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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay from the general training exam on the topic of group or one-on-one lessons.

It is an interesting topic and, as a teacher, I know a lot about it.

Read my sample answer below!

And remember to check out my online lessons and corrections and my Patreon essays here.

Dave

Before reading listen to the audio and take notes:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay General Training: Group and One-on-one Lessons

Some people believe that one-on-one lessons are better for learning while others think that group lessons are superior.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Real Past IELTS Exam

Many concerned parties feel that education is best done in private sessions while others feel that group lessons are better. In my opinion, the pacing of individual lessons is an advantage but a classroom setting is superior as it allows for a wider range of skills to develop.

On the one hand, one-on-one lessons enable learners to work at an individualised pace. In the classroom, students either fall behind or get bored because they understand the lessons too easily. A tutor can observe their student’s progress and tailor lessons accordingly. This could result in a situation where a student who is gifted at math progresses well beyond their grade level. If they struggle in another subject, such as English, a Grade 5 aged student could effectively be studying Grade 4 English and Grade 8 math at the same time. This kind of pacing is only possible with one-on-one lessons.

On the other hand, group lessons open up opportunities for collaboration in and outside the classroom. Groups foster a classroom dynamic of debate. Students and teachers can exchange views and learn more from a plurality of perspectives. This is further exemplified in the project work that is commonplace in high schools and university classrooms in the United States. The rationale for assigning these projects is that students must improve their teamwork skills by getting along with classmates, taking on responsibility for given tasks, learning to compromise, and managing different temperaments. Many schools today assign roles within teams, such as team leader, presenter, primary researcher, and so on. These collaborative projects can then be brought into a group lesson and debated.

In conclusion, group lessons are a better way to learn. It is important that educators do not blindly follow the latest academic fads and instead carefully analyse the consequences before making drastic reforms to established educational practices.

Analysis

1. Many concerned parties feel that education is best done in private sessions while others feel that group lessons are better. 2. In my opinion, the pacing of individual lessons is an advantage but a classroom setting is superior as it allows for a wider range of skills to develop.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Give a clear opinion by choosing an overall side.

1. On the one hand, one-on-one lessons enable learners to work at an individualised pace. 2. In the classroom, students either fall behind or get bored because they understand the lessons too easily. 3. A tutor can observe their student’s progress and tailor lessons accordingly. 4. This could result in a situation where a student who is gifted at math progresses well beyond their grade level. 5. If they struggle in another subject, such as English, a Grade 5 aged student could effectively be studying Grade 4 English and Grade 8 math at the same time. 6. This kind of pacing is only possible with one-on-one lessons.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. I begin developing this idea by stating a counter-example.
  3. Explain your main idea.
  4. Give an example. Here my example is hypothetical.
  5. Develop the example – be specific, not general!
  6. Conclude by relating back to the essay topic.

1. On the other hand, group lessons open up opportunities for collaboration in and outside the classroom. 2. Groups foster a classroom dynamic of debate. 3. Students and teachers can exchange views and learn more from a plurality of perspectives. 4. This is further exemplified in the project work that is commonplace in high schools and university classrooms in the United States. 5. The rationale for assigning these projects is that students must improve their teamwork skills by getting along with classmates, taking on responsibility for given tasks, learning to compromise, and managing different temperaments. 6. Many schools today assign roles within teams, such as team leader, presenter, primary researcher, and so on. 7. These collaborative projects can then be brought into a group lesson and debated.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea. Now I’m writing about the other side, the side that I agree with (so my argument is stronger and the paragraph is a little longer).
  2. Explain or support your main idea.
  3. Use specific ideas – don’t be general.
  4. Give an example.
  5. Develop the example.
  6. Keep developing it as much as possible
  7. Finish your development. No need to conclude the paragraph.

1. In conclusion, group lessons are a better way to learn. 2. It is important that educators do not blindly follow the latest academic fads and instead carefully analyse the consequences before making drastic reforms to established educational practices.

