If you learned a second language at school, your experience was probably that of a big class group, perhaps 30-40 students, sometimes 50 or more! Some people like the idea of studying in a large group because that kind of classroom environment offers lots of places and opportunity to hide. You might answer one question in the whole class before you can rest easy knowing you won’t be called on again.

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It might sound more comfortable, but we guarantee that this is not the best way to learn a language. If you’re serious about gaining any level of fluency or mastery, then you have to be brave and go with a small class group. A 1-to-1 teaching environment is even better. There are a few good reasons why!

😊 You get more face time with your teacher

In a small group or 1-to-1 class, you get much more time to work with your teacher. This allows you more room to explore your strengths and weaknesses, and more opportunity for the teacher to offer you advice and correction. When you’re spending money on a tutor or course taught in a class, you surely hope that you’ll get as much instruction time as possible. With big classes, that time becomes more diluted as the teacher has to try and deal with every student.

📈 You’ll likely get better results

A study done by the Alberta Teachers’ Association showed quite clearly that “smaller class sizes result in students with lower academic ability doing better.” Therefore, if taking on a language is particularly challenging for you, then you need every advantage you can get to boost the results.

💬 There are more opportunities to speak up in class

Language learning is about taking vocabulary, sentence structure, idioms and other linguistic elements that you learn in theory, and putting them into practice. In a big class, you’ll have almost no opportunity to say anything meaningful. Either you’ll be part of a big group chant repeating something back to the teacher, or you’ll get but one or two tiny chances to repeat words or sentences for the teacher to hear. Even worse, you’ll have almost no opportunity to practice proper conversation with people of native level. A small class size, or 1-to-1 learning environment, solves this problem.

👩‍🏫 Your teacher can offer more personalized assistance

Part of getting more face time with the teacher is also allowing him/her to hear what you can do and then offer tailored advice that will help. This is the only path to efficient progress. The more mistakes you can make for the teacher to hear and assist you with, the quicker you can advance your level and master the content.

🧠 You can focus

Let’s face facts. A big class is noisy. Even the general hum of background noise is very off-putting when you’re trying to get your head around something as tricky as a second language. Smaller or 1-to-1 classes offer a peaceful environment in which you can put your full concentration into your work.

Your teacher will likely do a better job

If you’ve ever tried your hand at teaching, you’ll know that working with a smaller class is a lot easier. Larger classes require a lot more energy to manage, and that can detract from the quality of teaching. If you want a teacher who can throw all their energy into their explanations and classroom activities, then smaller classes are the only way to go.

🙋‍♂️ You’ll connect more with your teacher

If you’re in a small group or learning with a native teacher 1-to-1, then you have a better chance of forming a real connection with them than you would in a big-class environment. This is especially beneficial for adults learning a foreign language. A good connection with the teacher helps to break the ice and help you be more confident to try out new concepts, learn from errors and generally be more receptive to instruction.

🎉 Get started!

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