The Benefits of Group Classes

Why Group Classes Accelerate Your Child's Growth

As an English teacher, I am often asked by parents if group tuition, as opposed to 1-on-1 sessions, is suitable for their child.

My take is that 1-on-1 tuition is best for a child who is very weak in his English foundation. In such cases, the child will need to up his basic language proficiency before taking on anything too complex, especially if enrichment lessons require him to express more sophisticated opinions or spar with his peers.

The personal tutor needs to address the child’s more pressing needs by working on the basics, much of which involves repetition, rote-learning and rule-based practice. In this way, the tutor can help shore up the child’s English proficiency without the added burden of the child having to cope with more challenging activities or a flurry of opinions from his peers.

Often, a child compares his ability with that of his peers. If he perceives himself to fall short, his confidence can take a hit. Much of learning English is about confidence—in daring to express, question, analyse… So, it is imperative that the child remains positive in his English learning journey.

How We Create A Nurturing Environment To Optimise Your Child's Learning

However, for a child of average English competency, group classes are highly beneficial. Here’s why:

1. Children learn as much from their social interaction with their peers as from their teacher’s instruction.

*  For instance, if a child sees that his classmates are attempting or capable of navigating a task, he too can be more willing or motivated to try.

*  Sometimes a bit of friendly competition also helps spur a child on to take up new challenges.
*  Our teachers are very experienced in creating a cooperative and interactive learning environment where healthy cross-learning is encouraged. The teacher knows how to navigate discussion such that there are clear learning points to take away from each lesson.

*  In such an environment, students cultivate empathy and respect too. They learn to take turns, keep an open mind that is receptive to alternative opinions, and learn the skill of questioning or opposing respectfully.

*  These are all important communication skills that should be cultivated in our children.

Group Engagement Stimulates Creativity

2. The benefits of group engagement are most obvious in oral practice and essy writing, especially when brainstorming for points of argument and plotlines.

*  In a 1-on-1 lesson, a child learns only from his ideas and the teacher's inputs; this can be very tiring for the child since all focus is on his lone efforts.

*  If mishandled, such an approach can lead to tedium, followed by stress and/or boredom.

*  However, if he's in a group, the number of ideas generated is multiplied, and an experienced teacher can explain to the class why an idea is excellent while another might be less appropriate, especially for school exams, for instance. In this way, each child learns more in the 2 hours, and more importantly, is more engaged due to the accelerated pace of the lesson and the energy that a lively discussion injects into the lesson.

*  The same is true for generating content for oral practice.

By Geraldine Chew