One on one training , pros and cons

Hello all! Its been long that I had an opportunity to write about something. But I found one today; and the topic is ‘One on one training’, its pros and cons. Well this is not a new thing at all for us coz majority of us had been a part of this training at some point of time in life. Isn’t it? Don’t disappoint me by saying NO. When you first started learning your mother tongue, it was your loving mom or dad or anyone in your family who sat with you and taught you everything. So, is an age-old method that we had been following.

Keeping the above statements in mind, why do you think I had chosen this topic to write. Well, with age we all tend to forget the most basic things. Therefore this only going to be a recap of something that is already known.

Let us first discuss the ‘Six Steps to Effective One-to-One Training’
We would, however like to update Allen’s process. Modern behavior science tells us that there are really six steps in effective one-to-one training:
1. Prepare for the training
2. Ask questions to determine the trainee’s experience
3. Tell the trainee about the task
4. Show the trainee how the task is done
5. Encourage the trainee to do the task
6. Follow up to insure the trainee can do the task

  • Prepare the training– One of the most helpful, and forgotten things you can do before one-to-one training is to properly prepare for the session. In his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says, “Knowing and doing what’s important rather than simply responding to what’s urgent is foundational to putting first things first.” The problem is training preparation is important, but it’s not urgent. And because urgent tasks must be done today, important tasks like preparation for good training can often be postponed until later. But appropriate preparation can insure that your training is concise and realistic, and it will almost guarantee a positive experience for you and your trainee.
  • Ask questions to determine the trainee’s experience- Before you jump into a demonstration, a good trainer assesses what the trainee already knows. Asking questions can:
    • Reveal previous experience
    • Respect trainees for what they already know
    • Allow the trainer to relate current training to prior experience
    • Reduce training time
    The trainer needs to show a sincere desire to probe for any possible past experience that can be linked to the new information. Generally, open-ended questions that start with “what” or “how” are most effective. Questions like “Can you be more specific?” and “Could you give me an example?” are also effective in gaining the information you need.
  • Tell the trainee about the task- ‘Telling’ is a step most of us do well, right? Wrong! Because it’s easy to tell our employees everything they might ever want to know about a specific task (after all, we are the experts!), we tend to talk, talk, and talk. As we already discussed, part of this problem is solved by careful preparation in step 1, where we delete anything the trainee doesn’t absolutely have to learn. We also help avoid our potential talking problem by carefully asking key questions about the trainee’s experience in step 2.
  • Show the trainee how the task is done- First of all, “showing” in this step is not the same thing as showing a drawing or picture to illustrate the “telling” portion of step 3. In this step, you act as a model of how the job should be done. As you demonstrate the task in step 4, provide verbal clues to the trainee.4 “Talk” your thoughts, so the trainee hears and sees what, why, when, and how you do the task.
  • Encourage the trainee to do the task- We can read a book on riding a unicycle, write an article on “The Joys of Unicycle Riding,” and even watch someone else ride. But we can’t do it until we actually ride that darn thing ourselves.6 Your employees can’t learn how to do a task by reading about it. They can’t learn skills by watching you. They have to do the task them-selves and receive accurate feedback on their performance. That’s your job as a trainer. Watch them do it in a practice session and provide helpful, constructive feedback.
  • Followup to ensure that the trainee can do the task- Following up does not consist of making the familiar statement, “My door is always open. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to stop by.” Trainees who are apprehensive about their jobs may not feel comfortable coming to you with their questions. Following up means you follow up. You’re the one who needs to take the initiative and visit the trainee on a regular basis. Make time in your schedule to visit your trainees. Good intentions don’t count here; actions do! Look at this step as an interview with several objectives. First, find out how the trainee is feeling, and what he or she is thinking about the job. Next, determine how well the task is being done, and if there are any areas that need to be improved.


An outline of the advantages and disadvantages of one-on-one teaching for students.


  • Learners have the constant attention of the instructor so they can listen to and speak more English than they might in a group
  • Learners can contribute to classes more and feel part of the learning process by bringing material like books, videos, articles from local newspapers to class
  • Their strengths and weaknesses are addressed more consistently and fully without the competition of other students for the instructor’s time
  • They can become better learners through learner training with their instructor
  • There are less time constraints so they can go at their own pace and not feel pressured by the progress of other learners
  • According to the Natural Method, as suggested by Stephen Krashen, learners acquire language best through the modified input of the instructor . This means that the instructor adapts their language to the level of the student and in one-to-one classes the amount and type of input can be maximized by the instructor to benefit the learner


  • There is a similar potential for exhaustion as they too can be in constant interaction in an unnatural way with the instructor
  • It can be difficult to measure progress without other learners to compare with and the possible lack of a syllabus
  • There can be a lack of individual study time. They might not have the same “sink in time” as they would have in a group. This can go against the acquisition of language, especially if instructors don’t give enough restricted practice (Scrivener, 1987) of new language and students don’t absorb the language as effectively as they would if they had more time to reflect and process input in a class where the instructor might be more comfortable with silent periods
  • The lesson format can become monotonous if a instructor lacks the confidence to experiment with change of pace and type of activity. They might assume a student would not be open to activities such as dictation, videos, moving around the class,  drilling, etc.

Remember– Take time to save time. Effective instructors save time in the long run by spending time up front with learners to help them succeed. They don’t waste time cleaning up mistakes that happened when no one was watching. It’s a Win-Win situation!

I hope this was a clean snap-shot of what we are also trying to achieve at LearnSocial. Bye for now. Will catch up with the next blog.



Language Specialist at LearnSocial.

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Hi All.. This is Anindita. Popularly known as Annie. I am a Bong by birth and is now settled in Hyderabad. My role at LearnSocial is Language Specialist.. Hey! don't get deceived by that word.... huh! I mean I am an English Language specialist..Lol..:) To know more about me you need to reach out to me in person.... Thanks for reading this small intro of mine :) :) :)