Private vs Group Tuition: Which is Better?

This week I joined the Level 2 group class at my Mandarin school here in Guangzhou, southern China. For the past two weeks I had been taking one-to-one lessons only so I was looking forward to meeting some new people and getting stuck in to the group lessons. After three days of the new course I started to think about the pros and cons of private and group tuition and decided to make a list (old habits die hard!):

Private tuition – The Pros:

– you can study at your own pace

– you develop a stronger relationship with the teacher

– you progress much more quickly in the short-term

Private Tuition – The Cons:

– it is a lot more expensive!

– you don’t meet anyone apart from the teacher

– lessons are very intensive (and tiring) because all of the focus is on you

Group Tuition – The Pros:

– you meet lots of other people from all over the world

– other students ask useful questions that you may not have thought of

– you have more time to digest the new language as the focus of attention in the classroom is not solely on you

Group Tuition – The Cons:

– you have to study at the same pace as everyone else

– you may feel that your level is higher or lower than the other students in the class

– it may be more difficult to remain motivated as you will (obviously) not receive the same level of attention from the teacher as you would in a private class

For me the conclusion was clear: for a short-term course I would prefer to take private tuition and for a long-term course I would prefer group tuition with occasional one-to-one “tutorials” to monitor my progress and maintain motivation. I plan to continue with my group classes until March and then I will decide whether to extend my course or not. It is so interesting to see everything from the other side of the desk!


pros = advantages

cons = disadvantages

to get stuck into sth = to begin something with lots of energy and enthusiasm

to digest (information) = to think and consider something until you fully understand

solely = only, exclusively