of comprehension to boost or encourage other students. Teaching a group of students also allows for group/class conversations/discussions. At the Engage stage of the lesson, the teacher
is able to use the entire class to get each student involved in the lesson/topic and get a discussion between students to happen. This also happens when the teacher
wants to create a “debate” situation, so that the students are able to talk through a topic (i.e. politics).
There are times that a teacher
may be faced with a multilingual classroom. This can be seen as a positive, negative, or even both. This type of class is going to give you a chance to establish the “Only english
” policy and see it work, as the students don't all speak the same language. In the classroom that also puts most of the students on the same level; scared and unsure of english
. This can create a cohesive classroom. However, the teacher
should also be aware that this can create anxiety in some students. This is especially true if the students don't know each other. In this case students could become apprehensive in speaking out in class, not sure if they'll be made fun of by the other students. There could also be a problem if you have a monolingual classroom. The students could be more apt to talk in their native tongue to solve problems or ask questions
. These may also be their friends or neighbors, and students may have a problem with speaking freely, scared of ridicule. On the plus side, they will be able to comfortably ask for help from their friends.
Teaching groups of students isn't always the best thing. There are many reasons why teaching one to one is “better.” Teaching groups doesn't allow you to establish a connection with each individual student as easily as you can when working with students individually. Also, teaching one to one usually gives you students that are more motivated to their studies. Fewer distractions due to fewer people close by creates a very big plus when trying to teach a lesson. The study is more personalized to the student, can be tailored to their likes, dislikes, needs and wants. This fits the course to their lives. There is also only one comprehension level. The teacher
knows the level of their student and so can use appropriate vocabulary and can plan longer or shorter lessons. These modifications can be designed to either come easily to the student or challenge the student, depending on the goals established for that individual. One last positive is that you are teaching one student. That means only one native language or dialect to work with.
Teaching one to one has its drawback as well. You really lose all the positives that are mentioned above: working in groups, role-playing, and selecting a variety of activities. With one to one, you only have one student and one teacher
. There isn't anyone else their age or on their comprehension level to help them understand the lesson. Sometimes, teacher
s can only explain it one or two ways to get the student to understand. Another student may have a way to tell them why or how that is more understandable for them. There is also the fact that one to one teaching loses the availability of debates, classroom discussion, and having students helping other students get motivated or interested in a certain lesson.
In conclusion, working with either groups or one to one, as a teacher
, you will find pros and cons to each type of classroom. Neither is better or worse than the other.