The choice between joining a group class or joining a private class depends mostly on your goals, your preferred learning method and your budget.

  • Firstly, your choice should depend on your goals. If you have a lot of specific problems, things you don’t understand or you want to learn how to speak in 1-to-1 settings, improve writing, learn industry-related vocabulary, practice interviewing, or have all of your errors analyzed and corrected, consider a private, 1-to-1 lesson than it might be better to choose for a private class. The teacher can focus on your difficulties and can make a personalized lesson plan only for you.

If you just want to improve your level and like to practise speaking with other students or want to learn how to speak up in meetings, get comfortable with small talk, improve listening, practice negotiating, learn to debate, or gain confidence in public speakingthan a group class might be a better choice for you.

  • Secondly, your preferred learning method is important. Do you prefer working alone and have all the teacher’s attention to yourself? Or do you want to work together with other student to share knowledge, energy and experiences?

But one to one class can sometimes be frustrating if you or the teacher don’t have energy on a particular day.  Students feel more pressure in a one on one class.  They feel like they have to perform for the teacher and if they get anything wrong, they get frustrated.

If there are other classmates who are engaged in the class, they can suggest other topics, or change the energy of the class.  It has often been the case that the class energy was running low when a student asked me a question, or cracked a joke, which got us rolling on another idea.

  • Thirdly, there is a difference in price between a private and a group class. Since there is only one student (sometimes two) in a private class, the fee needs to be paid by this student. In a group class, the fee will be paid by more people so it will be lower.

Classes are usually much less expensive than 1-to-1 for obvious reasons, but if you want to have a flexible lesson schedule, then 1-to-1 would be better. As you can see, the answer is not simple!

What are the advantages of a private class?

  • Personalized lesson plan in order to focus on your difficulties.
  • You’ll get all the attention from the teacher and you’ll have the opportunity to ask all your questions.
  • No pressure from other students so you don’t have to be shy or afraid to make mistakes.

What are the advantages of a group class?

  • Working together on assignments with other students.
  • Ask other students about their working method and discuss the new learning material with other students.
  • Work together with students of other levels. Students can learn from each other and help each other.


As a ESL teacher, which type of classes do you want to teach? Let’s us know in the comment box below! 

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