Where to Start

The Value of Coaching In Language Learning

I think you’ll agree that it’s difficult for traditional learning styles to work in our “noisy” lives of today.

We often feel overwhelmed, stressed, in a rush. It’s hard to think clearly when information is hitting us from all sides and we’re in a constant race for more and better.

We often have more skills than we think, but we’ve got lost in the daily noise, losing our confidence and connection with ourselves and others along the way.

We could resume by saying that the challenging times in which we live call for a much-needed change in how we learn.

So how can coaching help?

What Coaching Isn’t

Let’s start here first as it helps to clarify what coaching actually is for those in doubt.

It’s not therapy or counseling. We’re not “dissecting” a problem. Instead, we’re looking at how to rise up out of the drama of the problem, out of the weeds so to speak, and see the opportunities that lie in its midst. We do this by using curious (powerful) questions that inspire the Coachee to search inside for their answers.

It’s not about fixing people because there is something wrong with them. It’s about helping someone be more effective in a certain domain.

And in order to be “more effective”, the Coachee needs to become more connected with themselves and understand how they’re thinking/being/perceiving/doing in any given situation rather than focusing on the circumstances or situations happening around them.

Because life is our mirror.

In other words, what is happening externally in our own little world is a mirror of what is happening internally. We need to go inside first.

So if coaching is about going deeper inside, connecting more with ourselves and who we are (our values, beliefs, perceptions, dreams etc.), how can it help our language learning?

Well, let’s look at the main obstacles to language learning so that we can pinpoint how coaching actually helps.

The Main Obstacles Blocking Language Improvement

  1. fear of making mistakes, of misunderstanding, of not having the right answer
  2. fear of being judged, of what other people might think of us
  3. memories of unpleasant learning experiences in the past and what we interpret them as meaning about our ability/identity
  4. pressure based on our own expectations of what we think we should be able to do in the near future

The above leads to stress, worry and, generally, a lot on our mind.

And there lies the problem. To improve our knowledge of a language through practice, we need a clear mind. A mind racing with worrisome thoughts is neither efficient nor useful.

The good news is that coaching helps to lower these barriers by providing a safe environment through what I call the 5 C’s.

The Five C’s:

Curiosity: is key in language learning. It inspires the courage to ask questions and distills the fear of getting something wrong or saying “I don’t know”. There is no judgment. Mistakes are welcome, they’re learning tools, the more the merrier! Curiosity opens the door to more self-discovery, a place where you can be your whole self, not a small, fearful version.

Clarity: we’ve all been caught driving through thick fog at least once in our lives and had to navigate our way out. The only solution then was to slow down and make sure we were heading in the right direction. It’s the same here: we need to clarify the why and the what of our language learning so that we’re motivated to continue driving.

Collaboration: it’s not a typical teacher-student relationship. We’re on the same level. You could say that learning is done through mindful communication and meaningful conversations.

Confidentiality: qualified coaches such as myself are bound by coaching ethics, which signifies, amongst others, that whatever is discussed during the session remains confidential. The Coachee can feel at ease sharing their thoughts and perceptions.

Confidence: a Coach knows that the Coachee has the resources and answers inside themselves to reach their goals. What is more, the Coach uses a wide variety of techniques, including placement, acknowledgment and permission, to create a reassuring learning hub for the Coachee.

And What About The Resulting Benefits?

  • You are the textbook because you’re learning more about you. Everything is personal and relevant to ensure motivation, enjoyment and of course effective retention.
  • Your roadmap is clear – you have clear and concise intentions and milestones to check progress.
  • You become more empowered – you don’t lose your skills and identity, there is no need to feel small and “less than”.
  • You’re focused on the essential and don’t lose time learning things that aren’t important.
  • Your Coach is your sounding board for solutions. It’s not just about being prepared although this of course helps. It’s about pausing and reflecting, getting out of the forest and enjoying the view from the top of the mountain.
  • You become more self-aware and mindful of who you’re being in your daily life and how you’re communicating. Read more here about how I use the concepts of mindfulness, meaning and minimalism in my Coaching.

Hence, you feel more relaxed and less stressed during the learning journey.

In fact, it’s an inside-out journey.

You’re getting a 2-in-1 service: developing yourself through the language and developing the language through yourself.

What type of Coaching sessions are possible?

  • Private one-to-one sessions (local or online)
  • Journaling sessions (speaking or writing in own time)
  • Mindful communication practice sessions (local or online)
  • Walk & Talk sessions (local)

Rest assured that before starting any coaching package, we always begin with a coaching conversation so that we can discuss the areas where you would like to be more effective and see which type of session would be most beneficial for you/resonates with you the most.

Let’s finish with some reflection questions.

Reflection Questions:

  • What has been your main obstacle so far to improving your English communication?
  • Now turn the spotlight inside yourself: where could you be getting in your own way?
  • How are you being when you’re communicating in the language?
  • How do you want to be/feel?
  • What needs to be removed for you to be more of the speaker you’d like to be?
  • How could having your very own personal Coach change things for you?
  • How can you integrate your language learning more effectively into your lifestyle?

Takeaways:

Coaching can open up your language learning path to less stress and struggle and more ease, enjoyment and effectiveness.

You’ll communicate more impactfully.

You’ll improve your life as well as your language.

 

So…. what are you waiting for?

 

 

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