Unit 8 – One-to-One Lessons

When you first start teaching, one-to-one lessons seem tricky because there seems to be so much material for group lessons and yet so little material for one-to-one lessons. The main problem is that the teacher’s role is grey. One student will expect to be driven hard and yet the next almost wants a friend to chat with. It becomes difficult to clear the boundaries of a normal teacher-student relationship.

Some advantages of one-to-one lessons are:

  • Student gets all the teacher’s attention.
  • Student gets more time to practise speaking and listening to English.
  • Student can play a larger role in the learning process.
  • It is easier and quicker to understand the student’s strengths and areas for improvement.
  • The teacher can be flexible with the speed of the class and can tailor it to meet the student’s needs, rather than having to take into account a group of students.
  • The teacher can tailor the way the material is delivered to match the student’s learning style.

Some of the disadvantages of one-to-one lessons are:

  • With all activities directed at the student there is little time for rest, which naturally occurs in a group class. This can lead to the student becoming tired much quicker.
  • One-to-one lessons can get a little monotonous because it’s not as easy to introduce different types of activities with only 1 student.
  • The relationship of the teacher-student is much more important than in a group. If personalities don’t match, it can make the process more difficult.
  • A teacher requires energy to feed off. It can be tiring with only one student as there is less energy in the room.
  • The student misses out on peer learning. It has been proven that students learn from listening to other students speaking as well as learning directly from the teacher.

Now that you are aware of some of the disadvantages of one-to-one teaching, you are able to predict and prepare to avoid them. There are some things you can do to make your life easier. Here are a few ideas: