Is it better to learn a new language in a group setting or private class?

 18 March, 2022
 Lingo School of Knowledge
Is it better to learn a new language in a group setting or private class?

A 2006 study[1] by Washington University found that when students listen to their professors, they are often too busy writing notes to really absorb lesson material. In a study group, however, certain dynamics better allowed students to absorb their lecture notes and make them their own.

Further research[2] had concurred with this, through showing that the highly interactive nature of small group teaching sessions enabled learners to have deeper discussions on complicated topics. Yet another paper has proved that group learning comprising efficient collaboration patterns boosted students' performance more than if they learned alone.

What we are trying to say is: There is strong scientific support for the benefits of learning a new language in a group.

The benefits of learning a new language in a group setting

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Group learning often offers a lively dynamic as the diversity of different people in one group lowers the pressure on an individual if they are sitting alongside other non-native speakers. Learners are also more likely to become more participative and uninhibited.

Aside from the inescapable fact that group settings will almost always be less expensive than one-on-one classes, here are some other advantages of group language training:

  • People learn through conversation: Some people learn best by writing, some by being kinetic, and some yet by listening to others (especially so in the case of learning a new tongue).

    Many learners benefit greatly from the conversations that occur in group classes, and this improves their ability to converse naturally in the language they’re learning. Group learners often learn as much from one another as they do their tutor.

  • Group lessons are a great way of making meaningful friendships: Whether you’re looking to network or to find a friend for life, group lessons offer you the opportunity to form strong bonds with like-minded individuals who would also offer you additional motivation, camaraderie, and support in return.

  • Group lessons help you become a better communicator: It’d be very interesting to engage in conversation about mundane and meaningful topics with your international and local group mates; topics such as your families, stresses of Singaporean and overseas life, news and history topics, social media sensations, your favourite hawker centre, and more.

  • Group learning helps you prepare for an exam: If you are planning on taking a language exam, a group class would better help you prepare for it, as you and your group mates could share notes and prepare together outside of class. You’ll be encouraging each other to reach higher levels of excellence, and faster.

What are the benefits of learning a new language privately?

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One clear benefit is that one-to-one lessons are much easier to organise - After all, they are specifically tailored to suit your needs and objectives. Here are some points to consider if you’re leaning towards taking a private language class:

  • Individual training helps you to gain confidence: After all, there’s only you, your teacher, and four walls. If you have social anxiety, or are just a proud introvert, private lessons may help you learn faster and in a more stress-free manner.

  • Individual classes are the way to go if you are focusing on preparing yourself for a particular presentation or sales meeting: Private lessons allow you to focus on the specific lingo you need to accomplish your task at hand.

    For example, if you are looking to get a new job or promotion, learning privately will help you achieve that goal in a shorter space of time than group sessions because you will learn more specific language that you will require in your professional processes and work environment.

  • Private lessons are easier to organise: As we mentioned earlier, it is definitely easier to organise for just yourself. Your lessons can be done either in person or online, or through a blended solution both, and can take place on your time. This is very helpful for, say, professionals who live at a fast pace, young mums, or the on-the-go entrepreneur. We hear you, busy people.

    If you’re time-strapped or need more flexibility, you might want to go solo and save yourself from the stress of missing classes weeks in a row.

  • It is ideal for working on specific weak areas of yours: Your tutor can focus on areas that you really want to work on, and doesn’t have to consider a selection of the other students in your group.

    This is also why one-on-one learning is fantastic for advanced students - teachers can focus on adding a finer polish to your language skills and can correct you as often as you prefer.

Should I choose to learn a new language in a group or private class?

In summary, both group and private lessons are a fantastic way to learn a new tongue. Our passionate, certified tutors can help you take your language skills to the next level and reach your goals in the way that suits you best - Whether it’s by a small group setting, or private one-on-one class.

Group lessons have the added benefit of peer-to-peer interaction, which gives you more opportunities to learn from others, apart from your teacher. The relationships that naturally form in group courses also offer you additional motivation, encouragement, and support through the challenging task of learning a new language. Our group classes have no more than 10 students – big enough to ensure you get the aforementioned benefits, but small enough to make sure you get the dedicated attention you need.

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Private lessons may prove much more valuable to individuals if they find that they find learning one-on-one more relaxing and stress-free, and if they require flexibility. Struggling and advanced learners may also find themselves improving better as they are better able to focus on their weak and strong points.

If you’re still unsure if you need private or group language classes, we are here to help you (or your organisation) craft a bespoke language course that gives you what you need, within that budget that you’d like.

Contact us to let us know what you’re looking for and us folks from Lingo School of Knowledge will be in touch as soon as possible.



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