Group English courses vs. private English lessons: which is best?

Group English courses vs. private English lessons: which is best?

Published: Apr 10, 2023 | By: Lucas Weaver

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Do you need help with your English language skills? Are you trying to decide whether to join a group class or private lessons? 

Deciding between group courses and private lessons is like choosing between your favorite pizza toppings - it can be a tough call.

Here at the Weaver School, we understand your English learning needs, and we're here to help you make the right choice for your individual situation. 

In this post, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of both options, so you can make an informed decision that works best for you.

Whether you're a social butterfly who thrives in a group dynamic or a lone wolf who prefers one-on-one attention, we've got you covered. And we promise it will be easier than choosing the perfect pizza topping.

Importance of English language learning

The fact that English is required for admission at many schools and workplaces further emphasizes the need to study the language. Learning English is a must if you want to broaden your horizons and enrich your life, whether socially or professionally. 

Over one billion individuals are learning English as a second language, while the number of native speakers is around 1.5 billion, according to new research by the British Council. Given its prevalence in today's globalized economy, it's clear that knowing English is crucial.

In addition, communicating in English is essential in the modern world because it is the language of the internet and social media. Because of the proliferation of digital communication such as email, social networks, and video conferencing, fluency in English is more essential than ever. Hence, it is crucial to master English to participate actively in the online community.

Your perspectives can be widened, and your understanding of other cultures can be deepened through studying English. Reading, watching, and listening to works from English-speaking countries is an excellent method to broaden one's worldview and appreciate the experiences of others.

group English courses vs private English lessons

An overview of group English courses & private English lessons

Group English classes are taught to more than one student at the same time. Groups can range from small sizes of 3 students up to large groups of 15. The most notable advantage of a group course is getting the chance to speak with other students who are at the same level as you. The downside is that you’ll get much less attention from your teacher.

Private English lessons are when a teacher works with one student at a time. These lessons are made to fit each student's needs and goals, and the teacher gives each student individual attention and feedback. This not only has the advantage of a personalized lesson plan suited to your exact strengths and weaknesses, but it also maximizes the time you can make speaking mistakes and get corrected by your teacher, which speeds up the learning process.

Making your own choice

Your individual needs and preferences should determine whether you should take group classes or private lessons. 

If you want to meet new people and save money, group classes might be your best choice. Private lessons are better if you want one-on-one attention and focus on specific parts of the language, or need to make sure you make progress in a faster time frame. 

Group English courses - Learn English in a supportive and engaging environment with peers

What are group English courses?

Group English courses are classes where students can learn English in a group setting with their peers. These classes can be held in person, online, or in a hybrid format that combines elements of both. 

Grammar, vocabulary, listening, writing, and speaking are some of the language skills commonly addressed in a standard group course. To aid English students in learning a new language, teachers may employ a wide range of resources, including written texts, audio recordings, and visual media.

Group English courses will allow you to learn from and practice with others in a similar situation. This can help you feel more connected and create a safe space to share and gain knowledge from one another's experiences.

Pros of group courses:

  • Opportunities for interaction and practice with peers. You can share knowledge, ask questions, and help your classmates in group courses, which can be beneficial in improving your understanding of the English language.

  • Lower cost compared to private lessons. Group English courses allow you to split the cost of instruction with peers, so the price per student is lower than that of private lessons. 

  • Group dynamics and camaraderie. Learning in a group environment can be more engaging and motivating, as you can feel a sense of belonging and peer support. Group courses also simply inject a lot more fun into the learning environment as well, which is why it’s actually part of the teacher’s job to control the energy in the classroom to prevent it from being too much fun.

Cons of group courses:

  • Less individual attention from the instructor. With multiple students, it can be challenging for the instructor to provide personalized attention to each student. The lesson plans will only be designed for the group as a whole and won’t take into account your specific strengths and weaknesses. You also won’t get nearly as many corrections as you would in private lessons because the teacher simply won’t hear all of your mistakes.

  • Varied skill levels among participants. More advanced students may feel held back by the pace of the class, while those struggling may feel left behind. This can be challenging because if you’re more advanced than your peers at the beginning of your course, it will most likely stay that way, as it would be very difficult for anyone to pass you. 

  • Limited flexibility in lesson content and pace. Group English courses typically follow a set curriculum and schedule, which may only allow for a bit of customization or adaptation to individual learning needs. This isn’t ideal if you’re someone who is looking to focus much more on one aspect than another.

comparing group online English courses to private online English lessons

Who should consider group courses?

Are you social, want to learn with other people, and are budget-conscious?

You could benefit greatly from enrolling in an English language group course. Plus, you can develop friendships and benefit from the collective wisdom of your classmates when you study in groups. 

Suppose you wish to boost your speaking skills and confidence when speaking in English. In that case, you can benefit significantly from the social aspects of learning in a group setting. Group English courses are available in various formats, but as long as you’re speaking with other students at your same level, you will certainly finish the course feeling more confident about your speaking.

But what if you prefer personalized attention? 

If so, there’s also an option for you.

comparing online English group courses against private online English lessons

Private English lessons - personalized attention for your language learning journey

What are private English lessons?

