Nowadays English is considered to be an international language that ensures cross-cultural communication and builds the bridge across national and international boundaries. It is taught in many countries, and teachers are continuously searching for most effective methodologies and techniques to help people learn this language. But the question that remains in our minds and needs answering is which methodology is more effective for learning English, group courses or one-to-one lessons?
We talked to the director of an English School from Odessa (in Russian it sounds like this: Центр изучения европейских языков) here is his opinion:
There is a big difference between these two learning processes, and there is no one-size-fits-all system. However, everybody can choose the one that suits him/her perfectly. And now, let’s analyze together which of them is more efficient and brings more benefits to learners.
For people who needs a personalized schedule, the full attention of the teacher during the entire lesson and customized activities, one-to-one lessons are the best environment to allow them to develop their language and communication skills. Moreover, individual classes offer many other possibilities to students who want to become more proficient in English. First, they can ask the teacher to correct their mistakes. Thus, they will be focused on language accuracy. Besides this, they interact just with the teacher, not with students who also learn and make mistakes. Secondly, there are no time constraints, distractions and their progress depend directly on their enthusiasm to study and their efforts.
On the other side, individual lessons are challenging to a certain extent both for teachers and students. Because this learning method requires an in-depth analysis of each student’s strengths and weaknesses, the teacher has to think and develop strategies for everyone. Among difficulties that students face can be mentioned: fatigue as a result of the constant interaction, no opportunity to communicate with colleagues, lack of time to study during classes and others.
In fact, not only one-to-one lessons are beneficial, but group courses also have a positive influence on student’s development. The first reason is that learning in groups broadens students’ horizons and enrich their knowledge due to some ideas that come from others. Sometimes when the teacher divides students into groups and assigns a task to them, some can bring such useful answers that others may not have thought of.
This means that working as a team is more productive than as individuals, as the proverb says: ”Two heads are better than one”. For those learners who like competition, this is another reason to be involved in group courses. If a student wants to be better than his colleague and to have better achievements, he will always be motivated to study more. The next advantages of learning in a group are that students can socialize with their colleagues, find friends and mutually help each other.
In contrast, group courses may diminish the individual performance of students. It is possible that when people work in the group, not all of them will get involved in a task, but all will be appreciated equally because they are a team. Along with this comes other drawbacks like different learning speed, disagreement between group members, leadership, etc.
Certainly, they both have advantages and disadvantages, but it is the student’s choice to enroll in one-to-one lessons or group courses according to his preferences.