I hosted, organised and attended a fantastic 2-day training event on language coaching with Gabriella Kovacs, internationally accredited language coach, business communication trainer, teacher trainer. My mind is still buzzing as it was a mind-blowing experience full of new and never anticipated insights into my own language teaching practice.
It’s time to re-define who I am and what I do as a language teacher and trainer who uses the coaching approach.
Here’s where I am at the moment:
- I usually start working with a new client in coaching-like mode. As part of the first initial meeting, I ask specific questions with the aim to discover past experiences, successes and challenges, any underlying negative beliefs around language learning that could sabotage the future learning process. I also spend a great time getting to know the person as a whole, to find out how language learning can fit into their life seamlessly.
- We set goals, realistic goals, and we come up together with a plan.
- Then, I go into teaching or training mode. Teaching is about new words, vocab, phrases, structures, practising, speaking as much as possible, having natural conversations from a very early stage. Training comes into play when it’s about preparing for an interview, or a specific presentation, a negotiation. It’s essentially a skills transfer – in a foreign language.
- We regularly reflect on the whole process – that’s when I may use the coaching approach again. And whenever we get stuck along the way, we look back to see what it really is that hinders the learning process in order to resolve the underlying issues, with the help of the coaching framework.
- Then I’m putting on the teacher’s or trainer’s hat again.
- And the whole process evolves around this kind of circle, organically, naturally.
“As a coach, my job is not to coach someone out of a situation, but to coach them to a better version of themselves in that situation.”– Gabriella Kovacs ACC
The participants came all the way from Spain, Morocco and Italy. We all brought our experiences into the process and gave it our all. It was absolutely lovely, and we learnt just as much through interacting and practising with each other as we learnt from Gabriella herself.
“True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.”― Nikos Kazantzakis
If you are a language teacher yourself, who stumbled upon this in the online universe, and you’d like to learn more about and potentially take part in a workshop like this in Central London: We’re organising another round in the summer, and would love to welcome you too if you feel this could add to your professional development as a language teacher.