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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
Both teaching groups and teaching one to one have their advantages and disadvantages. When teaching one to one there are no mixed levels, as there is only one student. I think this is biggest advantage of all, being able to focus on one students level, strengths and weaknesses and plan the lessons according to them. When teaching a group it is likely that the levels will be mixed, as each student doesn't learn at the same rhythm and speed, the teacher will have to take this into account when planning the lesson and having extra activities ready for the faster learners and being prepared for the problems each learner might have. When teaching one to one, the teacher can found out easily the interest of that one student and create the lessons according to them, looking for authentic materials of the topics they like. When teaching groups, even when the teacher knows the interests of all the students, it will be harder to please them all at once. The teacher might find materials that are interesting for some students but not so much for
others. When teaching one to one the teacher can also pay close attention to the difficulties that one student might have, and plan to use worksheets and do activities to correct their errors and mistakes. When teaching a group, the teacher can also concentrate on the difficulties of the group as a whole and each individual students but it is possible that some errors might go unnoticed by the teacher. When teaching groups the teacher can plan to do group activities and pair work to keep the classes varied and not too teacher centered. When teaching one to one, group work is impossible and pair work has to be done with the teacher as a partner. I think that when teaching one to one the teacher creates a more personal relationship with the student. As the lessons might have to be changed due to personal reasons it is possible that the teacher
know the situation of the students personal life. When teaching groups it is also likely that the teacher might find out some information about the students personal life but not to the same extent as with a one to one student. When teaching groups, the teacher might come across students that don't get on and will have to take this into account when arranging the seating and groups. When teaching one to one the teacher will not have this problem. I think that it is important for the students to feel comfortable in the classroom. There might be some students that are shyer than others and they might take a bit more time to come out of their shell and feel at ease enough with the teacher to speak english or ask questions. In one to one lessons it is even so more important for the student to feel comfortable as soon as possible to be able to have conversation with the teacher
and to work at ease with them. A teacher will have to work to ensure that the one to one lessons do not get boring and teacher centered. A teacher might have to deal with behavior problems and loudness in a group lesson. Me personally, I think I will enjoy giving lessons to groups more than one to one lessons. I would like to include songs into the lessons and I think that for one student it might be a bit embarrassing to sing in a classroom alone or with their teacher and some might not want to do it. In a group it easier to get them all to sing along and it is likely that a shy students singing is compensated by an outgoing students singing. I would also like to include role-play in my lessons and when teaching one to one it is possible to carry out this activity with the teacher playing a role but I think this way will be less spontaneous and the student might not dare to be as creative as they might be in a group.
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