English students can benefit significantly from private English lessons because they offer far more one-on-one time with the teachers, as well as a flexible curriculum. When a teacher works with a student one-on-one, they can provide that person more time, attention, corrections, and feedback.

Tailoring and adapting instruction is a significant strength of private lessons. The teacher can focus on helping you reach your own specific goals, rather than having to consider the class as a whole.

In addition, you and the teacher can work together to determine the optimal time and topic for each class in a private lesson, providing greater scheduling and content freedom.

Pros of private English lessons:

  • Personalized attention and tailored curriculum. With private lessons, the instructor can focus on your learning needs and goals, whether improving your speaking, writing, or listening skills or preparing for a specific exam or job interview. 

  • Focus on individual learning needs and goals. In private lessons, the instructor can provide detailed feedback on your progress and identify areas that require improvement. 

  • Flexibility in scheduling and lesson content. These lessons offer more flexibility in scheduling and lesson content, as you can work with the instructor to create a schedule and curriculum that works best for your situation.

Cons of private English lessons:

  • Higher cost compared to group courses. Since they involve one-on-one instruction, you’re the only one who will be paying for your teacher’s time. Therefore, private lessons may not be the best option for those with a limited budget.

  • Limited interaction with peers. You will only work with the teacher, which means you won’t spend any time interacting with classmates as you would with group English courses. 

  • Potential for dependence on the instructor for practice. Without the opportunity to practice with peers, students must rely more heavily on the instructor for feedback and guidance. You might also be tempted to rely on your teacher in too many situations as a “crutch” instead of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone like you would in a group course.

Who would find private English lessons helpful?

Private English lessons are ideal for students requiring personalized attention and a curriculum tailored to their needs and goals. They are best suited for students who are looking for one-on-one attention and feedback from an instructor, and those who want to improve in the quickest amount of time possible. 

These lessons are worth considering if you have specific learning goals, such as improving for a specific job, preparing for a particular exam or job interview, or need more specific guidance and support in your language learning journey. 

private English lessons and group English courses

Factors to consider in choosing between group courses and private lessons

Choosing between group courses and private lessons can be difficult, especially when you are new to English language learning. 

Both options have pros and cons, and the right choice depends on your needs and preferences. There are several factors that you should consider when making your decision.

Your learning goals and objectives 

Are you looking to improve your English language proficiency in specific areas or prepare for a specific situation like an exam or job interview? Private lessons may be more suitable for students with particular learning goals, as they offer more customization and flexibility in lesson content. On the other hand, group courses may be better for students looking for a more general improvement in their language skills.

Consider your preferred learning style and pace

Do you like to learn in a group environment with peers or through one-on-one attention from an instructor? Group courses suit social learners who enjoy practicing with peers. At the same time, private lessons may be better for students who require more individualized attention and feedback and need to improve quickly without waiting on the progress of others. 

deciding between online group English courses and online private English lessons

Your budget and affordability 

Group courses are generally more affordable than private lessons, making them a budget-friendly option for students with a limited budget. However, private classes may be more cost-effective for students who require specific attention and guidance in their learning journey.

Time availability and scheduling flexibility 

Your personal schedule should also be considered. Group courses typically have a set curriculum and schedule, which may not be suitable for students with busy schedules or who need more flexibility in their learning journey. On the other hand, private lessons offer more flexibility in scheduling and lesson content, as the student can work with the instructor to create a schedule and curriculum that works best for their circumstances.

Your level of English proficiency and the need for individualized attention

Private lessons may be more suitable for students who require more personalized attention and guidance in their learning journey, particularly those just starting to learn English. Group courses may be ideal for students with a higher level of English proficiency who want to improve their oral communication skills and confidence in speaking English.

When choosing between group courses and private lessons, it's essential to consider your personal needs and preferences carefully. 

should I take private English lessons or group English courses

Making your choice: group English courses or private English lessons?

If you are looking for a more social learning environment to interact and practice with peers, group courses may be the perfect choice.

On the other hand, if you require more personalized attention and a curriculum tailored to your specific needs and goals, and need to improve faster, private English lessons may be the perfect option for you. 

The best courses to achieve English fluency

One of the main benefits of studying at the Weaver School is the flexibility we offer regarding course formats and schedules. We understand that every student has different needs and preferences, which is why we offer a variety of courses in different formats. This flexibility allows you to choose the best course for your schedule and circumstances.

Our online English courses are designed based on the most proven neuroscience research focused on language learning. Whether you choose a premade course or custom-tailored private Online English lessons, with us you will improve quickly, making improvements in your English fluency that will last for years to come.

Need help deciding which courses to take? Email me at [email protected] and I’ll answer any questions you might have along the way. 

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Lucas Weaver from the Weaver School

Lucas Weaver founded The Weaver School in 2016. He's passionate about using the latest learnings in neuroscience and education to create the best language learning experience possible for our students, so they can quickly build effective language learning habits that will last for years. Lucas is a graduate of Texas A&M University and after 7 years of living in the Netherlands, he is currently traveling through Southeast Asia while learning their languages along the way.

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