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How to learn English: one-to-one vs group classes? What’s better?

4 grudnia 2017, poniedziałek,

If you consider embarking upon a language course, you’ve probably asked yourself this question many times: which is better – individual lessons or group classes? Well, they both have their pros and cons but it all comes down to your learning priorities: what do you want to achieve? How much time do you have? What do you expect from your English lessons?

© Mat Wright, British Council

If you’re unsure which option is the best fit for you, read our tips below that will help you make the right decision.

One-to-one (individual) classes

  •  Good points:
  1.  You receive the undivided attention of your teacher. They focus on your performance for the whole lesson and don’t need to manage other students. That’s why they’re better able to notice your mistakes and help you develop your skills.
  2. Lessons are fully tailored to your learning needs. At the beginning of the course together with your teacher you decide which language areas you need/ want to cover and a course syllabus is created based on that. This means you don’t spend time on things you’re not interested in.
  3. There’s a flexible timetable. You decide when you want to have your lessons and how long they should last. Even if you need to cancel one of your lessons, there’s a good chance you could reschedule it for another day.

    © Mat Wright, British Council

  • But there are also some drawbacks:
  1. There are no opportunities to interact with others. Of course, you interact with your teacher all the time but it’s also good to talk to other people and get used to eg. a variety of accents. At the end of the day you want to communicate with a lot of people! (and not only with your teacher…
  2. Lessons can be exhausting. You need to be focused for 60 or even 90 minutes and this might be challenging if you have your English lessons after the whole day of lectures or meetings at work.
  3. They are more expensive. It’s not a secret, private tuiton costs more (sometimes much more than group courses). On the other hand, you pay for what you need.

Group classes

  •  Good points:
  1.  It’s a really good choice for those of you who are team players and get inspiration from other people. You’ll find group lessons motivating and fun since you can get to know other course participants with whom you can improve your language skills.
  2. There are plenty of opportunities to interact with others. And this really fosters your langauge development because you vary your interaction. As a group, you’ll help (and challenge!) each other and this can lead to better learning outcomes. Two heads are better than one!
  3. Lessons are dynamic and lively because there are more types of activities that can be used (this choice is limited when it comes to individual classes). As a group you can work on projects, you can also take part in role-plays, games, debates, surveys, interviews, webquests, etc.

    © Mat Wright, British Council

  • But there are also some drawbacks:
  1. You need to be committed to studying. Group classes have a regular timetable so if you miss a class, you need to catch up on it at home.
  2. You study at the same pace as everyone else. Sometimes you might feel that a particular language point is discussed too quickly or too slowly. Yet, you need to synchronise your learning with the rest of the group.
  3. There might be topics that you’re not interested in. Group lessons are usually based on a coursebook syllabus. This means you can be asked to discuss topics you have no (or little) knowledge of.

And how about you? Tell us which type of English classes you’re going to choose and why.