  1. Repeat your opinion.
  2. Add in a final thought/detail for full marks from the examiner.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many concerned parties feel that education is best done in private sessions while others feel that group lessons are better. In my opinion, the pacing of individual lessons is an advantage but a classroom setting is superior as it allows for a wider range of skills to develop.

On the one hand, one-on-one lessons enable learners to work at an individualised pace. In the classroom, students either fall behind or get bored because they understand the lessons too easily. A tutor can observe their student’s progress and tailor lessons accordingly. This could result in a situation where a student who is gifted at math progresses well beyond their grade level. If they struggle in another subject, such as English, a Grade 5 aged student could effectively be studying Grade 4 English and Grade 8 math at the same time. This kind of pacing is only possible with one-on-one lessons.

On the other hand, group lessons open up opportunities for collaboration in and outside the classroom. Groups foster a classroom dynamic of debate. Students and teachers can exchange views and learn more from a plurality of perspectives. This is further exemplified in the project work that is commonplace in high schools and university classrooms in the United States. The rationale for assigning these projects is that students must improve their teamwork skills by getting along with classmates, taking on responsibility for given tasks, learning to compromise, and managing different temperaments. Many schools today assign roles within teams, such as team leader, presenter, primary researcher, and so on. These collaborative projects can then be brought into a group lesson and debated.

In conclusion, group lessons are a better way to learn. It is important that educators do not blindly follow the latest academic fads and instead carefully analyse the consequences before making drastic reforms to established educational practices.

Answers

concerned parties those who are interested in this issue

best done better accomplished

private sessions one-on-one lessons

group lessons classroom lessons

pacing speed of learning

an advantage a positive

classroom setting in the classroom

superior better

allows for opens up the possibility of

wider range more variety

one-on-one lessons tutoring

enable learners makes it possible for students to

individualised pace at their own speed

fall behind can’t catch up with their work

tutor one-on-one teacher

observe watch

progress advancing in a skill/subject

tailor lessons accordingly make the lessons fit the student’s ability

This could result in a situation where it is possible the effect will be

gifted talented

progresses well beyond advances far faster

grade level how far they are in school

effectively essentially

at the same time simultaneously

open up opportunities allow for the possiblity of

collaboration working together

foster encourage

classroom dynamic of debate exchanging views with other students

exchange views debating

plurality of perspectives many different opinions

exemplified verb of example

commonplace ubiquitous

rationale reason for

assigning giving to

teamwork skills working with others

getting along with classmates be friendly with each other

taking on responsibility for given tasks having duties

learning to compromise not being stubborn, listening to other ideas

managing different temperaments dealing with other personalities

assign roles give jobs

team leader boss

presenter person who presents

primary researcher person who looks up the information

and so on etc.

brought into taken to

debated ideas discussed

blindly without thinking/looking

latest academic fads what’s new in education

carefully analyse the consequences look deeply into the effects

drastic reforms big changes

established educational practices how people have been teaching for a long time

Pronunciation

Listen and repeat:

