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Teach English in Chuoheyuan Zhen - Hulunbei'er Shi — Hulunbuir
Teaching an individual one on one and teaching individuals as a group provides different challenges for both the teacher and the student. Each variation has its own advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, deciding to teach or study a language through private lessons or group lessons depends on the needs and wants of an individual. One of the key benefits of private lessons is that they provide customized lessons for the skills and abilities of the individual. Whether they are an absolute beginner looking to build a vocabulary or an advanced speaker wanting to expand their business language, private lessons are molded to those needs. From my experience, finding the confidence to speak is a real and frequent issue. Through private lessons, a teacher can provide an open speaking space and give a sense of comfort to the student because they know they are not being judged. Once this relationship is formed, students become more comfortable speaking and then real progress can be achieved. With one on one lessons, teachers can best track and assess an individual’s growth, as well as what areas may still need attention. A challenge of private lessons, however, is that the student is only speaking to one person. This can especially present a problem in a country where many people don’t speak English outside of lessons. Speaking with many different types of people is a normal everyday activity for most people, and if a student is only speaking English with one person while they are learning, it may be more difficult to bring what they learn out into the real world. Teaching and learning in groups is presents much different challenges and benefits. With group teaching, there are many different speaking opportunities available with various types of people. Pair work, role play, and giving presentations are a few examples of bringing real world situations into the classroom. These types of activities better mimic what students may experience outside of the classroom. A disadvantage with group learning is that a teaching cannon customize a lesson to one individual only. The teacher must think of the students’ abilities as a whole and form a lesson plan that will be useful to everybody. It is more difficult to see what each student has grasped and what they may not fully understand yet. Group learning may also be more difficult for students from the start if they are not comfortable with speaking to begin with. They may be shy or unconfident with their abilities, which may hinder learning if they are not willing to open up a little bit. One personal experience that showcase how private and group lessons can help an individual was an older student who started off in group lessons, but eventually decided that private lessons would better suit her. She said that she did not feel her skills and abilities matched those of the others in the group and believed private lessons would put her in place to attend group lessons in the future. She left the group and attended private lessons, where she was able to gain the confidence and skills she believed she needed to eventually rejoin the group. In conclusion, the key thing with private and group lessons is that a teacher can recommend what method may best suit an individual, but the student needs to understand themselves where they feel the most comfortable and which method will be the most effective for them. Both private lessons and group lessons provide excellent learning opportunities, as well as different challenges. For both teachers and students alike, one method may be more effective and one may not be the best suited for an individual.