Although I have I been a teacher of English for several years, I have also had to study other languages myself, so I have seen both sides of the story!
I think I’m not too bad at the languages I did at school – they have stayed with me – but the ones I attempted to learn later in life have been a struggle, maybe due to my impatience, lack of time, and failure to practice enough. Anyway I understand very well the difficulties in learning a language.
Studying a language in a classroom with a group of people, all with different levels, and abilities and needs, was always frustrating for me: I never seemed to get enough of the teacher’s attention, the dynamics of the group were a distraction, and we seemed only to make very slow progress.
When I became a teacher and had to teach group classes myself, abroad (in Slovenia), I was very aware of these problems and tried my best to solve them for everybody. However I found that one-to-one tuition was the most effective method and produced the best results.
This is why I have progressed to teaching dedicated one-to-one courses, mostly in business English, and to home-stay visitors, so that both the student and I can put our best efforts into working on specific issues and to practising skills in English in an intensive way. It’s rewarding for both of us and it means working in a relaxed and dedicated way.
Next time I start to learn a new language this is definitely the method I will choose!