kənˈsɜːnd ˈpɑːtiz
bɛst dʌn 
ˈpraɪvɪt ˈsɛʃənz 
gruːp ˈlɛsnz 
ˈpeɪsɪŋ 
ən ədˈvɑːntɪʤ 
ˈklɑːsrʊm ˈsɛtɪŋ 
sju(ː)ˈpɪərɪə 
əˈlaʊz fɔː 
ˈwaɪdə reɪnʤ 
wʌn-ɒn-wʌn ˈlɛsnz 
ɪˈneɪbl ˈlɜːnəz 
ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəlaɪzd peɪs
fɔːl bɪˈhaɪnd 
ˈtjuːtə 
əbˈzɜːv 
ˈprəʊgrəs 
ˈteɪlə ˈlɛsnz əˈkɔːdɪŋli
ðɪs kʊd rɪˈzʌlt ɪn ə ˌsɪtjʊˈeɪʃən weə 
ˈgɪftɪd 
ˈprəʊgrəsɪz wɛl bɪˈjɒnd 
greɪd ˈlɛvl
ɪˈfɛktɪvli 
æt ðə seɪm taɪm
ˈəʊpən ʌp ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪtiz 
kəˌlæbəˈreɪʃən 
ˈfɒstə 
ˈklɑːsrʊm daɪˈnæmɪk ɒv dɪˈbeɪt
ɪksˈʧeɪnʤ vjuːz 
plʊəˈrælɪti ɒv pəˈspɛktɪvz
ɪgˈzɛmplɪfaɪd 
ˈkɒmənpleɪs 
ˌræʃəˈnɑːl 
əˈsaɪnɪŋ 
ˈtiːmwɜːk skɪlz 
ˈgɛtɪŋ əˈlɒŋ wɪð ˈklɑːsmeɪts
ˈteɪkɪŋ ɒn rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪti fɔː ˈgɪvn tɑːsks
ˈlɜːnɪŋ tuː ˈkɒmprəmaɪz
ˈmænɪʤɪŋ ˈdɪfrənt ˈtɛmpərəmənts
əˈsaɪn rəʊlz 
tiːm ˈliːdə
prɪˈzɛntə
ˈpraɪməri rɪˈsɜːʧə
ænd səʊ ɒn
brɔːt ˈɪntuː 
dɪˈbeɪtɪd
ˈblaɪndli 
ˈleɪtɪst ˌækəˈdɛmɪk fædz 
ˈkeəfli ˈænəlaɪz ðə ˈkɒnsɪkwənsɪz 
ˈdræstɪk ˌriːˈfɔːmz 
ɪsˈtæblɪʃt ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃənl ˈpræktɪsɪz

Vocabulary Practice

Many c______________________s feel that education is b_________e in p____________________s while others feel that g_________________s are better. In my opinion, the p___________g of individual lessons is an a______________e but a c__________________g is s_____________r as it a_____________r a w_____________e of skills to develop.

On the one hand, o_________________s e___________________s to work at an i________________________e. In the classroom, students either f_______________d or get bored because they understand the lessons too easily. A t________r can o____________e their student’s p_____________s and t__________________________y. T________________________________e a student who is g__________d at math p_______________________d their g_____________l. If they struggle in another subject, such as English, a Grade 5 aged student could e__________________y be studying Grade 4 English and Grade 8 math a_____________________e. This kind of pacing is only possible with one-on-one lessons.

On the other hand, group lessons o_________________________s for c__________________n in and outside the classroom. Groups f__________r a c_____________________________________e. Students and teachers can e__________________s and learn more from a p________________________s. This is further e__________________d in the project work that is c_________________e in high schools and university classrooms in the United States. The r______________e for a______________g these projects is that students must improve their t___________________s by g___________________________s, t_______________________________s, l___________________________e, and m___________________________________s. Many schools today a______________s within teams, such as t________________r, p______________r, p______________________r, a_______________n. These collaborative projects can then be b_______________o a group lesson and d____________d.

In conclusion, group lessons are a better way to learn. It is important that educators do not b____________y follow the l______________________s and instead c__________________________________s before making d___________________s to e_____________________________________s.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Watch an interesting short documentary from The New York Times on this topic below:

Reading Practice

Read about tutoring in Hong Kong below:

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education/article/2149572/why-private-tutoring-such-big-deal-hong-kong

Speaking Practice

Answer the questions below from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Study

What is your major?

Do you like it?

Why did you choose that major?

Which major would you want to change it to?

Real Past IELTS Exam

Writing Practice

Write about the following related educational topic and then check with my sample answer:

In many schools and universities today, women have a tendency to study the humanities (such as the arts and languages) while men more often major in science related subjects. Some believe this tendency should be changed.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Real Past IELTS Exam

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