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Marjolein Benschop

Empowering Both Language Learners & Teachers Through Language Coaching Techniques

Language learners often become demotivated at some point during their language learning process. They may come to think they are simply not suited to learning languages, or perhaps that their teacher is unskilled and uses ineffective teaching methods. The teacher, on the other hand, can also feel frustrated and even insecure when a student does not learn as fast as they had hoped. There are a number of factors that should be explored when considering these challenges in the language learning context.

To this end, this talk will address the potential benefits of language coaching, a new area in the language learning field. I will explain how language coaching can be used in the classroom to empower both the language learner and the teacher by focusing on smart goals, motivation, accountability and personalized strategies.

I will discuss practical techniques that both language learners and language teachers can draw upon to facilitate the language learning process, making it more efficient and effective in and outside the classroom. In this way, I hope to provide tips and suggestions aimed at improving student and teacher satisfaction.

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18 Comments

  • Debwefox says:

    Very helpful— thank you

  • esteban says:

    @daveHuxtable, there is at least one course on language couching that it is certified in ICF, it is offered by some Ukrainian couching institute, and I believe it is in Russian. I found it directly in the ICF catalogue recently, you can have a look there (in their home page) in case you are interested. The one I found started the first week of October if I remember correctly, but there will be others, I assume.

  • esteban says:

    this was a fantastic presentation – thank you so much for having the time to preparing something so useful and enlightening!

  • PekPek2 says:

    Thank you for the excellent presentation. I used to be a high school language teacher and was doing some of these things but wish I had known about all of these strategies back then. Now that I am an aspiring polyglot and learning more about what actually works in learning languages, I am missing teaching and hope to go back to it one day.

  • @saramanzi Dankjewel voor je berichtje. Wat leuk dat je in Nederland woont! Ik hoop je deze week tijdens één van de activiteiten te ontmoeten.

  • @Heidi, thank you so much for your comment. I’ve taught at a school too. 🙂 To answer your question about the resources, the more interesting the extra resources are, the more likely it is that the students will actually use them. Think of interactive games, cartoons, and lyric videos. When it comes to the homework, maybe you can let them choose between 2 homework options? That will boost commitment.

  • Heidi says:

    Motivation is something I’m very interested in right now, but I need it for the classroom, for my students, who are not choosing a language they want to learn, but who have to attend school. I liked your idea of asking students what they are going to do as a “homework”; I might try doing that at school, too, though I think the results will be very mixed. And maybe I might use the idea of giving additional resources, but probably in a school environment where tasks are obligatory, motivation for facultative activities isn’t very strong.
    Anyway it is interesting to gain some insight into the job of a language coach, so thanks a lot!

  • Sara Manzi says:

    Hartelijk dank Marjolein,handige tips! Ik ben zelf docent Italiaans in Nederland en geinteresserd in positive psicologie en leerstrategieen. Succes ermee! groetjes

  • @davehuxtable Thanks for your question, Dave. I studied psychology, which is useful when it comes to understanding how memory and motivation work. Having said that, I believe that anyone who has learned to speak a foreign language by themselves can analyse how they’ve achieved that, and share their knowledge. Especially those that have learned multiple languages, are likely to have identified certain learning strategies that have resulted to be effective. There isn’t a certification that you require to be a language coach, but really understanding different learning strategies, motivation, goals and the brain is important. For those that would like more help on how to become a coach, feel free to contact me by e-mail :).

  • Thank you for this, Marjolein! 🙂

  • Thank you all so much for your comments! I’m glad to see it was helpful.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this informative and insightful presentation, Marjolein, done with a lovely delivery style.

  • DaveHuxtable says:

    I love seeing people applying coaching methodology to language learning. Where did you learn coaching? Do you recommend any certification?

  • Nancy says:

    Thanks Marjolein, great information!

  • Ellie says:

    Thanks a lot for the talk! I want to become a language coach myself so it was really helpful.

  • JapanesewithNoriko says:

    Thank you so much. I learned a lot of new things through your presentation.

  • Thank you for sharing new ideas on how I can better communicate with my tutors so we both get more out of our lessons!

  • AnnamariaA says:

    This is a topic I’ve been wanting to explore for some time! Thank you for the clear and motivating materials.

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