A language coach is not the same as a traditional teacher. Instead of deciding and then telling the learner what they should know , a coach looks at where you are now; helps you decide where you want to be, and guides and supports you on that ‘journey' to language proficiency. The lessons are learner orientated and don't follow text books. Most significantly, the focus is on what YOU, the learner, can do to progress to fluency. YOU, the learner/client, take responsibility for the direction of your learning and together, we can work out how you will get there.
What does a language coach do?
The Language Coach works with the Client to set personalised goals and targets.
The Client takes responsibility for and ownership of their learning.
The Language Coach uses experience and intuition to choose methods that suits the Client best. They are aware that each person learns in a different way.
The Client is motivated to acquire specific language skills and knowledge.
The Language Coach and Client work together to create a specialised, flexible, tailor made learning plan.
The plan and the goals are revisited regularly.
Text-books are rarely used as they tend to be too generalised to be effective.
Real documents, texts, videos, books, magazines etc. are used as and when needed.
The Language Coach has many years of previous experience and success as a language teacher.
The Language Coach offers affective support: confidence, feedback and empathy.
The relationship between the Language Coach and Client is that of equal professionals working together.
The Language Coach is discrete about the sometimes sensitive, confidential information involved in work related language support.
The differences between language coaching and traditional teaching
Motivation takes top priority
Empathy is important
Coach has the ability to keep client engaged, motivated, valued and committed
Client takes responsibility and ownership
Flexible and self-directed
Normally, no books are used
There is an equal status between coach and client
There is an awareness of limitations
Matches needs of client
'Teaching' is kept to a minimum
Coach has the ability to adapt to the client
Client-focused and tailor-made
The objective is to maximise the potential of the learner
Traditional Language Teaching
It could sometimes be described as mainly a one-way process
Book related – following chapters and the order of language learning books
Often limited to the materials/books used
Teacher takes the role as the expert denoting a superior status
The relationship between the teacher and the learner is often not so close nor is it a realistic or personalized experience
Often encompasses a more formal approach
Instructive and mandatory
With groups – often trial and error – not tailored to individuals
Often the subject must be learnt, so the teacher is interested in the topic but the learner is not
Often does not take into account the social context and cultural interaction of the learner