16 May 2023

Differences between language classes and private language lessons

Differences between language classes and private language lessons

Learning a new language is a unique challenge. Whether you’re doing it for your professional development, or have an interest in other cultures and languages in general, it can be a rewarding experience that requires a good amount of time and effort. 

When looking to pick up a good degree of fluency in a foreign language, the two options available are usually group classes and private language lessons. In this article we explore the different aspects of both approaches, to help you decide which one may be more suited for your own learning style.

Number Of Participants

The first and most obvious major difference between the two approaches is the number of participants involved. Language classes emphasise a more classroom dynamic with multiple students learning from one teacher. There are several benefits to this style of teaching.

For one, group learning takes the pressure off the individual and makes participation easier. Studying a new language alongside other non-native speakers can remove any inhibitions you might have, and having conversations with fellow students can greatly improve your ability to converse in your chosen language. Whether it’s a physical Thai language course or an online Chinese class, In group lessons you are likely to learn as much from your teacher as the other students.

If you find that the social setting of a group class is too uncomfortable for you, then you can opt for private language lessons. Personalised lessons can help build your confidence and address any particular weaknesses you may have in picking up the grammar and vocabulary of a foreign language. If you need fluency in a language for a specific purpose or industry, then private lessons might be better able to cater to you.

Learn More: 4 advantages of learning Mandarin online

Pace Of Learning-learn Vietnamese

Pace Of Learning

Everyone learns at a different pace. Some are naturally gifted at picking languages while others may be slower and require more assistance. If you fall into the former category, you might find that group classes are too slow-paced for your liking and could be holding you back. On the other hand, if group classes are too fast for you, you risk being left behind and missing out on learning the fundamentals for a new language.

Private language classes do come with a generalised curriculum. However unlike group classes, the tutor is not beholden to the lesson plan and can adjust the schedule to fit your needs. For example if you’re an advanced student looking to learn Vietnamese for a professional setting, the pace can be picked up to accommodate your ability.

Degree Of Interaction

When it comes to social interaction, group classes easily win out. The larger number of students allow for greater opportunities for discussions and collaborative learning. They are also a way to make friends with people with similar interests and allow you to have everyday conversations to practise your language skills. It can also be easier to find study groups to prepare for proficiency exams.

While private lessons may not offer the same level of interactivity, the more intimate setting lends itself better to specific aspects of learning a new language. This can be especially helpful for advanced students who are looking to polish up their skills for professional settings and require feedback from a tutor well-versed in the language. A tutor can also identify and correct any bad habits or mistakes, while you may not receive such instruction when conversing with non-native speakers.

Degree Of Interaction-skillsfuture language courses


Group language classes are definitely cheaper than private lessons. However, they follow a set learning schedule with specific milestones which may not be suitable for all students. If you are already conversant in Mandarin, you might find that a beginner group Chinese class in Singapore is a waste of time and money as compared to individual lessons.

While private tutors are much more expensive than group classes, they also afford more flexibility for students. Lessons can be scheduled at your convenience and can be easier to organise for those with busy schedules.

Ultimately the decision between going for language classes and private lessons comes down to your needs, budget, and personal preferences. If you are completely new to a language and need to nail down the basics, group classes are a more affordable option and allow you to meet and interact with other students. Speaking to others and in turn listening to them talk can make it easier to pick up the nuances of a foreign language.

If you prefer a one-on-one session where you are free to clarify doubts and focus on specific components of a language, then a private tutor could be a more costly yet appropriate option for you. Whichever route you take, learning a new language gives you an insight into other cultures, broadens your mind and horizons, and can be achieved at any age.

Offering skillsfuture language courses, group classes and private tutoring, Stanford Language Centre allows you to choose an approach that best suits you. Contact us today to learn more about our services and send in any queries you may have.