Individualist vs. Collectivist Approach

individualist or collectivist

Learning a new language is always a challenge since you need to know a new grammar, a new culture and a language that is, in general, relatively different from yours. There are people who, until they get the hang of their new language, die ashamed to speak in front of others. Others are already more comfortable with whom they share doubts. But have you ever wondered which is better? Individualist or collectivist approach? 

Needs of Learner– Individualist or Collectivist

The two approaches have their advantages and the choice for one or the other depends on the learner and his / her objectives with the knowledge of the language. And that goes from why you need to learn English.

Collectivist strategies

Collectivist strategies allow you to meet new people and therefore have a better chance of practicing spoken English. As everyone will be more or less on the same level, one helps the other in learning. The classes will be more diversified with respect to the subjects. Because the program prepared by the teacher will have a global vision of the contents, seeking to cover the needs of all students.

If there are doubts about one-to-one or group classes, know that classes in groups are advantageous for those who are easily demotivated with the beginning of a course. Because on that day when one is too lazy to study and attend the class, contact with colleagues will encourage the person to continue his studies. And it also has the advantage that classes with more students have a lower cost. In addition to making friends, you have the chance to save money.

Individual classes

Individual classes, or one to one, are great for someone who has a very particular purpose: when you want to take a course in the area where you work. In this case, the course can be better targeted, that is, you can focus on your particular skills such as interview, email writing, content writing etc. and work to enhance it. Instead of acquiring a general vocabulary, you will have more specific knowledge.

Far too many students sit in a classroom, surrounded by thirty other students, receiving no attention from their teacher. Too many students are unable to communicate with their instructors, falling behind in classes and failing to master materials.

With online one-on-one teacher and learner interactions however, learners are able to learn faster, master more material, and remember their course work. One-on-one learning relationships empower students to take control over their studies, have the confidence to communicate what they need, and receive the personalized attention that will enable them to succeed.

The great advantage of individual classes is precisely the possibility of the teacher having methodological flexibility to elaborate on their classes. What does that mean? That the whole program will focus on you and what you need to learn.

For example, graduate students, who need to write in English, can pursue content writing classes. Business professionals can look for classes that enhance their presentational skills and delineate vocabulary. And anyone who wants to travel, exchange and communicate in routine situations can search for English classes focused on speaking.

And of course, individual lessons can fit your routine more easily, since you just need to coordinate them with the teacher.

There are many benefits to an individualistic approach where one teacher works with one learner exclusively. Some of these benefits include:

1. High quality interaction

With a one-to-one learning environment, the student is able to communicate open and honestly with his or her instructor. Due to the personal attention, the instructor is more committed to listening to and helping the student and giving them the help and attention they need.

2. The teacher is able to gauge the student’s progress

The teacher is able to gauge the success and struggles of the student, even if the student chooses not to volunteer to respond. When the student is performing poorly, the instructor adjusts the lesson plans to meet the student’s needs.

3. Provides the opportunity to step up and not rely on others

In an individualist approach, the student does not rely on peers and is responsible for answering every question. If the student doesn’t understand a certain concept or lesson, they can simply ask the teacher for further clarification in a private setting where there is no pressure to pretend understanding or to pass to another student.

4. Avoids overstimulation and eliminates distractions.

Students normally get interrupted by their peers from time to time. This can greatly affect their ability to understand concepts in class, and cause frustration when they are ready to move forward more quickly.

Without the distraction and overstimulation of a room full of peers, students are able to focus all attention on their instructor and the material being taught. This can help the students to perform better.

5. Low stress environment

You will realize that students can perform poorly if they are learning in a stressful environment. Through one-to-one interactions, students learn to trust their teachers and are given a completely safe place to openly share their problems.

6. If the student is absent, the class will not go on.

A student might be absent due to several reasons. When the student is absent, instruction pauses until the student is able to return. The class will not go on, and the lesson will not be missed.

7. Ability to personalize conversations and assignments

Students are not only able to address the things that they do not understand, but they’re also able to curate conversations with the instructor in order to incorporate their interests.

As a result of this, the student can actually develop their course schedules, projects, reading lists and other class elements based on personal interests, resulting in greater engagement and motivation.

8. The instructor adapts to the student’s communication style

One-to-one interactions give the student ample opportunities to practice their interpersonal communication skills. The instructor is able to adapt to the student’s communication style, and to allow the right amount of “wait time” after asking questions so that the student can process the question and provide a thoughtful answer.


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