What is language coaching and do I need it?

Have you tried to learn a language before and felt like you weren’t really making much progress? Or that you still weren’t confident speaking the language in real life? Maybe you had classes based far too much around grammar without enough speaking. Maybe your English is fantastic, but you don’t feel confident about your pronunciation. Maybe you hold a high position in your company and you don’t have time for language training that doesn’t help you progress quickly. Maybe you have an important presentation that you need to do perfectly.

Maybe you need language coaching.

Language coaching is about helping you to identify your goals, define those goals and then translate them into clear objectives. It’s about putting the learning into your hands. In a regular language class, the teacher takes the lead. In a coaching situation, you are in charge and you guide the learning.

My job as a language coach is not to tell you what’s best for you. My job is to use my knowledge and experience in adult learning and pedagogy to help you achieve your goals efficiently.

As an example, I have been working for a while now with a musician. He’s nearly 70 years old and he thought he would never be able to speak English, even though he was desperate to talk to his audiences and to his musician colleagues.

When we started working together, he told me that he had already taken some classes but there was too much focus on grammar. He didn’t want to learn grammar and he didn’t want to read and write, because in his music he did everything by ear. So that’s what we have been doing.

We identified the areas of his English that were lacking and that were important for his communication. We also identified exactly in which situations he needs English. He decided he’d like to work from songs and interviews with other musicians to practise his comprehension and vocabulary and to discuss the meanings of songs he’d never been able to understand.

He also chose what he wanted to do outside of our sessions to work on his English. Every week I send him a couple of minutes of recorded notes and he listens to them every day.

And guess what? After 18 months, he has made enormous progress. He is able to chat to his musician friends around the world on Zoom. He has even made a video in English.

Coaching requires active participation from both parties, but you work at your speed, at your level and in the best way for you. It’s the most efficient way to get to the level of communication you want.

If you want to know more about how language coaching can help you or one of your team, get in touch.

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