How beneficial is it for the students to have different teachers each lesson?
Reflective Diary submitted by Cassie, Barcelona
There are multiple benefits and inconveniences surrounding the idea of not having one permanent teacher. The academy’s main selling point is that it offers its students native English speakers form all over the world, these lessons are all one to one where the student is the main focus.
The main benefit that comes from having different teachers is that the student is exposed to multiple accents. Even two people from the same place can have different accents. There is a variation across the UK, not to mention the United States. Even as a native I sometimes find it difficult to understand people from the north of England like Newcastle. Therefore if the student is exposed to these multiple accents early on, it becomes easier for them to adapt and understand.
On the other hand, the obvious advantage of having one teacher is ‘the development of a rapport between the teacher and student’ (Jacob et al 2002) this can make the student feel more comfortable in class and increase their motivation. I noticed this amongst my A1 students who would request me mainly because I spoke Spanish and because I have a background of foreign family so I am familiar with their situation. However, this can also be viewed as a disadvantage as it can hinder the students learning as instead of covering work it becomes easier to get side tracked and as a result they do not progress. Another disadvantage is that boundaries are blurred between student and teacher and they see you more as a friend making the environment less professional.
Additionally, each teacher has his or her own area of expertise and this is especially useful when it comes to teaching the exam course. ‘Team teaching may enable sharing of insights about both content and pedagogy’ (Lester and Evans 2009). The exam course has multiple themes in it and by having different teachers; they can share their wide knowledge of different topics. This enables the student to further improve their knowledge and vocabulary.
In a study conducted by The University of British Colombia they asked 924 students across different faculties their opinion on having multiple teachers for the same module. The findings from this study were that students felt that ‘multiple instructors working together can be especially effective at meeting high level learning goals’ (Jones and Harris, 2012) proving that different teachers is beneficial for the students.
To conclude, the benefits from having multiple teachers outweighs the advantages of having just one. All the teachers compliment each other and fill the knowledge gaps another may have to create an efficient team and effective work environment.
- Jacob et al (2002) available at:
Last accessed 8th May 2017
- Jones, F. & Harris, S (2012) ‘Benefits and drawbacks of using multiple instructors to teach single courses’, 60, pp. 132-139.
- Lester, J. N., & K. R. Evans (2009). ‘Instructors’ experiences of collaboratively teaching: Building something bigger. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education’, 20(3), pp. 373–382.