I have always thought that teaching, regardless of whether it's one to one or in groups is the same. As a student, I've experienced being the recipient of both forms of teaching. I thought I knew the differences -- having to teach one student or a group of two to twelve students. I neglected to truly appreciate the effort that went into teaching. But ever since I started my teaching course as well as speaking to friends in the education industry, there are indeed, major differences in teaching one to one and groups.
One to one teaching resolves solely around one individual. The lessons can be tailored to the needs, level and capability of the student. Having devoted attention, the student is more likely to thrive and find learning enjoyable. On the downside, one to one teaching limits the range of activities a teacher
can use. Other disadvantages includes the lack of available one to one teaching materials, the pressure to achieve results for the teacher
and for the student, the lack of association with other learners. If the teacher
does not find new approaches, the constant teacher
to student interaction might in time, end up monotonous for both the teacher
and student. And because the student has the undivided attention of his/her teacher
, conversations during the lesson can sometimes be more about personal affairs than actual english
learning. However, one to one teaching can be very rewarding too. The one to one interaction can mean that the teacher
becomes much more of a friend to the learner. This gives both teacher
and learner more opportunities to engage in communication and feedback. The dynamics of the class also shifts away from being teacher
-centered and becomes student-centered. This means the learner has more control over the objectives and pace of the class. This can result in the learner being highly motivated. For the same reasons, my teacher
friends say they are much more motivated to teach.
Like one to one teaching, teaching in groups has its advantages and drawbacks too. We often hear that group classes promote and stimulate collaborative learning. It gives students the chance to engage in live discussions and practice their thinking skills. It is also through groups that students experience social interactions that are valuable in shaping their communication and listening skills in the english
language. For the same reasons, teaching in groups opens up opportunities for teacher
s to do more with their lesson plans. The teacher
can stimulate learning through interactive activities. Teaching groups does have various disadvantages and one of the most common disadvantages is the lack of flexibility. The class schedule and lessons are predetermined. And in a class of several children
with differing learning styles, strengths and weaknesses, it will be impossible for a teacher
to give each student the one on one attention or instruction that may be required.
Certainly, both forms of teaching – one to one and group -- each have their advantages and disadvantages. I've come to know that when it comes to teaching and education, there is simply no “one size fits all” method. Forcing an individual whether young or old, to all learn in the same way, is not the aim of a teacher
. Rather, guided by basic principles, a teacher
takes on the responsibility needed to stimulate language learning, adapting to the needs of the students whenever possible. Whether teaching one or groups of students, a teacher
attempts to effectively develop students' use of the english
language to achieve the purpose of improvement in the lives of those being taught.